We live in an age where new technological innovations are not only coming at us faster, the changes they bring with them are even more profound and far-reaching. We’re merely at the beginning of the wireless information age and, much like the Golden Age of Television in the 50’s, the sky’s the limit in terms of what can be attempted.
The Internet of Things is a recent innovation that promises to make life interesting for not only consumers and computer users, but also businesses and professionals from a large number of industries. But for now, let’s take a look at what the Internet of Things means specifically for designers.
The Internet of Things is poised to make life more interesting for designers
First Of All: What IS The Internet Of Things?
The Internet of Things connects products, people, other living creatures, appliances, vehicles, and lots more. In this context, all of the above examples are considered “things”. Each of these so-called things has sensors, processing capability of some extraction, and connectivity to the Internet. These things can send their information without human intervention.
With this steady stream of information coming in from all of these sensors, monitors and tracking devices, people, companies, and organizations can use the data to craft better strategies and products. After all, a well-informed decision is one that has a better chance of success.
Naturally, there are concerns about security and privacy, as can be seen in the article “How Safe Is The Internet Of Things?”
How Does This Affect Designers?
First and foremost, according to the article “Internet of Things: What It Means for Designers and Their Companies,” is that designers will have to start thinking about connectivity right from the start when they’re developing a model.
Clearly, “things” have existed for far longer than the Internet of Things, so there has been a need to fit IoT compatibility to older tech. But nowadays, there will be more of a demand that IoT compatibility be built right into the products in a smooth, integrated fashion.
So not only do new products need to be designed to accommodate IoT capability, said products need to support the inevitable upgrades that will ensue as time goes on.
A Change In Tools
The Internet of Things requires objects that are smart and connected, so why not have CAD tools with those same characteristics? A CAD tool that can actually aid in the design of better things because the former is reading and processing real-time field usage data is a very powerful tool indeed! So it’s very possible to eventually see a design tool that actually guides the designer in creating a better IoT-friendly product, based on experience learned from information gathered from IoT-enabled devices in the first place. There’s nothing like self-perpetuating technology.
The Need For Better Collaboration
Internet of Things-ready products have hardware, electronics, software, operating system, and connectivity components, and these of course are created by the appropriate electronics, mechanical, and software design professionals. But in order to create these integrated systems with Internet of Things functionality, these designers are going to not only need to work closer together, but also possess a good grasp on what each professional does.
It’s A Brave, New, Interconnected World
The advent of the Internet of Things brings a wealth of new data that can be used to make better goods and services, as well as improved policies and strategies. It falls on designers to embrace the challenge of this new technology and design a new generation of goods that can connect with and fully take advantage of this new Internet-based innovation.