It's News To Me
CES 2015, the Internet of Things, and Future UX
January 15, 2015
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), after a few years flirting with irrelevance, is on the rise again, as the wild technology and gadgets from the 2015 conference captured the imagination of consumers and media pundits alike. A big and important theme of CES 2015 was the Internet of Things, with major companies like Samsung taking IoT strategy for a new connected world. In this episode of the Digital Life we discuss some of the cool tech from CES, like Intel’s Curie chip, and how it relates to the IoT, wearables and the future of UX.
What’s your take on this push to make these micro and very powerful processors part of our everyday lives?
It’s Intel. At the beginning of it all, that is the technology that has made all of this happen. The fact that it’s taken it first in our pockets, but now the application’s getting into things we talked about before that are embedded in our bodies and used in other ways seamless with who we are and how we’re living.
It’s super exciting. The potential for it is magical in ways that would affect and make better our lives as we understand them today. What’s even more tantalizing is the potential to – completely is an exaggeration – radically redesign the very environments and ways that we live and go through the world.
The way this technology is going is that the device won’t be in the way anymore, in ways large and small. They’ll be integrated. Maybe not so much as literally being our hand, yes, but we’re heading down that path very quickly.
It does change us from the mechanical horse model, which goes back to something that’s 19th Century and previous technology to what I’ll call a mobile room model, where suddenly we are behaving and acting and doing the same things we would do in our home, but, oh, yeah, now we’re getting from point A to point B at the same time.
That is a huge shift in context and much closer to the reality, not just of how we live and function in general today, but how we treat our cars today. It’s pretty insane. As I drive down the road – and I’m guilty of this as well – I look over and everybody’s on their God damned devices. They’re not 2 hands, 10 and 2, and looking forward.
They have removed themselves from the physicality of trying to move this vehicle forward to take them where they’re going. They’re doing the minimum they possibly can to keep the vehicle in progress, and the rest of it they’re retrieving into how they would pave and operate normally around their technology.
It’s all been already-asked-and answered. The only issue now is to get the cars to take care of themselves so we’re not dangerously driving, half-paying attention down the road.
If the car becomes this rolling technology, does it matter quite as much? As long as you have access to it, and it’s self-driving, maybe it can just show up on Uber when you need it. Maybe there are a bunch of those rolling around your neighborhood.
It’s another way of looking at public transportation, certainly for those folks as well who only need cars in certain instances, but then really need them. We saw that right now by having services that’ll pick up folks who don’t have their own cars and take them to doctor’s appointments or what have you. A lot of those things could be managed by software, especially if cars self-driving.
I can see the model, where we have our own cars. I think the model you’re advocating is the smart one, is the efficient one, but I know we’re not ready to get there now. If we’re ready to get there in 2020-blah, blah, blah, the world would look very different.
I’m not capable to see that far ahead in knowing how that would come together, but I’d love to see it come together in a way similar to your vision, even though my vision might involve having your own car and choosing a massage table and hot tub, that’s not going … If someone else chooses a reading shades or some such.
I know that these already exist, but this one from I believe it’s called Fuel3D is hyper fast in terms of the taking scans in less than a second.
That just starts to introduce, at least to me, this idea that the digital world is dimensional, but not in the same way that our everyday reality is. It’s interesting to me to see that dimensionality being introduced in such a way that you can transmit this 3D scan of something that perhaps you have on your desk. I could send this scan of, I don’t know, this pen or something over to you and you can print it out at home.
That’s not a particularly useful example, but you can imagine sending over, say, game pieces or sending over objects without a lot of moving parts; where I possess something physically and then I can share it with you digitally and it reemerges into the physical realm for you.
I don’t know that we’ve seen a lot of that happening just yet, but you can see where this is going. From consumer standpoint, it’s pretty exciting, I think.
It’s very interesting how post-Steve Jobs and how as the Internet of Things ramp up, which are much more open and certainly they work on the Apple platform as well, but more in the PC ecosystem. The CES is on the upswing, too, and it’s getting a lot more media coverage than it was 5 years ago. It’s a lot more interesting than it was. It’s part of this whole shift back away from Apple and back to the more traditional ecosystem of computing devices.
One aspect, of course, a lot of the things we’re talking about today are part of the Internet of Things or emerging technologies. What’s so fundamental to CES is that its consumer-facing technology, but, at the same time, all these technologies are going to be equally robust – and perhaps even more than that – central to industrial manufacturing to agriculture to supply chain management to all these things that make up our industries.
CES is the icing on the cake for the consumer economy, but when you’re talking about the Internet of Things and additive fabrication, those are bubbling along underneath the surface at more the technical conferences.
It’s interesting that we can see the sheen of these technologies on the consumer side, all the while knowing that the technology’s underpinning some of our most important processes are also changing.
It shows the slow gestation that when we’re talking about emerging technologies and cyborgs and all the crazy things we are learning about and talking about. For us, that’s for the present, but we’re not going to see it at this level for some time yet.
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