R/GA, formerly R/Greenberg Associates, was founded in 1977, by two brothers, Richard and Robert Greenberg with $15,000 of capital. Richard was the designer, while Robert was the producer and cameraman. It has restructured its business model every nine years—from a computer-assisted film-making company to a digital studio to an interactive advertising agency, and, presently, to an advertising agency with a digital focus.1977–1985: computer assisted film making1986–1994: digital studio1995–2003: interactive advertising agency2004 – presentThe bauhaus= house of construction or school of building Nonetheless it was founded with the idea of creating a 'total' work of art in which all arts, including architecture would eventually be brought together. For the last 34 years, R/GA has evolved, and changed with the times, from a digital special effects for movies, to the Agency for the Digital Age. What has not changed is our DNA. We believe that great work is borne out of a union of Design + Technology. And that the best way to explore ideas is through the materials themselves, design + build, design + build…
Whathappened?In Mark Kuniavsky’s book called “Smart Things,” he talks in detail about many of the failed attempts to create a smart refrigerator. Over the course of 12+ years, five different appliance manufacturers worked on this. It resulted in 7 different product lines, and over 50+ prototypes, but most of these were never released publicly. And the ones that were released publicly were expensive and none were a commercial success.
More importantly, the fridge wasn’t smart.It didn’t remember anything.It didn’t listen to other things in the kitchen.It didn’t make any recommendations based on past experiences.
If the fridge could have talked though, if it could have listened and learned, what would it have said?More importantly, who would it talk to? How could it talk to a piece of fruit?The fruit has not changed, it’s always had something to say, but with sensors, the language which was hidden can now be revealed
[But that’s in the past. Now it’s 2011, and we’re in a very different world. I’m going to hand it over to Chloe now to take you through some emerging technologies that are smart, and the role they are playing in people’s lives.]Welcome to the Era of Smart Things. There are a few primary factors which have shifted over the last 15 years to create the right context for smart things to take holdTECHNOLOGYComputers have gone undercover DATA There are billions of people using the internet, and with sensors on devices being linked up, there will be more things on the internet than people BEHAVIOR There is a rise of self-tracking and interest in data which is creating a greater desire for products with intelligence To bring this to life, we are going to take you through a day in someone’s life, surrounded by smart things
Meet SAM. Sam is 33 yrs old. She lives in Brooklyn, NY . She is a Planner at a small design studio . She is married. She is a tech influencer Sam is wearing a Wakemate wristband. Wakemate measures Sam’s biorythyms and picks the right moment to awake her so that she feels refreshed.
There are also things happening in the background that Sam can feel, but we cannot see. The energy hub in her house knows she is about to wake up and raises the temperature so that she is comfortable when she greets the day.
Sam steps onto her withings scale which appears to be just another scale but is actually a WiFi connected personal weight scale, which automatically records the user’s body weight, lean & fat mass, and calculated body mass.
Sam takes her daily pill . She’s been feeing tired and the doctor says she has really low iron. She is hoping that this new pill will help her feel more energetic.
Except this is not your average pill. It’s inspired by the Proteus Raisin System. The original was designed to transform the way heart failure and other chronic diseases are managed. This pill is providing The physiologic feedback to show how her body is reacting.Proteus’s Raisin™ System offers the potential to transform the way heart failure and other chronic diseases are managed. The initial application of the Raisin System is for the treatment of patients with heart failure. The system senses and records the precise time a patient takes one or more microchip-enabled drugs, providing physiologic feedback and decision-support to the patient, caregivers and clinicians, thus facilitating a cost-effective pathway to improved patient outcomes through personalized medicine.
Sam goes for a run. During the run, her new Nike+ SportWatch GPS captures location information while showing her her time, distance, pace, and calories burned on an easy-to-read screen featuring a customizable layout. Throughout the run, the GPS receiver works in tandem with the shoe-based Nike+ Sensor to deliver highly accurate pace and distance data.
Sam goes to make breakfast. The Ipad2 is hanging by hooks on the external face of her fridge, which allows her to check her weight fluctuations with the Withings interfaceShe then checks out the Proteus Raisin data.By checking out these patterns over time, Sam is able to gain insights, and make changes to patterns of behavior,The data from the sensors becomes knowledge, and then intelligence over time.
While making her coffee Sam realizes she’s low on milk, so she scans it in to add it to her shopping list. If smart food were available today, Sam would not have to use the camera on her iPad to scan the milk.
Once she scans the milk is added to her shopping list, which is shared with her smartphone
Sam bikes to work. She is also using the green goose with sensors on her rear axle of her bike to monitor how much pedaling she has done, and thereby, how much fuel she has saved, to share with friends who have challenged each other to avoid cars and subways for the week.
While at work, she checks out the gps-mapped route she ran this morning and shares it with other runners in her neighborhood.
And as she nears her grocery store, on her way home, her smartphone I, senses her location and reminds her to pick up the milk on her way home.
On the surface, it looks like a normal day.But beneath the surface there is a combination of people, software, hardware, and sensors that comes together to form a smart system MOST IMPORTANTLY: Sam IS AT THE CENTER OF ALL THESE SMART THINGS So if you could see what was connecting this system, you would see the sensors sending Data to the cloud You would then see Sam receiving the data through interfaces on her smart mobile devicesThe internet becomes the connecting connecting tissue through which all these products are able to talk to both us and one anotherThese smart devices become key to interacting with the smart things around us
Why now though? Computers have been able to process all of this information for decades, so what’s so special?First, there’s a notion of convergence that’s happening.We are speaking more digitally than ever before.In 2002, half of the world’s data was stored digitally.By 2009, about 95% of the world’s data was stored/captured digitallyIn the near future there will be more things on the internet than peopleThe second part of convergence is that while we’re living our lives more digitally, these digital sensors are able to live their lives more physically.They’re smaller, cheaper, more energy efficient, and can fit inside things. So it’s easier for them to mimic everyday objects.For us, as designers and builders, what does that mean for us? How can we apply this to our own work when trying to think about and create smart things for our clients?
What makes things smart?We’ve just seen some very cool technology, but what makes any one of the products we’ve just seen smarter than their traditional not-so-dumb counterparts
First, they listen. They have the ability to hear, see, smell, feel what you’re doing.Second, they remember. They have the ability to store/save information.Third, they process information. They can notice trends.Fourth, they can make recommendations.
My shirt just got smarter. From this point on, my shirt is now connected to Twitter. Anytime something gets tweeted with the hashtag #smartthings, my shirt is going to light up like this. So what we’re doing here is creating a deeper connection between the virtual world of Twitter and the physical world of Salon K. For the rest of this talk, every time you see my shirt light up, you’re going to know that someone, somewhere is tweeting our hashtag. And if it doesn’t light up, then either I’m having a technical malfunction or else there’s just no online conversation. More importantly, what I’m establishing here is a secret language. If someone else came in the room, they’d think I’m just a geek on stage with a light up shirt, but now that you have the context, now that you speak the language, you’ll understand the real meaning.
How are you going to communicate with things? Bluetooth, Protocols, you name it.[ADD POINT THAT HARDWARE IS HARD TO CHANGE AND SOFTWARE IS EASIER TO CHANGE] All of these things matter.
This physical-digital bridge is made possible through sensors. Sensors are tiny pieces of electronics that turn physical events into digital ones. Motion, orientation, light, temperature, humidity -- sensors can take these things and convert them from a physical language into a language of ones and zeroes -- the language of computers.
The core of all of these things is data.
In the case of the refrigerator, the system needs smart food, and potentially a connected grocery service in order to make it useful. The fridge does not have it’s own interface, but is borrowing one from an Ipad hereAlthough this shows an iPad2, in a not so distant future, sensors could be used to create a dialog between the fridge and the food in it, to let us know when we’re low on something
In the case of Withings, the physical product has a small interface which provides the necessary information in that moment The person can go online to track their data over time. The system understands the importance of delivering the right experience, at the right time, in the right context
In the case of the raisin proteus prototype, the pill has a tiny micro-chip, no screen at all. With the complementary internet service, a pill becomes a monitor for internal health
USING SENSORS, AN OBJECT WITHOUT LANGUAGE OR A PERSON WITHOUT LANGUAGE IS ABLE TO TALK TO USAnd in this example. Sensors are used to allow language to be shared by people or things that are not yet speaking While playing with this concept at home @flytip conducted a small experiment to teach our 2 yr old daughter to tweet by swiping books and plates with RFID enabled stickers. It was pretty amazing to see a child who cannot read or write broadcasting her activities to the world. The press turned the experiment into a story about the world's youngest twitterer. This resulted in many strong opinions of us as parents, and designers. Interestingly, We had to lock her stream when people started thinking we'd embedded a sensor in her skin. It's just stickers, folks! But because these sensors have gone undercover, it’s not always apparent where the technology is hidden or embedded
FOR SYSTEMS THESE QUALiITIES ARE AMPLIFIED -- the whole is greater than the sum of the parts-- things can sense analyze and rememberSo many possibilities of for richer context and meaningRIGHT EXPERIENCE. RIGHT TIME, RIGHT CONTEXT
Perhaps the greatest example of all, of a well design system of products, sensors, and interfaces, all talking with us clearly, as well as with each other. What happens when a new product is added to the system?
The Nike Plus system is a great example of a closed system of products, hardware, software and sensors that have a shared language Withings scale is an example of a product that designed to be OPEN and let developers and designers see what they can do with it
So how do we apply all these considerations to the icon of the smart fridge?
People are still concepting about it , and will continue to for years to come . There has been and will continue to be a stream of innovations and attempts at the perfect smart refrigerator But how often do people buy new refrigerators? But we are more interested in the small innovations and one-offs People are becoming more interested in self-tracking It’s getting easier to make smart things. We see a rise of creativity and innovation with people using sensors to create smart things and systems
People are becoming more interested in self-tracking It’s getting easier to make smart things. We see a rise of creativity and innovation with people using sensors to create smart things and systems We can imagine a world where are experience of our homes, our bodies, our health are all optimized by smart things around us. We're pretty certain that once embedded wireless sensors catch on, they'll pervade every aspect of our lives, aPaola Antonelli MOMASMART cities—adamgreenfield“Your future city will be networked to the hilt with sensors that will enable new “urban actors”—think bridges, bricks and traffic signals—that will communicate with its inhabitants. But as cities become more networked there are risks to their evolution.”
WHERE DO YOU ALL THINK THIS IS HEADED?
We’ve recently launched our new intern site for our annual Intern Program. As part of the Internship application process, we will be hosting social media interviews for anyone who applies through our site. This is an interview that will be conducted through your Facebook wall where we will ask questions and your friends will provide the answers. This is an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their creativity outside the standard interview process. We will be selecting 24 interns for our Summer Program in New York this year as well as 2 in London and 2 in San Francisco. You can apply at: www.internships.rga.com. We’re also looking to fill over 160 open staff positions for those of you who will be graduating this year across our 7 Global Regions in the areas of: Copy, Visual, Interaction Design, Production, Strategy, Technology and Social Media/Mobile. To apply, please visit our site at: www.rga.com/jobs
The Refrigerator Speaks! The Secret Language of Things