Designing Connected experiences? Think context over technology.
Today, we are surrounded by devices that were all designed for a specific purpose; for e.g., mobile phones were designed primarily for calling, laptops for portable computing, kindle for reading, television and radio for entertainment.
As per a study, 29% of cell phone owners today believe that their cell phone will be the primary device for their entertainment needs in the future, but still won’t replace a T.V or laptop. Instead of reduction in the number of devices owned by each individual, the number is growing. Less is no longer ‘more’. Devices are pouring in with overlapping capabilities and with very little thought on how they complement each other. Smartphones now have capabilities equivalent to those of a camera, whereas cameras are now coming with the capability to commute.
There is a lot of innovative technology that is pushing the boundaries on what we can do, but take it out of context and it just doesn’t work. Use of technology is really about respecting the context, usefulness and identifying pain-points, which will help making simple improvements using the appropriate technology.
Recently, I came across this project called “Pebble” which uses technology in the right context. ‘Pebble’ is a customizable watch. One can control iPhone apps using this watch. What struck me was the usability and usefulness of a watch in different scenarios. Users can read important messages while running or change the music track playing on a docked iPhone. Wristwatches are handy at all times as compared to a mobile phone because of its form and function. While running, working in the kitchen or just when your hands are dirty – accessing a watch for information makes more sense than a phone. Taking advantage of hyper-accessibility and the fact that it can be connected to mobile phones, a mere wristwatch can be used to control mobile phone applications.
Here is an example that does not introduce another smart device but use the technology in proper context.
Image Credit: iphonehacks, kickstarter
Technology has reached a point where it is becoming disruptive – it’s coming in between us and our activities, and each other. On a cross channel ecosystem, technology can help fulfill inefficiency of one device by the advantage of other devices in the ecosystem. The question now has shifted from “What can be built” to “What should be built?” What are your thoughts?
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