target is new

an exploration in the new

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Wearables trigger a new model of pull-marketing

For the Mobile Marketing weblog I wrote a column on the impact of wearables on marketing models. We will have a Personal API that can provide the data we generate by the use of wearables on a permission basis.

Read the post below (in Dutch).

 

Afgelopen week was er week SxSW in Austin. Ik heb dit jaar overgeslagen na een bezoek in 2011 en 2013. Het is een interessante bubbel waar je vooral goed kunt ontdekken welke ontwikkelingen tractie zouden kunnen krijgen. Voorafgaand filosofeerde ik over een paar mogelijke trends, waarvan wearables en privacy de belangrijkste waren. Het lijkt zeker terug te komen als ik de verhalen lees.

Voor mij is het een van de meest interessante aspecten van de wearables. Wat gebeurt er met de data die we gaan produceren met z’n allen. Ik vind het interessant dat de mens steeds meer een bron van data wordt over zichzelf waar hij anderen toegang toe geeft. Ik noem dat Personal API. Een API staat voor een Application Program Interface en zorgt ervoor dat je bijvoorbeeld met de data uit Tweets analysetools kan bouwen als bedrijf. Heel veel moderne diensten hebben een API. De Personal API maakt het dus mogelijk om voor andere partijen – binnen voorwaarden – gebruik te maken van mijn data.

Wat er gaat ontstaan in de wisselwerking tussen je eigen datacollectie en de publieke data, en welke data je wel en niet wil achterlaten is een groot vraagstuk. Nu nog zie je dat we er geen controle over hebben, denk aan de NSA-activiteiten. Als we die data echter steeds meer dicht bij onszelf laten ontstaan in de wearables en de tussenlaag meer bewust wordt ingericht krijgt de gebruiker meer controle. Het was ook een van de topics bij SxSW.

De commotie rond de ING heeft er alles mee te maken. Is de data die ik als gebruiker van een betaalde dienst (bankieren) gebruik van mijzelf of van de bank. ING geeft de indruk van het laatste, maar veel klanten zijn het daar niet mee eens. Het was voor ING net zo makkelijk geweest om de datatransactie vanuit de klant te laten sturen, dan was er geen ophef geweest, en was de opbrengst voor de ING gelijk geweest.

Ik geloof dat we het komend jaar veel applicaties en diensten zullen krijgen die de gebruiker wel de sturing gaan geven. Een voorbeeld is Exist.io die probeert alle data bij elkaar te brengen. Maar ook tools als Commonsense van Sense-OS proberen data uit sensoren slim bij elkaar te brengen.

Dat betekent voor marketeers dat ze veel directer en persoonlijker contact kunnen zoeken. Permission marketing gaat een nieuwe fase in als we onze eigen Personal API gaan beheren.

Hoe die appjes eruit kunnen zien is ook een van de vragen die we ons stellen bij een hackathon op 9 april in Rotterdam plaatsvindt (en waar ik betrokken bij ben). We staan nog maar aan het begin van deze ontwikkeling, maar de impact lijkt groot te worden. Zeker voor marketeer. Het zou heel interessant zijn als bij de hackathon niet alleen programmeurs en designers meedoen, maar ook een moderne marketeer in een team gaat zitten.

In het marketingvak komt weer focus te liggen bij de gebruiker van de producten en diensten, vraaggestuurd. Pull is echt het nieuwe push, de Personal API zal daarin een van de belangrijke concepten kunnen zijn.

Proving privacy is all about control

For the Dutch blog Mobile Marketing I wrote a post on my experiences with wearing a Glass in a museum that allows making pictures, but found it uneasy to allow it when it is unclear when the pictures are taken. An interesting case how the approach to this device is characterised by the openness and transparency more than the fact itself.

The post is in Dutch.

 

Er wordt heel verschillend gereageerd als je een Glass draagt. De onzekerheid die het oproept kan een gevaar zijn voor de acceptatie van wearables.

Vorige week was ik in het Rijksmuseum. Al enige tijd ben ik actief de mogelijkheden van Glass aan het onderzoeken, de nieuwe slimme bril van Google. Sinds enige weken heb ik zelf ook een exemplaar en probeer daarmee verschillende dingen uit. Zo ook rondlopen in het museum. Aangezien het beleid van museum fotograferen en videoopnames toestaat leek me dat geen groot probleem. Dat bleek echter anders. De suppoost in de zaal bij het kunstwerk van Daan Roosegaarde vroeg mij de bril af te zetten. Als toelichting gaf ze aan dat dit het beleid was zolang er geen beleid is geformuleerd. Daarbij gaf ze aan dat het probleem niet is dat je fotografeert met de bril, maar wel dat je niet ziet dat iemand dat doet.

En daarmee wordt wel een interessant punt geraakt. Bij alle presentaties die ik geef of bijwoon over de Glass komt altijd de privacy vraag langs. Wat gebeurt er met de data en zijn we nu echt volledig overgeleverd aan Google. Ook afgelopen donderdag bij het seminar Mens voor de Lens. Geleyn Meijer prikkelde in zijn aftrap met de vraagstelling of de data van een persoon die een device als Glass vastlegt eigenlijk niet van die persoon zou moeten blijven. Een discussie op zich.

In het licht van Glass een interessant punt uiteraard, maar een andere spreker (Dariu Gavrilla) vertelde over de geavanceerde radar en camerasystemen (8 stuks) die in een nieuwe Mercedes zitten en zorgen dat de auto voorkomt dat je een voetganger aanrijdt door in het uiterste geval zelf te remmen. Die foto’s die Glass maakt zijn misschien nog maar een fractie van alle foto’s en signalen die worden opgevangen door alle auto’s straks. Er is natuurlijk wel een verschil. In de auto zit geen mens aan de andere kant van het glas die naar de beelden kijkt.

Voor marketeers en mediamakers is het interessant te beseffen dat met de nieuwe golf ‘intimate mobile devices’ of ‘wearables’ weliswaar een heel nieuw speelveld ontstaat waarin marketingcommunicatie en -concepten kunnen worden bedacht, vol met mogelijkheden om dat toe te spitsen op die ene persoon. Maar aan de andere kant zorgen die devices ervoor dat mensen argwanend worden. De vraag is of de data die wordt afgegeven bij het gebruik van wearables niet ‘permission-based’ moet zijn. Google heeft met Glass daarin een interessante positie gekozen. Door het interactiemodel van diensten met triggers is het alleen mogelijk succesvol te zijn op deze device als je superrelevant communiceert. Als je daar dan specifieke data van die consument nodig hebt is de kans een stuk groter dat die wordt afgegeven.

Daarin zijn er modellen te bedenken waarin die data een tijdelijk karakter heeft. Zoals bij de radardata van de Mercedes. Het denken over profileren van consumenten moet verschuiven naar herkennen van gedrag, en daar op inspelen. Lerende systemen zijn daarin essentieel. Zoals een NEST thermostaat van je gedrag leert, het is niet voor niks dat Google deze partij heeft gekocht; Google is bij uitstek de partij om deze kennis te verfijnen en op basis van anonieme profielen heel veel input te geven aan marketeers. Context as a Service kan Google als de beste aanbieden.

De wearables zijn zeer interessant en maken een hoop los. Dat zal de komende tijd vaker gebeuren. Overigens reageerde de directeur van het Rijksmuseum later via Twitter dat Glass wel welkom is. Een teken hoe we nog zoeken naar de goede vorm voor deze datagedreven context.

Connected Everyday and the life of things

I was lucky to notice a tweet on Thursday evening, otherwise I would have missed a symposium at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering in Delft at Friday, dedicated to Connected Everyday. The symposium is dedicated to the inaugural lecture of Elisa Giaccardi later that day, but I was triggered with the line-up of speakers in the morning. Three of them I knew already by their reputation for good thinking on a field I find most interesting; connected products and the deeper impacts.

We live in a world where digital data, material objects and social practices are increasingly connected and interdependent. What are the challenges in designing for this new ecology of materials, artefacts and interactions?

Paul Dourish started off with a more philosophical look to the concept of Everyday. He mentioned different concepts of Everyday: Everyday as ubiquitous, everyday as casual, as residual, as repressive, as revolutionary, as collective, as site of study, as site of design.

Everyday is restructuring our perspective on life, my everyday is different from yours. As site of study it is interesting how he described the participation in the researchable world. Reshaping the concepts of everyday through design is in the end the topic of now.

Next was Chris Speed. He talked on Fast Algorithms and Slow things. And the concepts of time. The framework of everyday is future and past. He explored a bit further into the notion of time. Showing how stories told in movies of 6 seconds on Vine have a different meaning as the 140 characters of Twitter, that cost us also 6 seconds to read. And he let us experience via Speeder how speeding up the reading pace transforms meaning.

Sensors make us watch without eyes. New realities emerge. I liked his app TMIY, Take Me I’m Yours, where you can put geofenced based messages to objects based on place and time. The theory of spimes brought to practice. I think his distinction between objects and things, where things have context of presence, is very valuable. New economic models will emerge from the connected things.

Third speaker was Ron Wakkary. I did not see a talk of him before, but I liked it very much. He goes into the way we need to design for these everyday practices. We don’t call it functionality, it just does things. He also reject the idea of users. We have to look to these new things as self controlling entities. Unselfconsious interactions.

Screenshot 2014-01-27 04.27.32
A model

He used a couple of research project that made sense. The table non table project and the indoor weather station. Both designed for a kind of own will in the things. And as his main conclusion: “that over time lead to subjective and possibly unknowing improvements in the relationships of artifacts, evironments and people.”

Last speaker was Jack Schulze. Well-known for his agency BERG London, that is now fully transformed into a product company BERG Cloud with signature product Little Printer. He did not talk on this product, but on more meta level consequences of these new products. Systems are leaking into our experiences. Every connected product brings a system with it.

The example of cash is very strong. The product itself is quite simple. A coin. But it represents a lot. Like ownership. That change as you don’t hold the coin yourself. The object is just a carrier of the system behind it. And make the context of use clear.
And the example of Google; as a search action to pizaa of 0.26 seconds can return 213 million result, what is the thing carrying with it.

There are four orders of products, an evolution.

  1. Shelf demonstrable value
  2. Action at a distance, autonomous connection
  3. Independent connection to the web, the objects are part of the services of the internet
  4. They speak to and affect each other, an ecology of things

To use something, you have to be able to perceive it. You have to make things that have heart. That is what connects us to the things. Like the Apple iOS comparison to Android. iPhone feels better because the makers care.

The panel discussion delivered some extra bits of insights. The format to let objects ask questions to the speakers worked out very well. We learned a nice entertaining activity; read the reviews of the Roomba and see how the product is having a soul for people.

Schulze added that it is remarkable to realize how the very same book of 1999 -say Harry Potter- is so different now with all its context you get when reading in 2014. That is the impact of systems and spimes.

Wakkary put it nice: products are interventions in situations. And as Chris Speed said; objects are no things. Things are events with objects as artefacts. Combine this with algorithms and it can get messy.

Do we lose agency with exponential technologies?

At Monday September 9 I attended another edition of Singularity University NL sessions, this time on Ethics, Values and Norms. The short seminar consisted of one keynote by Philip Bery, professor in Philosophy of Technology at University of Twente. Next to that Yuri van Geest, ambassador of Singularity University in the Netherlands gave some extra context. The attendees discussed the topic in four groups: big data/AI, robotics/drones, bio,

Philip Bery layed out the work they do on formulating ethical models. The focus on value design is interesting for all of us designers, especially if we are moving in systems that are influencing our life. As he made clear, the technology changes our agency of life.

Bery stated that ethical issues are always present, even if we do not know yet if and what issues technology trigger. We need to design proactively technology artifacts to promote desired values. It is a balancing act between technology features, values and context of use.

Yuri showed some interesting examples after the talk of Bery, like the Nordstrom tracking case (that seems to be stopped already) and the bio attack thread that can take place on a personal level now. He made clear that our behavior generates unique sets of data, that can be connected to the very person. So we need to manage our data exhaust.

In the group discussions it turns out – judging the presentations at the end – that central themes for all was unawareness of the consequences, and the need for literacy, and the losing of agency that is the result.

In the group discussions the proposed solutions remain on the first level like creating rules and education. Philip Bery proposed value-sensitive design is in that sense a better fundament for thinking on these topics, the real shift needs some serious shift in thinking.

It was valuable to notice the attitude of this audience and the willing to seriously discuss these topics. Hope it will be a integrated part in our shaping of the future.

Design for the new Industrial Age

For the Dutch Design Week of 2012 (20 – 28 October) I was invited to share my vision on the changing role of the designer in our post digital age we are entering fast. I did a long version on the convention floor twice and a shorter one at the conference.

 

In my long version I first sketched how our life is influenced by the digital context. We are used to the availability of digital content. We have the world of knowledge at our fingertips all the time with our smartphone, we choose media more and more on demand and we customise our physical products like we do with digital ones. The concept of code/space is inspiring in that. In a lot of situations the digital context is crucial for the functioning. No connection means no function. Think of an airport.

Products can not live without the services that are integrated. Apple is learning that hard lesson with their Map-gate where the poor quality of the map is defining the quality perception of the iPhone more than ever.

Digital as default. We see that the Internet is not only connecting services and people, but also things. With the new IPv6 standard we have enough addresses to connect all products to the Internet. Interesting new products emerge.
The interesting products are those that are designed from a valuable usage. Things with internet will be smarter and get new interaction principles, like the Nest thermostat. Learning from the behaviour and using contextual data from as well within the home with sensors as from outside with the connection to the latest weather reports.

Interesting are also products that are more mundane, or even ‘crappy’. Like the fridge magnet pizza button. A connected button that delivers you a pizza by pushing the button.
Simply adding connectivity can deliver a lot of value. Like with Asthmapolis where every puff of an asthma patient contributes to a map of dirty-air places.

Digital as default and ubiquitous virtuality has lead to a new romantic feeling for the real. Making the data tangible again is happening more and more. The makers movement is hot. We like printing your own old-fashioned newspaper or creating beautiful installations around our virtual presence.

3D printing fits this development. We see a rapid democratizing of 3D printing. Now as a gadget for the high brow at the Bijenkorf Dol Dwaze Dagen, next year just a couple of hunderds of euro for printing simple stuff. And very accessible service providers for more complex stuff. New types of products are emerging, with hard to make forms and with personalised scripted products, products that are designed but also leave a lot open for the end buyer to make its own.

With digital default we see that services become predictive using big data. Like Google Now, where the service knows more (or at least earlier) about you than you self do.
Products will be always the part of an ecosystem. A cloud system like Bergcloud introduces with their Little Printer. Not the printer is the product, but the Bergcloud you build in your home wil be the product you buy and use for all kind of connected output devices.

The ultimate personalised one fits just one product will happen more and more. Made possible by kits that we as designers will be making for users, like the Homesense Kit.

Products will be hackable by default. Remixing IKEA as example is now something for a niche group of users. It will be part of the service IKEA offers.
And products will adapt the use. Like the dashboard of the new Volvo V40 that fits your driving style.

And so we will see that new capabilities of designers are addressed. We cannot design for all, we need to design for remix, for adaption. Scripted products like the example made by Soundcloud and Shapeways – The Vibe – where a case is designed around the forms of waveforms. Waveforms the user can choose himself.

This does not mean that the role of the designer is played out. It changes. We will see especially places like Etsy emerge within big manufactures where the designers will be connected to the users, and manufacturing will be like Kickstarter, pitching the products ideas to the buyer before producing and starting a dialogue.

So the new designer should be prepared for the new Industrial Revolution as Chris Andersen puts it so right. The principles of the Long Tail will be part of all our products we buy and use.
As designer you should start changing your behaviour to make very personal products, both personal with a story as personalised by the buyer.
And the designer should design open products. Products that are hackable or are ready for personal extensions.
And products should be smart. The Big Data that is produced by the connected products is not meant for big infrastructures, but is used to create tiny services for just that one user.

 

PICNIC Innovation mashup

Last Tuesday I visited a new event organized by the PICNIC organization; the innovation mashup. In the morning four speakers shared their visions, of which those from Shell and IDEO stand out. In the afternoon there were different workshops organized to think on innovation. I attended the one of colleague agency Frog to experience their methods of creative collaborative thinking, which is comparable to the approach we have. Sitting together with people from different backgrounds thinking on a case was a good experience.

In stead of doing a full report I publish my Storified tweets. Marcel Kampman did a nice video report of the day too.

  1. iskandr
    Recipe. Create a business model and perform stress test on all elements per future scenarios. #picnic12
  2. iskandr
    @kevinrommen ik geloof dat het verschil niet zit in de creatieve oplossing, maar in de executie. Maar creativiteit is overal uiteraard.
  3. iskandr
    Corporate research is driven by speed vs failure. Failure is a gift. But be aware to own your own failure to learn. #picnic12 #shell
  4. iskandr
    ButterflyWorks: Everyone is an expert, make it count for commitment, play the orchestra for structure, analogies are your friends #picnic12
  5. iskandr
    Andrea Mallard of IDEO is super bored by talking on design thinking. The culture is more important to the success than the method #picnic12
  6. iskandr
    10 cultural quirks of IDEO. 1. Rituals vs rules. Rituals are more important, rules can enable the rituals. #picnic12
  7. iskandr
    Cuitural quirk 2. Play vs. work. Play is method to engage employees and quality of work. If it isnt fun it isnt working #ideo #picnic12
  8. iskandr
    Quirk 3. Personal vs. professional. Everybody cries at ideo. Because they care enough #picnic12
  9. iskandr
    Quirk 4. Failure vs. success. Fail talent show. Bad ideas has the chance to be great, good ideas are doomed to be good #picnic12
  10. iskandr
    Cultural quirk 5. Space vs. stuff. Space to enables the right kind of behaviour. In times of crises you don’t cut the m&m budget #picnic12
  11. iskandr
    Quirk 6. Prototyping vs. perfection. Invest nothing to be able to let go. Test ideas, not execution. #picnic12 #ideo
  12. iskandr
    Cultural quirk 8. Forgiveness vs. permission of initatives. 9. Purpose vs prize 10. Challengers vs. Followers #picnic12 #ideo
  13. iskandr
    Vodafone wants especially innovate on mhealth. DIY health. Because it happening, and the money flows there now #picnic12
  14. iskandr
    Complexity of the development of mhealth is the gap IT and health. A new challenge is organized by Vodafone. http://www.mobilesforgood.nl #picnic12

Connected video trends

Online video and connected TV were hot topics last week. I visited the Immovator CrossMediaCafe and the Online Tuesday, and FastMovingTargets invited also two players in this field. For me this field of connected TV and second screen apps are a longer interest, and I blogged before on this concept [herehere]. We will see a breakthrough this year and a possible definite change in the concept of watching video content if Apple is entering this market later this year. I wrote something on it also in my year forecast.

Four important elements defines the new online video experiences, close connected.

  • moving to a personal on demand consuming by default
  • the second screen as integrated part of realtime tv
  • crowd generated curation
  • authentic stories as binders

We have entered a time-shifted TV-viewing experience. We use the on demand services from our broadcasters more and more and watch our own selected TV-series. The next step is the personal relevant guides that will generated suggestions or even complete evening programs based on your data profile and social behavior. Tools like Peel will be common and build in our screens and work like Nest does, continuous becoming smarter. The payment model will change to a access based pay-per-use, where we can lower the costs by interacting with commercials.

Personal on demand behaviour we do on our own or with our family. But we still like to share our experiences with others. The on demand services will have an integrated social layer that connects others that are watching the same in the world or from your contacts, like the Into_Now app does, and it will even suggest to watch certain programs together with your peers at work so you have a topic for the next day. This can go as far as going watching together in a location like a cinema where you program you own evening.

This will be all part of your second screen mainly. We will have a second screen as integrated part of realtime tv (something we used to call live tv), but it will also be your tool to connect to others with time-shifted TV.

With the second screen it is important to understand the first and second screen are one. One experience, one story. At the same time the notion of first and second screen implies that one of them is dominant, and the other supportive. And that is the case indeed. A second screen that draws the attention away from the first screen is not a good experience. Our abilities to share attention will change by the way. For me there are a couple rules if you are designing this second screens.

First is that you should peel the story of the program down to its essence and build the different touchpoints on this story. The first screen will be the lead in the story, the second screen can play different roles. It can be a part of it to make it your personal story, or, and this is the most important function, it will generate a social emotional layer to the watching. In that sense the presentation of Kevin Slavin on this phenomenon is essential; we will have a kind of reference point for our own emotions with the emotions of the crowd that we experience via the second screen.
This can be passive like giving indications on the number of watchers and tweeters over the world (you see only filtered and relevant tweets complete) or it can be more active by creating a extra layer in the story as the Thuiscoach app is a nice example.

We will see a mayor development with the second screen apps this coming year, for instance as families are integrating their second screen apps together in one experience. And we will see integrated concepts between first and second screen apps from Apple, GoogleTV and Samsung.

On the content part there is a long winding trend tipping now; the use of amateur content in mainstream programs. Or better said; amateur content becoming broadcast content. With the on demand watching we will see that curating by peers is getting dominant. Apps like Showyou will get a place under a button on your remote control. And the channels made by people themselves will be part of TV evening.

The last aspect are the authenticity of the stories that becoming the brands of video content. This is important to create compelling multiple screen experiences, as well as it is the way to connect people in on demand viewing and more important, to let them generate profile data entries. Because just like all mayor trends generating, collecting and processing data will be the key in all concepts made for the new connected video.

The impact Steve made Apple make

I read a lot (too many) stories on the resignation of Steve Jobs last day. I find this one on O’Reilly Radar the best, really focusing on the impact and change he made Apple make.

In an era where entrepreneurialism is too often defined by incrementalism and pursuit of the exit strategy, Jobs’ Apple was always defined by true husbandry of a vision, and the long, often thankless, pursuit of excellence and customer delight that goes with it.

Ironically, though, Jobs’ greatest innovation may actually be as basic as “bringing humanity back into the center of the ring,” to borrow a phrase from Joe Strummer of the seminal rock band, The Clash.

Nuff said? Well, the article doesn’t go into the impact of the resignation itself. Is Jobs replaceable? He may have raised Apple to stand on its own feet, and he may also have built in the right insurance by staying in the board, but time will tell if this is enough to resist the urges from a market leader too control its positions in stead of keeping the view on the future product leaps.

I truely hope it will. But there are enough signals it is moving into a new phase. Not only based on the lawsuits for market protection and the patent wars, I think this was probably always a invisible part of the business. And also not only based on the fact that the new CEO Tim Cook has earned it credits in making the business more effective. But definitely by the next phase of lock-in strategies with the introduction of iCloud. How great the service seems to be, it could be well used to play the world domination card like we know it from Microsoft the last decades.

I’m a big lover and collector of the Apple products, and enthusiastic user of the service ecosystem. And I give it a fair chance that the DNA of the company is strong enough to inspire us with more disruptive human touched products. But it will be exciting times for sure…

Can we expect Google Groups?

This week a very interesting presentation by Paul Adams of Google was published on Slideshare called The Real Life Social Network. He nailed some trends in social media on real behavior. It was all over the blogosphere already. It reminds me of my presentation on virtual gated communities at Reboot 11 in 2008. One of the things I was thinking about back then was the way we would create groups with different levels of privacy. It will be very interesting if the presented visions of Adams are translated into a new social approach by Google, just like the rumor that was spread this week by former CTO of Google. Interesting to see how Google are trying to use another angle to confront facebook, with a differentiation in groups. Another thought I had is still valid: can we have interoperability in these groups between different providers?

Read the rest of this entry »

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