We all shop at our local stores, and sometimes online too, but our concept of retail may change as a result of rapid manufacturing. A fascinating post by Marta Lyall proposes a transformation in our thinking.
Today we visit a physical retail store and shop based on our visual perception of what's present. We come to expect to see the same kinds of things on the same shelves. Yes, inventory changes slowly, and we have become accustomed to that line of thinking.
But what if rapid manufacturing tech enabled those shelves to have different items appeared a lot more frequently? Lyall says:
Metaphorically, physical locations then become like empty fields in a database, where objects fill the spaces, recede, and are replaced with new objects, reflecting the markets as they constantly transform. This allows physical retail spaces to be more rapidly transforming spaces; much more in keeping with the experience of communicating through social networking environments
We think this is yet another example of how our society and thought will shift as 3D manufacturing tech increases in capability and coverage.