If you’re at all technically savvy, one of the biggest things you dread is the call from a friend/parent asking for help because something’s not working the way it should.

For example, my mother called a couple of nights ago in a Luddite-like panic because there was no sound coming from their DVD player. After 20 minutes on the phone, it turned out that the audio out plug from the DVD player to the TV was loose. Problem fixed. Call me Mr. Customer Service.

It did get me thinking there is a huge opportunity for the consumer electronics industry to develop products for people who want simplicity and user-friendliness. It doesn’t mean these products would come with no or limited features but rather they would be easy to use.

For example, Samsung makes a phone with large buttons and a limited number of features. But what about a DVD player with just three large buttons – play, pause, stop. At the back or side of the unit, the outlets would be easily identifiable and color-coded so plugging in the audio and video jacks would be a breeze. What about a digital camera with buttons/interface that said “Take a Photo”, “Look at Photos”, “Shoot a Video” and “Play Your Videos”

You figure this market is fertile for someone to step into the fray given most people just scratch the surface of the features available on the products they buy. Then again, simplicity is a hard sell because consumers, in general, see bells and whistles as something that good even if they’re difficult or impossible to access.

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