80 billion devices. In a world not too far away we have more connected devices that we have people on Earth. But what does this really mean? Sure there will be an economic impact of buyers, sellers, aftermarket, along with supporting infrastructure to support these devices. But, Still, What does this really mean? Our lives will connect to technology in a way that has never been imagined. We will directly interact with this new technology. But the real intrigue comes from the technology that we are not interacting with. The true game changer is the technology that listens, infers, is aware, and builds context. In 2012 Google released Google Now that allowed Google to be always listening in the pockets of android users. In 2015, Amazon released Amazon Echo, a speaker that included voice activation and integration of your smart devices. This was only a taste of what the future held. Lets take a short trip showing how technology is being used today through the eyes of Ted.
Ted wakes up to the gradual fade in of his favored oldies group. As Ted tosses in bed the lights slowly turn on giving Teds eyes ample time to adjust. He finally gets out of bed and heads to the bathroom. In the bathroom his smart mirror offers Ted a cup of coffee before his shower. Ted heads to the kitchen as his cup of coffee finishes pouring. After enjoying his cup of coffee he grabs his towel, just as the shower turns on to his preferred temperature. On the way to work Ted is offered 3 lunch options in his car.
The Regular – your local sandwich shop that you can order your normal order by a press of a button, auto pay, and walk in and pick up just as they finish preparing your order.
The Rusher – Sandwich of the day delivered directly to you in your office
The Offer – A new lunch spot has opened near your office and presents a sample menu based on your preferences.
Ted selects The Rusher and focuses on his commute. Over lunch, Ted has a conversation with his co-workers about wanting to take a vacation while enjoying his Vietnamese sandwich.
On his way home his car prompts him if he enjoyed his lunch, which he did.
While Ted is washing up for bed, his mirror edges begin to be taken over by lush green trees and a image of a beach fades in behind Teds reflection. The message “How about a trip to south Asia?” Ted swipes up to create a travel watch alert for a vacation.
Teds story is a vision of where we will be in 2020. Our lives will be filled with technology to infer context by sensors listing to location, audio, visual, touch, and may other inputs. These enchanted objects will generate petabytes of data what will be impossible for a single person to decipher.
Luckily we have Artifical Intellegance engines to listen to our conversations, and preform the heavy lifting of building a context based on all of the available inputs. As these engines become more powerful we will see them used for social encouragement, such as meeting Teds life goals. This is also expressed in subtle ways such as providing suggestions for Ted’s lunch recommendations. These AI systems will be fully integrated with larger system. When the mirror offered Ted a cup of coffee, the system was actually delaying his shower so the buildings hot water boiler could refill.
No matter how robust the system is, Ted is still the center point. Ted is engaged to train and refine the recommendation engine. This could be through swiping up to look for a vacation, or picking a lunch. Choice is the most important factor for the future. We will need tools that present simple choices based on rich datasets, which are easily explorable. This practice of Data Visualization will be critical in developing and maintaining systems that enrich our daily life.
Emerging Experiences, part of Razorfish’s Experience Innovation service offering, is a global practice of makers, creators, technologists and dreamers that helps clients blend digital and physical worlds through customer obsession. We envision, incubate and launch transformational experiences—which are often crafted, prototyped and tested within one of our Emerging Experiences Labs—in order to innovate tomorrow, today.