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Conversations of People and Things

frog developed the Connected\Projected program to explore potential for emergent, integrated product solutions by blending  key trends in technology and user experience design.


Using wireless product-to- product and product-to-user features as well as sensors and laser projection, we created a series of first level “Superprotoypes”. Our prototyping process and the prototypes themselves have triggered an avalanche of new use cases, ecosystems, and product concepts that have all grown out of the seeds of that first idea.

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We don’t need to wonder about the Internet of Things. We are already there. People might not have realized it yet, but things are already talking to each other. And, as electronics decrease in size and price, even more of our appliances and products will soon be able to sense, listen, and share. The question is, will we care about what they have to say?

We often hear about smart objects, smart homes, and smart cities. Are we aiming at the wrong target when we assume that everything needs to be smart? A drill should know about speed. A fridge should know about temperature. A toaster should know about toast. The real goal is not how smart each individual node can be, but how intelligent it can become while in a collective network.

This aggregation, translation, and horizontal connectivity is what creates new value and, ultimately, makes us smarter. Things will not only talk but explain what they do or what they need. They will follow one another, discuss, collaborate, create events, and complete tasks together. They will even fight and disagree. What if all my tools could collaborate as I build my house? What if they talked to other products and learned from their experience? What if they competed to be used or suggested what was best in a given situation? What if they learned with us and from us? 

Today, a billion new voices are rising in the network. They will talk and be active agents in our lives. But it's not just about talking. It's about creating a worthwhile conversation.

 

Rob Mcintosh is a creative director in frog's Munich Studio. Holger Hampf is an executive creative director in frog's Munich studio. The Connected\Projected team includes Brendan Donovan, Simo Rebaudengo, Lasse Underbjerg, Alex Jonsson, Patrick Schmidberger, and Miguel Oliva.