Picking out the right gadget to buy is so difficult that an entire publishing industry (Cnet, Engagdet, CrunchGear, GDGT) has grown around helping people sort through the process. A new site in private beta called Measy is taking a different approach. You take a quiz answering questions about what you are looking for in a digital camera, flat-screen TV, or netbook, and it comes up with the gadgets that match your requirements.
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Measy’s CEO Ian Manheimer is the creator of Glassbooth, a site which helped voters pick candidates based on taking a quiz about their political views and then matching those up with candidates’ positions. Measy takes a similar approach to helping people make decisions about what gadgets they should buy.
Visitors set their budget and answer questions, pick brand preferences, and answer questions about what features, specs, and size they are looking for. For instance, the digital camera quiz asks how important is brand, picture quality, recording videos. The HDTV quiz asks about viewing angles and sound quality.
After you answer all the questions, it presents you with the single best match, and you can also browse other close matches. (Contrast this to the crowdsourced wiki approach at GDGT). While all of this sounds great in theory, the truth is that there are always a couple of factors that are more important than others to any given consumer. Measy seems to weight all the factors roughly the same. It is not going to eliminate the research you need to do before you buy your next gadget, but at least it gives you a starting point and helps cut down the overwhelming number of initial choices.
When it comes to finding the best digital camera or TV, there never is one right answer, as much as we all wish that there was.