Last week at DIG South, I gave a talk titled “What the Internet of Things Really Means.” One of the next big drivers of transformation for consumers and businesses — and one of the biggest buzzwords — is the Internet of Things. IoT is defined by ubiquity: Technology and computation will become ubiquitous, truly integrated into our lives. Digital technologies will move into the “stuff” we have, the spaces we live and work in, and the stores at which we shop. The trend is still moving up the hype cycle, so the drumbeat of how exciting and revolutionary will continue to grow (before the inevitable realization that IoT isn’t a silver bullet and the warts and challenges of the systems become apparent).
The talk is organized into three sections: Why is the IoT is a big deal? What are the implications for designers, marketers, agencies and startups? And finally how we’re designing digital ecosystems to be ready for IoT?
Applications for the Internet of Things consist of three things: sensors, smarts, and systems. And then the app has a context or scope, such as “on the body,” “in the home,” “in the city” or “industry” or “global.” Then I showed a ton of examples.
Part of our argument is that the Internet of Things will be a sea change. But, many of the tried and true digital design and user-experience led structures, strategies, and techniques will apply (with some transformation) in this new world.
User-centric thinking will be even more important than in the digital age. As Michael DeGaudio from Frog argues “The easy part of building the Internet of Things (IoT) is connecting the infrastructure. Sensors and wireless technology expedite the flow of data from “things” to us and become the source of new products, market opportunities and cost savings. … the hard part is remaining mindful of the human motivations that are the foundation of the IoT.”
We’ve also been extending our tools of customer journey mapping, understanding user needs and wants, and cadence as a part of our design process.
The full slide deck is on Slideshare here. Download it and give it a read. We’d love to know if you’re working on IoT-related projects already, so leave questions or comments below.