Two way traffic

I have, in the past, wittered on about the possible benefits to be had from substituting smartphone apps for real artefacts. This saves resources in manufacture, transportation, warehousing, packaging, distribution and because they are considerably cheaper and easy to delete when unwanted, savings in regret about duff purchases and landfill. An almost undiluted “good thing” then. Which set me to wondering …

What about transfers the other way? Could the immensely  creative and often fun world of apps inform products we already produce in the real world?

My first thought was of the sort of app that lets you take a picture of your new baby and then see what he/she would look like with a handlebar moustache or a beehive hairdo with chandelier earrings. Obviously there is the option of using indelible markers and the dressing-up box but this seems likely to invite unfavourable comment if you are caught trying it. This reminded me of the brilliant idea of having shaving foam produced in a selection of colours to match a chap’s hair. That way when horsing about whilst shaving to see what configuration of facial topiary would suit him, he would get a much better impression than the usual Father Christmas look. Then I remembered that this idea was not mine at all but one of James May’s (You can read it here ), and hadn’t been inspired by an app. Ho-Hum. Stilton before bedtime for me to see what vivid imaginings of my own may occur.

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