The web is buzzing today about Apple’s new iOS7 operating system for its “iDevices.” In fact, I’m 3 minutes out from seeing if my iPhone will update or turn into a brick.
As I’m sitting here waiting, I was thinking about how advanced the power equipment that we have has become. If you go under the hood of some of the brands we sell like Exmark, STIHL or Honda, you’ll find technology that has come a LONG way since the “dumb” engines and single/simple usage that these products used to do.
No longer do we employ small engine mechanics. Our service department is filled with specially trained technicians who use a variety of tools to diagnose problems and resolve issues. Take a look at the technology of newer Exmark mowers and you’ll find equipment that adjusts to its environment and even learns how to improve to be more efficient.
Electronics and circuit boards are finding their way onto handheld/battery operated powertools and outdoor power equipment. Fuel injection is becoming more of a default need as R&D departments do everythign they can to get more power out of the products. I really do not think we are that far off from having equipment that the manufacturers will be able to “update” through the internet.
Wouldn’t it be cool to have a buzz in our industry as we wait for the CEO of STIHL to come before a crowd and talk about the next generation of power equipment.
Younger generations of end users expect it. We just want it to work better.
And with the regulating of our country with regards to pollution, gas and recycling, we know that research and development is one of the ways that companies are trying to differentiate themselves from competitors. Landscape contractors HAVE to think GREEN now and more residential consumers are living in communities that require the same.
The one thing that you can be sure of at Howard Brothers is that we keep on top of the technology and new product development that is in the works. Being one of the largest dealers in the Atlanta area, we often get to try out new products before you do. We are alpha and beta testers of the next generations of power equipment. The manufacturers know that we have a customer base that we get great feedback from.
Who knows, maybe tomorrow’s lawnmower will have a front mounted camera so that the landscape contractor can take pictures of the yard he’s cutting. Perhaps there will be a keypad so that he can send a tweet, email or text message to his customer to let them know that his yard has just been maintained. Perhaps all equipment will soon come with GPS tracking capabilities so that our pesky theft problems will be less an issue than they are right now. Perhaps those “Roomba” style lawn mowers will actually get to a point where landscapers have a self aware lawn mower that they take out to jobs.
What would you like to see when it comes to new technology in your power equipment or power tools?
Maybe Jony Ive from Apple can give us his thoughts on the future of lawnmower design 🙂