The definition and design of products, and the level of automation at the factories that turn out products, will be transformed across commercial, consumer, and medical industries over the next 20 years. The sooner companies figure out an initial systematic approach to enable appropriate two-way communication between the product and the factory that makes it—one that can be continuously renewed as the Industrial Internet (IIoT) and Internet of Things (IoT) and their numerous protocols head toward standardization—the better off they will be.
An analogous transformation will occur in the marketplace and customer environments. Products will continuously interact with other products in their domain and with the environment around them. Products will “know” when to start, stop, speed up, slowdown, ask for help, and when to send messages of reassurance. Other products within their domain will react to this data, thus creating an ecosphere.
Once a company’s product has been sorted out by users, it becomes quite difficult to regain market share. Remember Blackberry, a former market leader that didn’t keep up with the pace of change?