Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The High Price of High-Tech Prostheses

The only thing that's going to bring the price down on that high-tech prosthetic limb is wide-scale mass production. What's needed is a prosthetic limb craze. But the product itself has to prove its worth. If the limb is high-tech enough to be useful as, say, a third arm (rather than simply a replacement 2nd arm, which most of the public hardly needs!), that's when you have the crossover potential that could really make the market for it take off.

As with any cutting-edge novelty item, the first few cool kids in the pool are going to get soaked - they're going pay through the nose! But for them, that's part of the allure: being able to score and flaunt a high-tech gadget that's out of most peoples' reach. That's what starts the craze, and then it builds as others make sacrifices and/or wheedle the parents relentlessly for their own high-tech prosthetic arm, so they can be in with the cool crowd. As more and more me-too's start jumping on the bandwagon, the marketplace will respond. Different manufacturers will be one-upping each other to serve the demand with cooler features, and fashion color options.

As the craze really takes over, you'll see the price start to drop - demand will push production to the point where economies of scale kick in, and pretty soon, it will no longer be simply a status item. Finally we will begin to see a world where the dream of an affordable high-tech prosthetic arm for everyone is a reality.

This is what's needed. Creative solutions that take advantage of how capitalism can work for us.


Unknown said...

Have you read up on Neuroprosthetics or Brain-computer Interfaces?

Your idea isn't too far off the horizon!

dogimo said...

Eeeee I hate to think about stuff like that. It's bad enough when my computer crashes - and computers have been around for some time! I don't want to be part of the early consumer base for any of THAT stuff.

Paging Dr. Ludd! Ahaha.

Say, that's a great idea. There should be a comic book supervillian who is a MAD SCIENTIST LUDDITE.

Unknown said...

Coincidentally, City of Heroes (a MMO based on comic books) has a villain group known as the "Luddites." I don't know if there are, in fact, any Luddite supervillains, though I'm sure there are in places I have yet to explore.