SXSW 2015: Exploring the Future of Connected Objects

Chris McRobbie
Prod & Brand Designer

Daniel Fogg
Graftt Ltd

Jennifer Dunnam
Assoc Creative Dir

Presentation Description

This session is an exploration of the future of connected objects and the internet of things. Using different frameworks to understand human motivations, such as the Seven Deadly Sins and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the panelists will explore what products and services might arise over the coming decades.

The panel is comprised of designers, technologists and entrepreneurs all currently working in the field of Connected Objects, with backgrounds in product design, academia, marketing, corporate R&D and military technology.

Presentation Notes

Physical object through a connection to the internet resulting in a service-layer that has enhanced features and functionality.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Psychological theory that we all have to be happy to be able to achieve. Focused primarily on primitive needs, and reproduction. The further up the pyramid you go, the harder they are to solve.

Provocations (9 Levels)

  1. Physiology
    1. Breathing: As air pollution increases, breathable air will be less common. Networked air-masks will become mandatory. They will provide enhanced filtration, environmental sensors, etc. If our faces are covered, how can emotions be perceived?
    2. Food: Measuring physical health is done through what goes into and out of your body. Edible, pill sized sensors with a smart toilet that could catch the pills. This can be measured on a local/personal level, or at a city wide level by measuring everyone’s sewage. There’s a privacy concern with this task that is required by everyone, yet anonymous.
      1. Rome is doing this already to determine the amount of cocaine in the sewage supply.
  2. Safety and Security of…
    1. Health: Implanted items in your body that will check your current condition (vitals) and inject any medication you may need. Think diabetes and insulin.
    2. Resources: Physical materials (plastics, metals, electronics, etc) will be imbued with identifying DNA that’s added when manufactured. This will allow it to be scanned and sorted for recycling.
  3. Love & Belonging
    1. Friendship: Walkabout shoes that will guide you to places where your friends are without you knowing who it will be or without them knowing. These would essentially increase the strength of your friendship connections.
  4. Esteem
    1. Respect of/by others: Clothing with sensors that display your intake of love or emotions. It detects smiles, listens for positive words, showing who’s received their love quota. There are many t-shirts that exist today that describe an emotion, and this idea is quite feasible.
    2. Achievement: As technology for self-awareness advances, so does the opportunity to improve collaboration. Players are aware of one another’s biometric readings and simulated (either mentally or medically) to perform in rhythm for maximum achievement. This will apply well to orchestras, group bicyclists and other group collaboration activities. This reminds me of the new Apple Watch with the heartbeat sharing. This dea is already being tested/deployed to firefighters.
  5. Self-Actualisation
    1. Morality: With the ability to record our every action and interpret that action as morally sound (or not), we will see wearable devices that can judge whether we are good or not. Imagine a priest that provides a pin to his flock, newlyweds could give each other a pin as part of a prenuptial agreement, or politicians may be unable to run for office unless their moral judgement is published publicly first.
    2. Problem Solving: We’ll soon be able to outsource complex problem solving to quantum logic machines and get in-context guidance. This is essentially artificial intelligence, but there’s a qualitative approach to this that we don’t yet have. To solve for this, the quantitative calculation can be done by AI, but the qualitative portion could be human driven.
Posted in SXSW 2015.

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