Social Machines: How to Develop Connected Products That Change Customers' Lives
Companies like Facebook and Twitter have redefined social interaction. But what if “machines” like automobiles, bicycles, health monitors, appliances, instruments, and anything else you can connect to the Internet, could all become members of your social network, collect data you care about, and feed it back to you at just the right time? Nike+ is already doing this for your body, but every major industry, from healthcare to cars to home construction, is now building sensors and digital connectivity into their next generation of products. Companies like Ford, Pepsi, Verizon, and Procter and Gamble are also using “social machines” to reach new markets, improve brand/market awareness, and increase revenues. Social Machines is the first book for business people, marketers, product developers, and technologists, explaining how this trend will change our world, how your business will benefit, and how to create connected products that customers love.
- Explains how smart phones and tablets enable Social Machines
- Describes how digital technology is being “baked in” to the most unlikely new products—even wheelchairs.
- Articulates how the “Internet of Things” is becoming social—and why that’s the foundation for powerful new business models
In the very near future, every great new product will be social. The next stage of interaction between people and our environment is upon us.
cars that are “following” it on Twitter—resulting in better gas mileage, ride-sharing opportunities, faster travel times, and the ability to find open parking spaces. Your house communicates with its occupants and other Facebook “friend houses” to share heating and cooling information, security data, utility usage metrics, and environmental measurements, resulting in improved energy efficiency and healthier, more secure homes and neighborhoods. Communities of elderly people securely and
this comes as a surprise to most designers because it’s natural to try to figure out a great use case for all your design handiwork. But the reality is, the best ideas almost always come from unexpected places. As I mentioned earlier, one of my favorite examples of this is the fact that Steve Jobs did not invent Angry Birds. That was the brainchild of some guys in Helsinki, Finland. I’m relatively certain that when the iPhone was being pitched to the Apple Board of Directors, there was no
Facebook everyone could find you instantly? Was it when all your long-lost, high school semi-acquaintances suddenly discovered you and wanted to relive all those awkward teenage moments? Or when your old girlfriends or boyfriends started looking you up? Or when forgotten business colleagues started commenting on your wall with embarrassing anecdotes from a past you wished would stay buried? All of the above? If any of these examples ring true, then you understand the importance of
People “get it” and are eager to explore the benefits. There’s a reason ships have a gender (female). There’re also solid reasons why we all love C-3PO and Thomas the Tank Engine and hate HAL. The human tendency is to categorize, whenever possible, new things into natural buckets with which we’re comfortable—because doing so makes it easier to integrate them into our lives. Devices that don’t get this treatment sit on shelves, blinking unhappily. The main addition I’m suggesting we consider is a
perfectly—and it’s famous for that exact reason. The Internet, or any network really, gives both people and (here’s the important part) nonhumans (that is, things) equal billing. The network becomes more than a simple interface; it becomes a mask, an abstraction. On the Internet, it doesn’t matter if you’re a dog, a parrot, a child, an adult, a vending machine, or an automobile. If you can keep up your end of the dialog, then you’re good. You belong. Networked video gamers are used to this