Product Hack found in the Back Streets of Hong Kong
A colleague recently shared with me an interesting product proposition he purchased. It’s not really a product proposition as such, but an interesting mix of different electronic components slapped together in a “why did I not think of that” manner. It was purchased for under USD $50 from the back streets of Hong Kong’s Sham Shui Po electronics district.
This sound system, has a simple pair of unadorned speakers, shocking neon colored LCD display, volume dial, and a radio antenna. What is interesting is the built in MP3 player that plays media from a ubiquitous SD Card or USB thumb drive slot housed on the top. Best of all this MP3/USB player cum radio, can be operated by the power mains or by its built in rechargeable battery. What more would you need for a portable entertainment system?
This product will likely not win any beauty contests or design awards. However if this was hacked together by an entrepreneurial electronic shop owner, there must be a market for it. Strangely, I can’t think of any brands that actually offer a product similar to this. (Please let me know if you know of any?) I wonder why is that so, as I would imagine (research data aside) it would be a quick sales kill. Then again this product would not be something consumer research will tell you. It probably took observation and a good understanding of consumer behavior and purchasing habits, something a shopkeeper would be in a perfect position to obtain.
What I also find particularly refreshing, is the lack of serious graphic user interfaces we have come to expect in such digital media players. I believe the MP3 playback in this device runs in a folder/alphabetical order. These days the man on the street has come to a level of computer literacy, that dragging and dropping MP3 files on to a SD Card or USB Stick is not an issue.
It is interesting to ponder what happens to high tech electronics when they become commodities.