Digital point and shoot cameras and replaced film point and shoot cameras. Digital SLRs have replaced SLR cameras.
This is not a film -v- digital debate. Focussing is key to good composition. It is critical for the photo to be able to tell its story. What this does is encourage the scattergun approach of most digital photogaphers these says, i.e. "If I take a hundred shots of the same subject, one is bound to be good". One photo taken can be viewed and interpreted a hundred different ways with this. It discourages the photographer to consider the subject and decide on what he wants the story to be. For me, it takes away a little bit of the artistry and magic.
I don't know who this is marketed for, that is all. P+S photographers won't really care. Those more serious like me will probably laugh it off as a cheap gimmick. If I miss a shot due to poor focussing, that's my fault as a poor photographer (and I have missed more than I care to remember). It spurs me on to be more in control of the wonderful cameras I have.
If you do like this innovation, can I ask you to do one thing? On your digital SLR, stick it in manual mode and spend a day taking a maximum of twelve photos. See how many turn out well. I can say for sure that I wouldn't get 12 perfect expsoures and perfectly focussed shots. If you also don't get perfect results, why not work on the key components to photography - shutter speed, aperture, focus, composition...
Times change, bdw, you are right, but for my money, the innovations over the past ten years have not produced any better photographers than in the last 100.