The answer it seems is 3D printing technology. In the article they suggest that the major technological successes of the last two decades — computers, mobile phones and MP3 players (digital cameras apparently didn't make the list) — have shown a trend towards allowing consumers free (as in freedom) access to information, but the only remaining stumbling block is the fact that we must still access that information via proprietary hardware.In the last 25 years we have seen a number of key technologies emerge that have revolutionised how we work, play and interact with each other. Could these innovations be part of a grander design? And if so, what's the next piece in the puzzle...?
They argue that bespoke manufacturing services and 3D printing technology have the power to change that by allowing consumers to manufacture for themselves the full-featured, DRM-free hardware that the patent-encumbered, RIAA-pandering big-name manufacturers are not willing or able to give them.People have traditionally endured unsatisfactory products and services because the barriers to using or supplying their own alternatives are too great.
And apparently, the technology to do this is not so far off as we might have imagined.Hardware designers won't be able to rest on their laurels with a product — only constant, breakneck innovation will allow commercial organisations to compete against the tide of freeware and open-source copycat products. Some companies won't be able to do this and will fold, but others will thrive and the consumer only stands to benefit in the end.
"When in doubt, print 'em out." -- Karl's Programming Proverb 0x7