The Internet of Things (and the myth of the “Smart” Fridge)

As product designers we live in exciting times. The next era of the continuing digital revolution, called the Internet of Things, has become a reality. But what does this “Internet of Things” really mean, and how can designers make sense of it all?

These “things” or objects, which could be a smart device like a phone, running shoes or a carton of milk in our fridge, will all be part of a connected digital grid that could affect every facet of daily life. For example, sensor devices will monitor our health, track our daily activity or remotely monitor an aging family member. A connected home will reduce our monthly utility bills, and tell us when to water our plants. Smart cities can light their streets more efficiently, receive instant reports on hazards, and even help residents find a nearby parking spot. Industries can optimize their operations and boost productivity by better tracking inventories and other assets while maintaining quality control and consistency in their products and services. The environment can be monitored for a better understanding and management of natural resources or send us advance warnings of a pending disaster.

Join speaker Avi Itzkovitch to discover the Internet of Things. And learn how a pack of chewing gum purchased in 1974 started a chain reaction that led to this newest phase of the digital revolution. In his presentation, Avi will relate the story and myth of the “Smart” Fridge to illustrate how Identified Objects and Connected Devices will add to the UX professional’s toolset when designing experiences. Avi will present the new world of technological challenges, showcase smart objects, and, most importantly, inspire designers by revealing insights into the thought processes and principles designing for the Internet of Things.

Avi is the owner of IoT News Network, an independent resource for the Internet of Things. He is a longtime interactive and web design professional with over 12 years of experience. Author of Design-It-Yourself: Web Sites (Rockport Publishers, 2003), Avi has published several articles about user experience and is often invited to speak about these publications, as well as other emerging design and UX trends. Avi is currently working as an Independent UI/UX Consultant at his studio, XG Media.