A few years ago it was very difficult to imagine that our refrigerator would be the one in charge to get the weekly shopping or our toothbrush would be able to detect detecting cavities and make an appointment with our regular dentist, but nowadays it has come to reality. This is possible thanks to the “Internet of Things“, which is a concept born in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) though it was already in the mind of Apple’s co-founder Mike Markkula in the 80’s. This is the concept of everyday objects interconnected via the Internet, which can transmit data in real time from any of these objects that are connected and even with a specific hardware, program actions on them. This gives us endless possibilities of new interactions user-machine and machine-machine to be explored from the point of view of design.
In this new context of hyperconnection, we must consider the impact this has on tackling new projects for both designers and companies. We are in a time of change in perception of the products. We are in a time-sensitive and social products, which are “aware” of the context in which they are, which by the “Internet of Things” (IoT) are able to be located in time, space, and even to accommodate the customs of a person.
As designers, we must seize this opportunity to increase functionality and empathy of objects with users. Scheme this connectivity of a million products, to generate products which can significantly improve the lives of people and not just to design beautiful shells based on products of the past. We must bear in mind that the prediction is that in an increasingly near future, most of our everyday objects will be connected and therefore with a strong technological nature, we must work so that this does not “scare” users but instead generate bonds to those products.
This new interaction opens endless possibilities and can greatly improve our quality of life, but we must not forget that for this technology to be effective, it must be safe and not jeopardize our privacy. For it, the infrastructures and protocols must be increasingly safe on the Internet.
Can you imagine how these new interactions could be? How much attention do you think should the designers and companies pay to it due developing new products?