We have been helping companies design and innovate their physical products for 51 years. Like most of our clients, our history was built on the creation of manufactured products, isolated units sold off store shelves, and the only communication with the end-user would occur if there was a problem put to the customer service helpline.
These days, most of our clients have had to face, in some shape or form, the competitive pressure to make their products connected, and become part of an ongoing conversation with their end-users, creating a positive user and brand experience. These dumb objects must now become smart and create new forms of value. Taking physical products into the digital world means the digital transformation of business.
Our experience across many consumer markets has taught us to tread wisely and not get blown away with the glory and innovation new technologies can potentially deliver. Adopt only the necessary technologies and do it with a sense that is right for your brand. As designers, we find ourselves helping companies find their way in building a product-service ecosystem when physical products go digital.
This white paper on the IoT aims to help the reader reflect on the human-centered design challenges and opportunities the future holds. There are already more connected devices than humans on the planet, yet, even with some guided behavior change, it is humans that must remain and feel in control.