Like that chair…

Like that chair you saw in the lobby of your hotel on vacation this spring? Take a snapshot, automatically convert it to a 3D model, tweak the color to match your curtains and have it delivered by the time you get home.

The upshot of this is the very beginning of exponential growth in which design creates rapid-adoption online meritocracies, with the most popular designs enjoying widespread appeal and ready mimicry. That’s actually a good thing as it will support the streamlining of a nascent 3D printing and robotics industry, which hasn’t yet found its Amazon or Walmart. Taken together, we may be looking at the start of a merit-based cycle in which production and distribution prices continue to go down, while at the same time the value of design continues to go up, spawning more competition and better products.