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© Idea Couture Inc 2015. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced in any form or any means without the prior written consent of Idea Couture Inc. (“Idea Couture”). This document contains information that is confidential and proprietary to Idea Couture and is prepared solely for the use by employees of clients of Idea Couture as a confidential document. Unauthorized possession or use of this material or disclosure of the proprietary information without the prior written consent of Idea Couture may result in legal action.
IoT “There is a beauty in space, and it is orderly. There is no weather, and there is regularity. It is predictable… Everything in space obeys the laws of physics. If you know these laws and obey them, space will treat you kindly.”
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- Wernher Von Braun
This book will not attempt to predict the future of Iot, but it will attempt to outline the approaching challenges and opportunities, key drivers, and scenarios that have the potential to discover and shape the markets of tomorrow.
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Framing Future Opportunities for IoT
Applied Design Thinking in IoT
/ We will live inside a computer. We work on desktops and laptops and carry smartphones that are more powerful than computers over a decade ago. Soon, computing will be embedded in our surrounding and not contained in single devices. Commoditization of hardware and increasing computational power is making matter more intelligent than ever before. In this new paradigm, not everything needs to be the master device operating in its closed system.
/ Connectivity is the enabler, experience is the differentiator. Connectivity is not the end, but rather the enabler of new experiences that have not yet been realized. So much focus is on transforming products and environments to become connected with little attention to the implication of having these artefacts interacting with the user and the relationships that are created as a result of these interactions. Instead of designing IOT solutions for optimization or automation, we need to design for liberation and trust.
/ Connected is not the same as smart. There is a difference between connected and smart. A connected environment is a system of components that can “talk” to one another but require the user in making decisions. A connected home can collects and share data but isn’t necessarily able to make informed decisions with information. A smart home, on the other hand, doesn’t just collect data but recognizes the nuances of behaviours among residences and can proactively respond to their needs.
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/ IoT Devices Need to Shed Their Legacy. There is an enormous diversity of objects that could live within an IoT landscape, however the design language, feature sets, and purpose are being entirely defined by the PC legacy. These objects are part of the home, office, public places and transportation and therefore they must be native to the context in which they will be used. Compounding this is the fact that too many IoT devices are under-designed or follow the design principles of consumer tech.
05 Motion-Assistance Skeleton CORRECTABLE
Powerbocking Takes Flight
Source: www.theverge.com Image source: www.glogger.mobi
Source: www.necomimi.com Image source: www.roboshop.lt
Source: www.powerskip.de Image source: www.powerskip.de
Ears and Tails for Self-Expression
Source: www.parker.com Image Source: www.robohub.org
People suffering from paralysis or debilitating disease can achieve greater mobility by wearing lightweight exoskeletons. These wearables allow them to correct problems caused by injuries or congenital defects.
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Seen and Unseen: the New Scarlet Letter
When it comes to exoskeletons, one size does not fit all. There are many different potential uses for this technology, and they require different designs. Motion assistance exos simply add their strength to user-initiated movements. People suffering from paralysis cannot directly initiate motion, so exoskeletons designed for them include sophisticated interfaces, some of which ‘route’ nerve impulses from a spinal injury to the exo. There is already great interest in using exoskeletons for military use, but the possibilities for returning injured bodies to full mobility are profound. Additionally, exos for sports have not yet been built, but this is a particularly large potential market, especially if exo technologies are combined with other, enhancements such as power booking leg extenders.
CAN MOBILITY ASSISTANCE TECHNOLOGY GO BEYOND THE RESTORATION OF LOST FUNCTION, TO ADD NEW CAPABILITIES TO PREVIOUSLY DISABLED PEOPLE?
Google Glass and other similar personal display systems can add labels and tags to our visual environment, but they can also be used to take photos and even do facial recognition of strangers. The phenomenon of “glassholes” and unacceptable social uses of heads-up displays have captured much press recently, but is this debate distracting us from a deeper problem?
The intent of tagging our environment in augmented reality is to make navigation, tracking, and discovery easier for people. The unintended result could be that everybody and everything wears a sign, and we end up interacting with those signs—or their social constructs—rather than the things themselves. The real disappears behind the label, as in the classic story The Scarlet Letter. Not only can objects and people in our environment be labeled or enhanced by augmented reality (AR), they can also be deleted from our sensorium. If you do not like the billboards you pass on your way to work, you can use AR to literally edit them out of your life, replacing their original content with images of your choice. Together, these abilities obscure the real meaning behind a sign, or remove it entirely, threatening our relationship with the physical objects that make up our world.
WILL THE ARMS-RACE OF CAPTURING EYES FOR ADVERTISING VERSUS ADBLOCKING EXTEND INTO AUGMENTED REALITY? WHAT ARE THE POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS WHEN PEOPLE DESIGNATED AS UNDESIRABLES CAN BE DELETED FROM AUGMENTED REALITY VIEWS? HOW CAN WEARABLE DISPLAYS BE USED TO CURATE REALITY SO THAT THE USERS EXPERIENCE IS TAILORED TO THE PURPOSE THEY HAVE CHOSEN?
The uses for wearable technology do not have to always come out of a direct need. Necomimi cat ears use a built-in brainwave monitor to detect how interested or relaxed the user is, and then point, droop or tilt to show the world.
Several companies like Necomimi and the Kickstarter startup Tailly are exploring the use of biometric sensing technologies to measure the wearer’s emotional or attentive state. They then signal these states to the outside world using a movable cat-ear headset (for necomimi), or a wearable tail (for Tailly). Although these are just novelty items for now, they show how technology can enable new means of communication, in particular of nonverbal or unconscious messages. They provide an interesting way to harness internal bodily processes and use them in a way that could lead to an as yet unexplored area of expression. This new mode of expression could itself be used in novel ways. For example, if everybody wore cat’s ears that signaled how interested they were, people with Asperger’s Syndrome would find social situations much easier to navigate.
Sport clubs such as the Welshbockers use elastic leg extenders to practice a new sport: powerbocking. Bocks are short springloaded stilts attached to the leg and foot with snowboard-like bindings. Wearing them gives a person superhuman running and jumping abilities.
You are using a human-powered machine when you ride a bicycle or shoot an arrow from a bow. In these cases, the human body becomes part of the mechanism, enabling an action (rolling, shooting) that the human body itself cannot perform. Bocking stilts work the other way around: rather than you integrating into the machine, the machine integrates with you. The result is that bocking stilts empower natural human motions such as running and jumping, rather than powering the inhuman motions of a machine.
HOW CAN WEARABLES ENABLE NEW CHANNELS BY WHICH PEOPLE CAN COMMUNICATE? HOW CAN WEARABLES BE HARNESSED TO NOT JUST IMPROVE CURRENT WAYS OF INTERACTING WITH THE WORLD AROUND US BUT DEVELOP NEW WAYS LINKING UNTAPPED INTERNAL PROCESSES WITH OTHER SENSES?
HOW CAN BODY-ALTERING WEARABLES EXTEND THE LIMITS OF SPORTS AND NOT JUST ATHLETES?