I’ve always felt that technology would eventually cross over into our daily lives and everything we use would be connected with technology. As a child I dreamt of being able to wake up and talk to my home much like Tony Stark talks to Jarvis, in the Iron Man films. “Good morning, Brad. Would you like some coffee?”, Jarvis would say. I respond with some excitement, “Absolutely, Jarvis”. From the kitchen the sound of a coffee machine starts. I smile and I start reading the morning news displayed on the window overlooking some large body of water.
Home Automation Will Change the User Experience Design Industry
User experience design is a huge part of my life. Design and web development has limitless possibilities, the main reason I went into a web and application design field. But I see a change in the way people interact with their technology and the experience is very much intertwined into our daily lives. I mean look at what the iPhone did. You can’t go into a restaurant without someone taking a photo of their food or surfing the web. This is precisely why restaurants offer WiFi connections as a benefit to eat at their establishment. It’s a normal part of our lives to be connected to the internet and because of that, the internet industry is thriving more than it ever has.
Building a user experience design agency has taught me a lot over the years. I’ve learned that technology moves fast and great design can really improve user adoption to a product, app, process or technology. Apple and Google both know this. They make billions of dollars creating products that have great user experience design and getting those users adopting their platform.
This is why I love competition. Without it we wouldn’t have these companies competing to create the next big thing. It fosters innovation for startups and companies.
Apple and Google both have a history of buying up small startups and companies. It’s not just a publicity stunt to buy these companies. Their acquiring the companies for their talent and the technology they possess. It’s a strategic purchase to lay a path for their next product and I believe that is home automation.
The Apple Watch is a great fit for home automation integration because a watch is always attached to your wrist. It’s natural place to put a device that would assist you with managing devices in your home. A phone is either in your pocket, in your purse/bag, plugged up or sitting on a table. It’s clear that the tech giants are heading in the direction of home automation.
The home automation possibilities are huge. I see users being able to open the garage door for a loved one who didn’t have a house key. Or unlocking the back door for the dog sitter. Maybe you like the idea of scheduling your morning. Set your bath to run at 7:00am and at that perfect temperature. Your watch or phone will wake you when the bath has filled up, allowing you to get those 15 extra minutes of sleep. While you are finishing your hot bath, the coffee starts brewing at 7:45am and your notified when it’s done. As you finish getting dressed, your device says, “It’s pretty cold today, would you like to warm up the car”? You respond with, “Of course”. You hear the faint sound of your garage opening. Followed by the sound of your cars ignition.
We are talking about thousands of options that would automate your life and making your experience in this world that much more enjoyable. You can see that we are not far off from making these dreams a reality with the way technology is going. And I know without a doubt we’ll be seeing more and more of these integrations very soon.
There are the downsides of all this. Hackers hacking video cameras in your home and watching you. Or hackers getting access to your car’s system and controlling the actual vehicle, it actually happened. But the more we see this technology come to market, the tighter the security we’ll see get put into place.
The Double Rainbow, What Does it Mean
But what does that mean for the user experience industry? The company that can design and define the best user experience for home automation integration, will come out on top. It means if you’re looking to design applications for products in the home, you need to hire companies like Lift to define and design those experiences. No one wants a product that is hard to use. They need it to work seamlessly with the new products coming into their homes. It should be like buying a new lightbulb, just screwing it in, Done…connected. Home automation will be the next big thing and design agencies are going to be crucial piece in the design and development of those experiences.
What are your thoughts on the home automation industry?