Simone Rebaudengo: Great things are connected, but what will they actually talk about?

Orde Saunders' avatarPublished: by Orde Saunders

Simone Rebaudengo (@fishandchipsing) was talking about connected products at dConstruct these are my notes from his talk.

Today we can connect products that were traditionally never connected - like a sofa.  We tend to think of connected products as home appliances.  We are becoming products but the reverse is true:  "Products are people too." ~Matt Web.

Connectivity is a distinct moment in a product's life.  BC -> Before Connectivity.  AC it can learn about its environment and become a better product.  Two connected products can compare what's happening to each other.  They can compare how they are being used and start a conversionation - it's like peer pressure for products.  Peer pressure on ourselves makes us use more products.   Peer pressure on products makes it get used more.

The toaster is the epitome of a product.  Ubiquitous, anonymous, taken for granted.  Its pleasure comes from making toast - peer pressure is not making as much toast as other toasters.  First you need to give the toaster some sensors and then a language to communicate - voice would be weird so how about connecting to an alarm clock?  What can it do to be used more?  It could use other products to get data or other toasters to get information on the owner.  We might need to calm down our toaster.  Can add fake uses but that's like methoadone.

It could take drastic action:

  • Find another owner
  • Become unbearable
  • Sustainable suicide - recycled into other products.

The addicted product network.  A service to apply for convince a toaster you are an interesting host.  Each toaster had a personality, goal and communication channel.  The toasters started talking on twitter and people started to reply to them.  They tried to get attention, react to people nearby.  If the toaster was not satisfied they toaster could be sent to a more interested host.  People organised parties to get their toasters used more.  Instead of their buying power people need to demonstrate their keeping power.

Points to general issue with products - we want to keep them, not share them.  Would products be owners of themselves?  If products are owned by their companies then they won't want to interact.  Products might become bullies to other products to achieve contradictory goals.

Stop thinking about building internet, start thinking about connected products.

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