- Software simulations reduced cost and time. One can simulate a complete physical system and run countless simulations at no incremental cost.
- Software itself became driver for new inventions. Hardware coded functionalities gave way to software coded functionalities. Eg: Software defined radio
- Fabrication became inexpensive with 3D printing. No need for elaborate setup of lathe, 5 axes milling machines etc. One can now order Metal/Plastic printed parts over internet and get them delivered at the doorstep. Going forward even electronics will be 3D printed.
- Open Source has revolutionized access to high end technology. From hardware to software, open source has made them inexpensive and readily available. Eg: Arduino, Raspberry Pi, OpenCV, Octave etc. (visit tindie.com for various open source hardware)
With above developments, R&D is no longer an exclusive club. It is now open and democratised allowing anyone and everyone to participate. For instance, in the field of Augmented Reality, alongside big brand devices like Google Glass, MS HoloLens and Epson Moverio, there are also devices from Start-ups like Oculus, Magic Leap, InfinityAR, Meta, i2i and others.
In next post, the ways an organisation can address above challenges will be discussed. Stay tuned...