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The changing nature of things: the present and future of connected products.

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Talk given on May 11th 2015 in Grand Rapids, Michigan & at the ROS in Edinburgh on May 13th 2015.

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The changing nature of things: the present and future of connected products.

  1. 1. The changing nature of things The present and a future for connected products Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino designswarm.com @iotwatch
  2. 2. First UK distributor of the Arduino in the UK (2007-2010) Product & interaction designer Consultant & Founder Good Night Lamp (2010-now) About me
  3. 3. Some clients
  4. 4. London Internet of Things Meetup Started in 2011 we now have 5.2K members. Monthly meetups with 3 speakers each & 2 showcase events a year iot.london
  5. 5. What I want you to remember We have to stop thinking of hardware as software we can kick. We should and can offer a better business environment for startups to thrive sustainably. We have to think about what we really want from our future.
  6. 6. This is still early days The internet of things is about the idea of ubiquitous connectivity & digital services connected to real world events. So we went ahead and tried to connect everything. We’ve ended up with a mixed bag.
  7. 7. What is or isn’t #iot?.
  8. 8. Home-made internet of things pie Remote care & security   Wearables   Insight into the invisible   “Stick the internet on it”   Rebranded M2M & industrial automation services Platforms, tools, incubators Inventions  
  9. 9. Remote care & security
  10. 10. Things that raise local awareness Air Quality Air Quality Radiation level
  11. 11. Things that help us see the invisible Manufacturing process
  12. 12. Stick the internet on it
  13. 13. Invention Little Printer Narrative Nabaztag
  14. 14. Things that help us make other things: tools
  15. 15. Things that help companies understand us better
  16. 16. What kind of message does this send out? Making things is easy & cheap. Technology just works You will find a market easily for what you’re building. Access to capital is just around the corner.
  17. 17. What kind of message does this send out? Making things is easy & cheap.
  18. 18. Making 1 of something is easy and cheap. Making things is easy & cheap.
  19. 19. The design can change radically. Making things is easy & cheap.
  20. 20. Space requirements grow exponentially Making things is easy & cheap.
  21. 21. Capital required increases exponentially. •  1 good prototype: £5K •  200 commercial products: £60K Making things is easy & cheap.
  22. 22. What kind of message does this send out? Making things is easy & cheap. Technology just works
  23. 23. It just doesn’t. Deploying into the real world is complicated especially when a real user is involved. You don’t have a second chance to make a first impression.
  24. 24. Hardware should be hard. Using up the earth’s resources to make a potentially frivolous product with no chance to be useful to its users should be as difficult as possible. The manufacturing & design process is not trivial.
  25. 25. Unlike what we would like to think.
  26. 26. What kind of message does this send out? Making things is easy & cheap. Technology just works You will find a market easily for what you’re building.
  27. 27. It might take years or not happen at all.
  28. 28. What kind of message does this send out? Making things is easy & cheap. Technology just works You will find a market easily for what you’re building. Access to capital is just around the corner.
  29. 29. Depends where you are. There are no hardware-only investment funds in UK & Europe. Incubators & accelerators are often ways to educate investors. Foundry (Fitbit / Makerbot) don’t invest in early stage startups anymore.
  30. 30. What kind of world does it describe? Ubiquitous technology is good. Seamless interactions never fail. People want to design and tweak. Data is important.
  31. 31. When humans are involved, things always get complicated.
  32. 32. The politics of fear.
  33. 33. Takes plenty of time to build new behaviours
  34. 34. But we live in a world of broken relationships with objects
  35. 35. Access to cheap credit, mass production in Asia & mostly free internet services has lowered consumer expectations around the price of every day objects. Connected everyday objects will suffer from this. Because we don’t want to pay for it anyway
  36. 36. Because we don’t care what happens to it Expect second hand computers to be followed by second hand objects which are still collecting “dead data”. Expect Dash buttons on Ebay that people forget to disconnect from their Amazon account.
  37. 37. People solving problems we don’t think we have
  38. 38. While creating other problems
  39. 39. Plenty of latent relationships
  40. 40. Design better, sooner before it ends up being waste.
  41. 41. Or shackles.
  42. 42. Or more shackles.
  43. 43. Product ownership may be dead. Farmers don’t really own their tractors. We don’t really own our phones, cars or homes or furniture.
  44. 44. But we still have to live with things. We love for our homes to be beautiful. We want our objects to complete our human experience. We want our objects to remind us of the past. We want our objects to reflect who we are.
  45. 45. Technologists & designers working hand in hand. Rethink the MVP. User-centered design & lo-fi prototyping. Crowdfunding won’t be necessary. New collaborations & new ways of seeing IP.
  46. 46. Moving away from externalising R&D.
  47. 47. And recombine what is already there.
  48. 48. Remember! Hardware is not software we can kick. We can offer a better business environment for startups to thrive sustainably. But we have to know what we really want from our future.
  49. 49. Good luck Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino alex@designswarm.com designswarm.com @iotwatch

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