But as more and more people started to buy it, the demand for it opened the market to more manufacturers effectively cutting down the purchase cost of each unit. With more applications and lower cost, it became a comfort to those who can afford it. As its technology advanced, its capacity multiplied exponentially and its applications started to literally change the way people do things. Now anybody can purchase airline tickets, pay their bills, get a degree and even meet their future spouse online!
How the status of an item changes from necessity, comfort or luxury is not a homogenous phenomena. While the workings of this change are complex, the actual fact is even more fragmented. What necessities are to industrial countries may be luxuries to citizens of a third world country. And even in a single country, the luxuries for a middle-income family may very well be necessities to those of upper echelons of society.
All that people posses may be categorized under any of the three categories mentioned. And though these items are upgraded for performance, their purpose intrinsically remains unchanged. What changes is how people have slowly become dependent on them, thus making them more and more important to their everyday life. The rich merely challenges the limit of what is possible with their luxuries, but as with any discovery or new technology, it will always find its way to trickle down into the mass market to evolve into yet another necessity of the future.
Webcams, DCL modems and internet conferences are now affordable for each individual who has at least some computer user skills. So what will be the next?
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