The folks behind the Shanzai.com blog have been covering the cheap netbook and tablet knockoffs and original products coming out of China for a while. And then they got thinking… what if you could tap the capabilities of these Chinese manufacturers to build products custom made to match the expectations of Western consumers? And that led to the creation of Shanzai Studios, a new site that hopes to use the power of the crowd to design killer concepts that can be turned into real products by some of these Chinese manufacturers.
Up first is Operation TBD, (Tablet bag Design). The idea is that users can submit their ideas for the perfect bag to tote around the upcoming iPad or another slate-style tablet. Other users can leave comments and suggestions and vote on their favorite designs.
Contributors will get discounts if they choose to purchase a finished design based on their ideas.
If this works out, maybe we’ll start seeing some of those crazy-cheap or just-plain-crazy devices that typically only show up in China make their way to the US in the future. Macbook Air-clone running Google Android, anyone?