#LDS15 How Technology Could Kill the Internet of Things | Street Fight

#LDS15 How Technology Could Kill the Internet of Things

#LDS15 How Technology Could Kill the Internet of Things

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These days, technology can do almost anything. But Amber Case, the self-proclaimed cyborg anthropologist who announced her departure from ESRI at Street Fight’s Local Data Summit Thursday, thinks the frenzy of development may actually be holding back innovation.

“The issue with alerts from your refrigerator is simple: do you really need alerts from your refrigerator?” she said, during an interview with Street Fight COO David Hirschman at the summit in Denver. “You don’t always need a smart chip on your phone or your smart watch or your Google Glass that tells you that you need to refresh something.”

Case calls the growth of connected home devices, which exploded during CES this year, the “dystopian kitchen of the future.” With 20 different companies building 20 different alerts, she argues that the overlap creates confusion and unnecessary complexity.

“The more features you have to support, the more issues you’re going to have,” Case said. “More on-boarding, more training,”

Instead, Case argues that developers should focus on collaboration and reducing — not increasing — the amount of technology used to create a given product. More planning would help companies determine where the overlaps occur and what features are unnecessary.

But it requires developers to change the way they test products as well, said Case. Tests should be run in real-life scenarios. Too many test environments are creating the most opportune, controlled settings to try out technologies, Case said.

“You really need to test a person in the supermarket checkout line,” Case said. “Ask them, ‘Can you download my app, onboard and get it running in three minutes? And not get frustrated?’ And then stand there and look for the points where they’re getting frustrated.”

User frustration is something else that developers should take into account. Case believes that Google rolled out Google Glass to0 early, shocking the general public and setting back the industry. Instead, the product should have launched like the iPhone did, by starting with a small iPod that didn’t have a screen.

“Over the course of 10 years, you saw small features being rolled out,” Case said. “People weren’t freaking out that all of a sudden everyone has a smartphone with a camera in their pockets. Everyone in this room has one, because they were blended into social norms.”

However, one aspect of the industry might be developing too slowly. Case argued that security and privacy will play a bigger part in shaping the way technologies will be developed than other innovations — and yet, the current standards around privacy are incomplete.

“People are putting up with privacy violations and social experimentation and those are big issues,” Case said. “On one hand you have convenience and other you have privacy issues. People will give up a lot of privacy if they’re getting something that is better than what they’re giving up.”

Many users are going through a kind of “second adolescence,” she said, as they try to figure out the ramifications of their privacy being violated.

“It’s usually hot-button scenarios that push forward policy,” Case said. “If you don’t have a hot-button scenario, you don’t have the push to get things changed.”

1 thought on “#LDS15 How Technology Could Kill the Internet of Things

  1. Rather worrying. If she doesn’t understand the basics, what is she doing in cyborg anthropology?

    The idea that you get alerts from your fridge is simply journalists who don’t understand the connectedness of the internet of things. They are applying old-fashioned methods of information gathering.

    In many cases these items will talk to eachother and aggregate the data to turn it into a single useful source of information. For example, if you went to the supermarket and before going to the till checked whether there was anything you’d forgotten to see a graph of how much of each of your key items there was in the house, that might be useful. Especially if linked with a clever supermarket trolley (we already have scan and pay) which knew what you were buying, so it could tell you what you’d missed. All without a single alert, just a reminder for one or two items on your smartwatch.

    Google Glass was a clever piece of work to change attitudes. By launching an MVP in Beta, they were able to see the arguments as they developed. What began as a privacy outrage has now turned to a debate on using Glass for operations etc. – the path has been smoothed to launching those inventions. It has also revealed that we are happy to trade privacy for usefulness.

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1 thought on “#LDS15 How Technology Could Kill the Internet of Things

  1. Rather worrying. If she doesn’t understand the basics, what is she doing in cyborg anthropology?

    The idea that you get alerts from your fridge is simply journalists who don’t understand the connectedness of the internet of things. They are applying old-fashioned methods of information gathering.

    In many cases these items will talk to eachother and aggregate the data to turn it into a single useful source of information. For example, if you went to the supermarket and before going to the till checked whether there was anything you’d forgotten to see a graph of how much of each of your key items there was in the house, that might be useful. Especially if linked with a clever supermarket trolley (we already have scan and pay) which knew what you were buying, so it could tell you what you’d missed. All without a single alert, just a reminder for one or two items on your smartwatch.

    Google Glass was a clever piece of work to change attitudes. By launching an MVP in Beta, they were able to see the arguments as they developed. What began as a privacy outrage has now turned to a debate on using Glass for operations etc. – the path has been smoothed to launching those inventions. It has also revealed that we are happy to trade privacy for usefulness.

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Name *