Smart charging is just the start of the electric vehicle revolution.
The most disruptive technologies are those that add value to a fundamental product—while simultaneously reducing cost. Predicting that increase in bang-for-buck, however, isn’t necessarily easy at the early stages of a disruptive technology trend.
Case in point: when Sony introduced the first CD player in 1982, it was heralded as an important step forward in audio recording technology. At $900 ($1,780 in today’s dollars), the CD-P 101 was expensive, and it could do just one thing—play a music CD on a stereo system. No one could’ve guessed this single innovation would begin the chain of events that has so radically disrupted the music industry.
By digitizing music files, Sony’s technology allowed music to escape the physical medium. When a new virtual medium emerged in the form of the Internet, music quickly became more valuable and vastly cheaper to distribute. Now, instead of going to a store to buy a plastic disc, we download digital music files instantly onto our pocket-sized media players and computers. We share and shuffle songs, and generate instant playlists based on the style and genre of a specific song. We use songs as ringtones for our cell phones, and background music for family videos we post on YouTube.