There is little doubt that computers and technology have already changed our lives. Consider bar codes, ATM machines, email, electronic tickets, and instant access to information, to name just a few. Yet, one of the biggest changes technology will make in our lives over the next few years might well be something that is just now making an appearance—personalization and customization.
Many products lend themselves to personalization. A good example is perfume. At a website call Eleuria, at http://www.eleuria.com, you can order a personalized fragrance, a service that was in the past was only available to blue bloods and the very wealthy. Prince Ranier had a perfume especially created for Grace Kelly as a wedding present. Now you can have the same luxurious experience by simply visiting a website and filling out a profile.
At the Nike website (http://www.nike.com), you can personalize your own gym shoes, hats, or other sports-related items. Not only can you choose the colors, but you can also include your own sayings and tags. Look around the Internet and you will find that you can add your own picture to mugs, mouse pads, calendars, photo cubes, or T-shirts. Sites such as the Kodak EasyShare Gallery (http://www.kodakgallery.com), Shutterfly (http://www.shutterfly.com), and Club Photo (http://www.clubphoto.com) specialize in these services. As a matter of fact, the variety of websites that are into personalization is almost mind-boggling. Websites such as Sweet Cravings at http://www.sweetcraving.com will take your logo, photo, or graphic and apply them to custom-created edible cookies in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Personal Creations at http://www.personalcreations.com will provide everything from personalized stationery to personalized furniture. There is even a Personalization Mall at http://www.personalizationmall.com where you can find twenty personalized gift stores.