Summer 2016 is officially over and the age of Internet of Things keeps on knocking on our door but is not exactly ready to come in. This post is not intended to be a public complaint. I am really impressed with the pace of progress and how much technology is built into the watch on my wrist. Yet, there is one thing that I don’t feel great about and that is the way we interact with these new devices or should I say, the way those devices ask of us to interact with them.
⌚️ My watch is smart enough to start making assumptions
My smartwatch has a heart rate sensor, various motion sensors, information about my body metrics, history of activity and soon to have built-in GPS. Given these, I would love for it to make a smart guess and detect when I’m out for a run and just present a summary of my workout at the end of it. This is not how it works right now. I have to open an app, select from a list of workout types and start the workout session.
💡’Dumb’ devices that work
As a contrasting example, my air freshener device is one of the most simple battery powered devices I have at home and yet it works the way I want all future devices to work. It has a simple light sensor that makes it spray every time it detects motion. It works consistently and I don’t have to notify it of my presence and I don’t even need an app for it. The interface is no interface at all.
🤖 Interfaces of the future
I don’t want to notify my devices that I am about to perform an action. Apps and devices should intelligently react to my actions and aid me the best way they can. Automate user input, remove interruptions and skip to the actual result - the useful part.
The new Apple AirPods are not out yet, but from what I’ve heard, they are a step in the right direction. They are smart about switching between devices, switching from stereo to mono and automatically pause and resume.
I am confident that in the future, technology will be able to make the right decision based on all external and internal factors. Software and hardware will be helping us in completing everyday tasks instead of making us busier by prompting us and interrupting us in order to work properly. Maybe I am missing some key piece of technology that is preventing us from getting there. Or maybe it’s difficult to get to that future without giving up our privacy and uploading all of our sensitive data to someone’s servers.