Bears, Bats, and Bees The Internet of things needs our help 10 March 2013 @scottjenson jenson.orgSunday, March 10, 13
ParlaylabsSunday, March 10, 13I’ve been lucky to to be a UX designer at some very innovative companies. I’m currently Headof UX for Parlay labs, a startup in Palo Alto.
?Sunday, March 10, 13People are surprisingly conservative when it comes to innovation. Everyone wants innovation but are deathly afraid of risk...When we reﬂect on how far we’ve come, most people just focus on speed size and cost, assuming that is the core force movingforward. But these are *safe* predictions, of course things will get smaller/faster/cheaper. That is incremental innovation. We almostalways fall into the same trap of just extending the current paradigm, just making it a little cheaper, a little smaller, and a little faster..
Sunday, March 10, 13What’s happening next? Easy, it’s the iWatch! The reason people are so excited about theiWatch is that it makes so much sense (from a certain naive perspective) Soon to be followedby the iRing and the iTieTack. These are ﬁnd products but they are just a fairl conservativeextension of our existing paradigm.
Default ThinkingSunday, March 10, 13I’ve written about this before, in a few articles and a book chapter about how throughout thehistory of technology we never take a shiny new technology and run with it. We almost alwaysturn around and use it for an something were doing yesterday. We evaluate a new technology buythe tasks done by the old. A classic example is how people initially read radio plays on TV. Ofcourse, they quickly ﬁgured it out but that’s how we humans work: we stumble our way intoinnovation. It’s why designers like to prototype, we dont know what we don’t know.
We look at the present through a rearview mirror; we march backwards into the future Marshall McLuhanSunday, March 10, 13
Sunday, March 10, 13So while we’re all breathlessly waiting for the iWatch, what has actually been happening?
Sunday, March 10, 13Things like the Nest come along
Sunday, March 10, 13and the Twine hobbyist sensor, and GloCap, a smart pill bottle the calls you when you forget totake your pills, and about a dozen smart light bulb projects on kickstarter. These are wacky crazynew directions that don’t with with our current understanding.
Sunday, March 10, 13But if you throw in the idea of a smart city, things really start to get confusing. Weare in a situation where the world is running ahead of our ability to conceptualizewhat is happening. The iWatch is a ﬁne product that is extending and old model. Itdoesn’t help us make sense of this crazy explosion of new-ness.
“It took us more than 20 years, but computing has ﬁnally moved from conserving resources ingeniously to squandering them creatively.” -- David Gelernter,YaleSunday, March 10, 13Cheap computing can go into anything the problem is our extreme lack of imagination as towhat this could be.
Coordinate Control DiscoverSunday, March 10, 13Every time I talk about the IoT I get questions that show that people really, deeply don’tunderstand what it is about. My favorite example is the smart toaster, the derogatory posterchild of the IoT. When people teach that “I don’t want apps on my toaster” I want to shakethem by their shoulders! “That’s *your* old paradigm, not mine. Smart devices are not aboutapps! Thy are about 3 basic layers of functionality.
Bears ....Big Screen + General OS Bats .... focused function device Bees ....only dataSunday, March 10, 13As a designer, I feel strongly there is power it words. The IoT is such a messy ball of stuff that it’shard to talk about it. It’s useful to break it up into three basic groups: Bears, bats, and bees.http://jenson.org/of-bears-bats-and-bees-making-sense-of-the-internet-of-things/
Bats .... focused function deviceSunday, March 10, 13Both Bears and Bees are somewhat old school. What they are trying to do is fairly well established.What I ﬁnd most interesting are Bats as they are breaking new ground and creating not only newproduct concepts but how to even things about functionality.
Just in Time InteractionSunday, March 10, 13There is a wide range of devices from the nest down to bus stops (which are just a steel polestuck in concrete) There is a continuum of device from standalone processor to a tagged objectthat points to a web page. But, from a design point of view, they are all the same: they want yourattention and you need to interact with them. The problem is that we are still using our old schoolparadigm of ‘native apps’ to deal with them. While I might be ﬁne with an app for my Nest, am igoing to download an app for ever store I enter, every smart poster to see, or every smartmuseum I enter? As we move to single use experiences, apps become hopelessly quaint.
mobile apps must die?Sunday, March 10, 13It’s why I wrote Mobile Apps must die! People thought it was a rant about web vs native appsbut that wasn’t it at all. Apps can’t be the only tool in the tool kit. Are we really going to havean app for every store we go to, every product we buy and every new interactive device that iscoming our way?http://jenson.org/mobile-apps-must-die/
Paradigm Shift Model CrisisSunday, March 10, 13We need a paradigm shift: to see things in a new way. Thomas Kuhn talked about how shiftsoccur in the scientiﬁc community. Before every great shift was a ‘model crisis’ where thingsstarted to fray at the edge. Nothing dramatic, the old guard always yells relax, thing are ﬁneand the new blood keeps pushing for something new. It’s a classic tension.
What is our model crisis? Software Buy Install ReuseSunday, March 10, 13What is our model crisis? We are moving from a model based on Software, where we buy,install and reuse
What is our model crisis? Software Buy Install Reuse Experience Discover Use ForgetSunday, March 10, 13To one based on experience where we discover, use and forget.When I buy a smart toaster I don’t want to buy the software, that is a meaningless concept
So what do I want? 1: Break out of “App Myopia” 2: IoT is just the web.... for hardwareSunday, March 10, 13So what do I want? I’d just like to push a few memes down the hill... If we don’t know *what*we want we’ll never invent it. Native Apps are a hold over of the 1960s, tying you into theecosystems of Bears. They are ﬁne for that world but in a world of exploding serendipitousinteractivity, they are just getting in the way.Smart devices are JUST LIKE the web. They need to be found by every device in a free an openway. Everything else, from security to monetization can be added on top.http://jenson.org/app-myopia/http://jenson.org/was-the-internet-just-an-accident/`
Next ‘Google’Sunday, March 10, 13We need an open source ‘Growl’ like app that ﬁnds all devices nearby and presents them tome. Eventually, this service will need a cloud component to rank it but this too should beopen so that Google, Bing, etc can all play. Indexing the physical world is the next google
So what do I want? 1: Break out of “App Myopia” 2: IoT is just the web.... for hardware 3: Simple way to interactSunday, March 10, 13We need to stop thinking of the mobile web as a shoehorned version of the desktop web. Themobile web is going to go where the desktop and native apps can never go....
Toyota Prius 68 Maria Jenson Musée du Louvre T-Mobile Clear Bang & Olufson Notifications Justine Crêpes Notifications from David New SMS Notifications New SMS from David New SMS from David 3G 2:12 PMSunday, March 10, 13Here is a quick example but it applies just as much to Google Glass as to Smart phones, oreven smart TVs...
Sunday, March 10, 13In thinking about the future, it’s easy to be blinded the the giants of the day. The iPhone isgreat, it was a major step forward but it is not the model we need for the internet of things. Itstill has a place, we just need to grow past it to a more ﬂexibly and open model.