Kickstarter has been a hot topic in the press lately as more and more entrepreneurs take to the online space to showcase their innovative technology ideas.
The website, which launched in 2009, is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects, and when it eventually hits the mainstream it could change the way millions of people connect with technology over the coming years.
Having a unique site dedicated solely to discovering the creations of those working independently could help to generate greater opportunities aside from those technologies which have already been adopted and are now constantly being brandished by larger companies.
Right now things are really starting to hot up amongst smartphone manufacturers fighting to have the best mobile devices packed with all the latest and greatest innovations.
This year the smartphone market has already welcomed a flurry of new handsets but industry experts are now starting to question whether the latest innovations in mobile technology are really that, actual innovations.
Whether it’s the Samsung Galaxy S4, BlackBerry Z10 or latest iPhone it appears that the majority of smartphone vendors are quickly starting to run out of new ideas to make their handsets stand out from the ever-growing crowd.
But, with handset life cycles predicted to become even shorter between next generation devices it will be even more difficult for firms to come up with new inventions at an equivalent rate. Alok Shende, founding director of Ascentius analytics firm said: “Breakthrough features will only come at a logarithmic pace”.
With a greater number of industry analysts expressing concern that smartphone innovation has plateaued, the importance of sites like Kickstarter, which has already seen more than 170 technology projects submitted, has been highlighted.
In the past smartphone manufacturers have simply used their status and financial clout to promote new technologies. But what consumers and manufacturers alike want is forever changing and things like faster processors, which were once seen as a great features, are simply not a good enough proposition on their own anymore.
Faisal Kawoosa, senior manager of telecoms at CyberMedia Research firm noted the difficulty in differentiating between smartphones based just on their features. He said: “If you see some of the recent launches in the smartphone category there’s not much of a difference. Going ahead I don’t think we’ll see any significant change.”
While smartphone manufacturers may well be hitting a wall when it comes to generating new ideas, Kickstarter signals what could be a new wave in smartphone technology. Of course it’s going to take some time before these independent developers really start to have an impact on the devices that are produced by large companies, but it just shows the potential that is already out there.
Results from a poll conducted on the Dialaphone blog indicate Kickstarter is still unknown to many, with the majority of respondents saying they’d never invested in a project on the crowd-funding website.
But despite its low status, it may not be too much longer before smartphone manufacturers are turning to independent inventors to ensure they don’t keep churning out modified versions of features just to keep up with competitors. It is likely that there will soon come a time when no amount of marketing budget can convince consumers that what they’re buying into is new.
Speaking after the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4, Jan Dawson, analyst at Ovum consultancy firm, said that while the new Android flagship is good its features can be “seen as gimmicks rather than game changers”. This is certainly something that could become commonplace if things continue the way they’re going right now.
But that’s where Kickstarter could really help transform the smartphone industry. Turning the mobile market into one brimming with new ideas and innovations, rather than one filled with firms clutching at overused features which they once had the time to produce.