The real human experience of the IoT

Martin Charlier

I recently spoke at the Digital Services World Congress within the M2M and Internet of Things track.

My talk explored the human side of the topic and advised people how to design for this human side of IoT. And for this reason, it really stood out.  The conference was good, but very technical, it looked at the various options you had for technical solutions if you say, wanted to bring Internet services into a car. So what was my role as a designer in this context? I feel it was to make the audience there think about the why rather than the how. So to question why Internet services should be brought to cars, and raise that the most important challenge is for such technical advancements to make human sense and to be appropriate. I had the same approach for my  pre-event interview.

One person who impressed me with the same sort of approach was Andrew Brem from British Gas. He used the phrase “transforming the mundane”. This is really what M2M and IoT is all about; enabling really mundane things that make people’s lives easier.

We are at the beginning of what is going to be a change in the way we engage with services, because of what new technologies are enabling. Mindlessly adding technology and connectivity to services and products for the sake of it will not create lasting services. I showed a few cautionary tales to illustrate this point and some great projects that look at control over the increasingly intrusive new tech surrounding us.

The services that last will be those that make people’s lives easier and simpler, that keep people in control, that are understandable and approachable, that have been carefully designed to fit in with humans.

You can see the slides of my talk here

Martin Charlier

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