What is the connectable?
We started a publication here on Medium that bundle the different articles that deal with the internet of things products as we like to see them. The internet of things is often mistaken with products that have an app with it to operate. We think that is not leveraging on the real value of IoT that emerges from the new space that evolves from the connecting and the service layer that is using this space. This is what we call a connectable.
In a research project on the design language for the connectable we found that (1) the dialogue will be the main interaction with our things, (2) hybrid interfaces mix screen interactions with haptics, voice, and (3) products get smarter while aging, also when still on the shelf. We will have this research outcomes published in this publication.
To make this IoT product-services possible you need to have an holistic view on both platform back-end, service layer, embedding of the sensors and connectivity and of course the integration with the user experience via both the product as the digital engine. There will be often a screen involved for managing or monitoring, or having a remote touchpoint, but the core functionality is not defined by the screen or app experience. The digital service layer is however crucial to the experience, it shapes the way a connected product behaves, often in an adaptive way to your own behaviour.
There are some examples of this coming to the market. The cars from Tesla that are more software than hardware is a good example. Or the toys from Vai Kai that get the experience from the connection with other toys. We will see this happen silently becoming a standard part of products.
IoT is often approached as a pure technological and infrastructural challenge. That is important for the success indeed, but the key is to design the right experience and platform, both from user perspective as technological. The new products will be more adaptive to the use which will lead to new trigger-based interaction models.
In this publication we will share research and visions on the connectable.