Friday, May 8, 2009

The Product Design Genius in the Family

I originally wrote this entry on September 21, 2004, and published it on

I think my wife is the real product design genius in the family.

She constantly comes up with cool product ideas. Here, are a couple of samples.

Some time in 1995 or 1996, when I was still associated with the Logic group at Berkeley, she wanted her mobile phone to act also as a camera. I thought it was an absolutely great idea whose market timing I wasn't sure about. (Back then, our first daughter was only two years old, and we enjoyed taking pictures of her every chance we got. Often, we left the camera behind and had the phone with us.)

Now, both of our daughters are going to school, and my wife would like to have video access to various rooms in our house through her mobile phone "just to make sure all is going well" when she is not around. According to my wife, our friends, the xxx's, have even a greater need for it, given the weekend, beach-front home they keep on the northern edges of the Santa Cruz Bay.

"That sort of system should drive revenues up for the operators," she says.

Of course, I cannot help thinking about how to implement and market such a system. It sounds like a great startup idea to me but, then, it's not that hard to start . . . I can already see the implementation in my head with widely available components and platforms.

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