Donal Reddington on mass customization, crowdsourcing and digital manufacturing


Mass customization by MyTego.com

A company called MyTego.com, based in Winnipeg, Canada provides an interesting example of a company using the mass customization business model.

A Nintendo DSi with a MyTego.com skin

A Nintendo DSi with a MyTego.com skin

The company provides custom-made vinyl ‘skins’ (self-adhesive covers) for personal electronic devices.  Customers can create a Tego skin using images from the extensive online MyTEGO catalog, or they can upload pictures from their computer or digital camera. Each one is then manufactured individually to the specifications of the customer.

The MyTego skins are precision cut and cover the majority of the device. The device remains fully functional with specific cut-outs for screens, buttons, keys, as well as cutouts allowing access to the device’s battery. Tego skins can be easily and frequently replaced to remain up to date with fast changing trends.

MyTego.com says it has developed a complete patented production system that allows for individual manufacturing with infinite customer choices, with similar economies of traditional mass-production manufacturing where the customer receives very limited or no choices for personalization.

Among the devices for which MyTego skins are available is the Nintendo DSi, which went on sale in early April in United States as well as the United Kingdom.  MyTEGO.com picked up an example of the white version of the Nintendo DSi when it was first released in Japan a couple months ago. They released the online template for the DSi two months ago so customers could start designing the skin for the much talked about Nintendo DSi and order their custom skins in advance.

The MyTego.com website (in seven languages) provides skins for a large variety of cell phones, game systems, MP3 players, game consoles, laptops, PDAs and electronic organizers.

The guitar which had a once-off MyTego skin applied (Picture via Trans World News)

The guitar which had a once-off MyTego skin applied (Picture via Trans World News)

Recently, MyTEGO.ventured beyond its usual area of activity, when it designed and produced a once-off vinyl Tego skin with pictures for an acoustic guitar, to mark the release of a new CD by country music singer Johnny Reid.  However, it remains to be seen if the company will extend into this area of business.  Producing skins for guitars in particular may be difficult.  While major musical instrument brands such as Yamaha or Fender may produce guitars to an exact replicable template, many acoustic guitars in particular are generic, with no specific branding that can be used as a reference to identify their exact shape and thus produce a skin which will fit accurately.

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