A Digital Gateway

By: Erik | 8 Oct 2016

Today we live in a world that is a mix of the cloud and public sharing and the idea of clinging to privacy and local storage for our data. Our data, has increasingly become our lives and personality. Privacy is gone, the piece is not an option on that, we will safe those musings for a later date.

Smartphones have become an extension of everyday life, for example WeChat in China. The devices continue to get more sophisticated on the hardware and especially the software size. Platforms on the device or cloud have become intelligent to the point of acting as digital assistants: Google Now, Cortana or Siri.

Today artificial intelligence helps our everyday lives. Amazon Echo, Google Home, Siri, etc process our requests and with their connectivity to the cloud, the artificial intelligence returns answers to our questions, plays music, creates reminders for us, and allows us to multitask. This begs the question for the future of self-driving cars and robots in general. Will software that isn’t hosted within the hardware be the breakthrough?

When it comes to the ubiquity of the wireless ecosystem that engulfs everyday life we need to see technologies role and how it co-exists with daily human life. A heuristic viewpoint is needed where devices becomes methods of discovery rather than singular aspects. What this means is, instead of a solar system as an example, where the hardware has software revolve around it, all tied to a phone, laptop, etc. We need to think of the connected system as a spiderweb.

Tesla cars and Amazon’s Echo are taking these principles, at their core, to new levels. Cars, in particular, are thought of as physical transportation tools that degrade and eventually die in a lifecycle. But now we have a product that is designed with software and hardware in tandem together. For a Tesla to get better all that is needed is a software updated, within reason of course.

This system creates a life time value for the consumer and a delight factor that allows the user to experience the newness of the product for far longer than that initial wow factor when first purchasing. This is due to the system created, not just a singular product.

What a user wants is not simply ownership of the singular device. But to be apart of a lasting and growing system. Echo is another prime example, (pun intended) the experience of using the system allows for verbal communication and a sense of the system learning about the user on the individual level.

Back to Tesla, they are not thinking like a car company. This is a good paradigm. A Tesla is a mobility device, not just a car. What that means is the experience of driving is important, but also how the car drives itself, the comfort of being a passenger, the ease of maintaining the car, not to mention it’s ability to take care of itself.

In Conclusion:

All of our devices have become, simply, access points to the internet and the clouds of data we need to live our lives. The interface between the real and virtual is blurred, we now live, drive, listen, navigate, and make decisions in both worlds, using both worlds!