Through screens and interfaces, the distinction between human and machine is blurring. Already, a great deal more objects than people are connected to the internet, with more connecting every day. The digitization of everything leaves us asking one fundamental question: where do humans fit into the picture?
Design and innovation consultancy Fjord has partially addressed this question by coining the term Living Services. This concept merges the Internet of Things with what they call Liquid Consumer Expectations. The basic idea is quite simple: when customers (humans) have a positive experience in one industry, they carry the expectations from that experience into other industries.
For example, if a customer has a positive experience getting out of a taxi without having to go through a payment process (because it’s all happened in the cloud), this experience becomes “liquid” in the way it influences and shapes that customer’s expectations of the same process at their bank or at the supermarket.
This means that businesses and living services are required to adapt in a way that considers everything everyone does, 24 hours a day. Every person (and everything they do) is vastly different. The goal of Living Services, then, is to make a real impact on people’s lives by designing services that are highly personal. They would morph and wrap themselves around the customer in real time based on their individual needs.
It’s pretty difficult—dare we say impossible—to make the Internet of Things effective without taking people’s needs into consideration.