Social Machines: How to Develop Connected Products That Change Customers' Lives
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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.
foundation for what I really want to declare—a manifesto of the type that probably wouldn’t have gone over too well right at the start of this chapter but may make more sense now. There needs to be a shift in how product designers and developers view their jobs. It is no longer good enough to build the perfect widget—a gloriously beautiful artifact that would look fabulous in the Museum of Modern Art. More than 100 years ago, the Industrial Revolution forced a dramatic change in product
by the absorption of this communications technology. It is so engrained that it has become virtually invisible. In fact, the Finnish have coined the term kanny, which roughly translates into “extension of the hand,” to describe not only their mobile phones but their implied relationship with them. Like the watch on your wrist, its use has been completely enmeshed in your daily life. But make no mistake; it is indeed a machine. And it represents just the tip of the iceberg. Companies like Nike,
Buyers and sellers of all stripes get the same attention. This dynamic creates an incredibly valuable, virtuous cycle. Sellers list their properties on Airbnb because that’s where all the buyers are. Conversely, buyers visit the site and search for accommodations because that where all the sellers are—and that’s where they’ll find the most choice. Suffice to say, companies that find themselves in this fortunate position gain many advantages. The key is to uncover market areas that could benefit
computer or microprocessor): Where will it live? As we discussed in Chapter 14, there are several options, each with its own pros and cons. Networking: Wired or wireless? What does the user experience require? Remember wireless seems to always sing the siren song for designers but there are plenty of good reasons not to go in that direction—from power to spotty coverage to speed. Power: Wall power or battery? Both? Obviously mobility will require certain design decisions, unless it’s a vehicle
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