Consumerware: A Revolution of Software-Based Technologies Designed for the Consumer, delivered via Mobile
We are at the beginning of a seismic shift in technology industry, a transition from traditional software to what we call Consumerware ┬¡ which lives on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets and will soon be available for consumer goods such as televisions and refrigerators.
So what exactly is Consumerware? Consumerware is moving beyond the web, beyond the smartphone and onto a range of consumer devices. Consumerware allows consumers to do much more with their products than ever imagined, including collaborating with others. It will also encompass more devices such as smart refrigerators, TVs, running shoes, thermostats, watches, home security systems, and glasses. Some Consumerware applications are already available on mobile and consumer devices. For instance refrigerators that can make grocery lists from recipes and what is already stocked in the fridge, home security systems that send safety alerts to the homeowner’s smartphone, and running shoes that interface with a weight loss application and other similar applications.
In contrast to traditional software, Consumerware is context-driven as opposed to event-driven, content-centric rather than program-centric, transformational instead of transactional, data-driven, collaborative, endpoint agnostic, and will bridge the final frontier in human-machine interaction. The diagram below depicts the characteristics of Consumerware
In order to remain meaningful in this revolution and succeed in the Consumerware world, application developers must understand what Consumerware is, how it is different from software, and how those differences impact product development and business strategy.
In our latest white paper Software Disruption and the Emergence of Consumerware: Implications for Mobile App Developers we examine the implications of the Consumerware revolution on today’s mobile application developers, for developers’ partners (content developers), and device makers. What do developers and device makers need to do differently to succeed with Consumerware? How do business models and development strategies need to change in order to remain competitive?
At the end of the day, Consumerware represents the dawn of a fundamentally different era in technology, and those developers who succeed in this new world will be those who understand the differences and adapt their models and strategies accordingly.