Explore the Future of the Web

Making Meaningful Design with the Internet of Things

Carla Diana

Something exciting has been happening to our everyday objects. Things that were once silent and static can now sing, glow, buzz and be tracked online. Some are constantly listening for sounds, sights and touches to translate into meaningful inputs. Others have the ability to learn, refining their behaviors over time. They can be connected to one another as well as the Internet.

As people continue to interact with data in all aspects of life, they will expect their digital devices to deliver real-time, visualized, networked feedback. The WSJ envisions a roadmap where 50 billion devices could be connected to the Internet by 2020. Collectively, this “Internet of Things” will provide cloud-enabled experiences that can profoundly change many aspects of everyday life both in and out of the home. As designers, this presents a juicy opportunity to pioneer new territory in rich interaction, but it also can backfire, filling people’s lives with more frustrations over technology than ever before.

In this talk, the presenter will share stories from the front lines of designing interactive hardware/software products and ecosystems in her studio and at the award-winning firm Smart Design. She'll discuss challenges and highlight opportunities where the combination of physical device and virtual data can provide a more meaningful experience than either alone.