Devices Cannot Converge as Lifestyle Interfaces Differ

With operating system wars looming and content conversion inevitable, channel wars are beginning to surface. The midterm prediction reveals the use of one device to cover the shortfall off another. More obvious, is the disturbing disconnect between user and device over the span of a single work day. Whether one is a parent, child, manager, employee, instructor, or student, these roles are spread over multiple interfaces and devices where the only common service is the magically pronounced “cloud” depository services, and pretty much, nothing else.

Who controls the machines? Those devices in your suit pocket, handbag, backpack, shirt pocket, jeans, and on the walls? Manufacturers, content generators, or operators?  Do they talk to each other?

Baku WYMF 2013 by UNESCO

Baku WYMF 2013 by UNESCO

Trends evolve, demonstrating how competition kills innovation while device manufacturers defend their differentiation rights, by ensuring OS-dominant features. iPhones will not support Flash, but Samsung’s Note series have a full suite of Adobe Touch. While Dropbox, GoogleDrive, Skydrive and iCloud sit on most platforms, each is distinct in its rights management, access technologies, and terms of use. None are able to address user needs by time management nor lifestyle preferences. Sony has an interesting album organiser app that makes a weak attempt at segregating the pictures you shouldn’t be showing at home, office or with buddies at the office party. But this doesn’t quite cut it. It hardly scratches the surface, of who the user is, when an app deserves the right to access a predictive piece of information, and what it should intuitively display or alert to make that distinction felt.

By pegging data plans to the 2Gb mark, operators are capping our data, slaving us to a progressive billing system. Not long ago, I was allocated 12Gb each month for the very same plan I’m on, today. Obviously, operators are ganging up with an almost oligarchic determination to milk the mobile cow. Smart planning is the way to go. It flattens the playing field to benefit the users, or folks that are constantly bombarded with marketing messages to distinguish differentiation as the reason for owning multiple devices. Do we really need 5 devices? Phones for personal and business, tablet, GPS navigator, and quickcharge battery? See here:

On my daughter’s birthday: My smart device reminded me of my promise to my daughter to arrange a small gathering of her friends by alerting me 18 hours ahead, giving me a list of invitees from her Facebook fan and friend page, suggesting a little cafe near our place, and proposing some gifts her friends could chip in and order. Even the cafe decoration could be done by the senior citizen’s club for a donation. The time was 6.40pm, 20 minutes before dinner, when my car was about to exit the gridlock and cruise home on urban highway. 10 minutes away, all I had to do was touch the button, “OK. Go for it!”. The timing was strategic.

942684_489350704453980_59774768_nAt my Baku conference: my device launched a wakeup call, Chlorophyll  by Boxcutter. Onscreen was displayed the 3 top tasks I had to complete that day, and the recommended list of speakers I should connect with, based on my conference profile and the projects I was working on. Some of them had also made requests from Linked-In. It suggested sending: a text to my wife before she headed out to pick the kids from school [as home was 7 hours ahead of my time zone] and: a skyline shot to my daughter’s Whatsapp account. These 2 family tasks were flashed in yellow circles, and could be snoozed for 5 minutes. Conference track details flowed when I sideswiped my smartscreen. Booking a cab was clicking a message to hotel concierge as I was polishing off my soufflé with a black tea. A quick peek from the online cams, showed the crowd status at the conference – indicating if I would need assistance to head straight to the podium, or saunter through the crowd. Smoozing was simply bumping your phone with the other party – vertical for corporate info, horizontal for personal info, and you set what you wanted to show. Later, my device would remind me to connect with a message, and add more contact data based on the respective projects that required it. 

Post conference: Coupon invites popped up as the crowd was dissipating at the conference networking cocktails. I tapped “OK” to a few, and was asked if I would like to include Patrick, Grahin and Lauri from the conference connection earlier in the day. Sure, why not. The map suggested we leave at 7pm, cross the underpass and grab a cab [Price was shown as 5 manat for the 8 minute journey] to the seaside restaurant. It was a great night of local food, football and drinks. I even got to say goodnight to my kids via Skype, reminded just as they were tucked into bed.

This scenario is real and achievable, despite the plethora of apps and devices, but no one has developed it. No major design is required, just a thoughtful human touch to understand the way we tick. If there is a smart service, and only one, my reliance on multiple devices would not exist. I would be able to handle my personal, family, and business lives with renewed confidence, regardless of what I have in my pocket or backpack, regardless of the time of day, because it is a single service which understands my living clock, and acknowledges my existence by empowering me…at the right time. I might train it, or it might teach me. Either way, I am ready.

It might know me well enough to suggest the type of charitable work I could do, from a simple good deed like fetching a wheelchair-bound Mrs Lim from her home along the way, to donating to the PocketMoney Fund for special kids by rounding my online purchases! Now, if only I could get it to feed my cat….

Randolph

About felix lee

a change agent and philosopher, I have been in corporate business for about 28 years chiefly in marketing, events, PR and IT. this is a small way of sharing wisdoms in starting and re-inventing your business and running it holistically like you do with your life. i am learning to write ebooks and welcome tips from anyone who is happy to share them. please drop me a line anytime. Kindly forgive the messy housekeeping...
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