The internet of things doesn't have any users

I’m catching up on a week of madness and found7 steps to a green product and Bruce Sterling’s Anatomy of a spime diagram that Matt Jones commented on.

Funnily enough both speak about similar things. The Metropolis article highlights a methodology when designing a product: the right materials, clean and green production, etc. Bruce’s diagram highlights technologies used for a “spime”: tracking, fabbing, etc…

Both of these relate to technologies and production techniques. Neither of them includes the user!

In an age of the ubiquitous “user-centered design”, it seems a mistake to put a user’s behavior aside especially when talking about sustainability. Most of the sustainability issues we will have to deal with relate directly to our behavior and our choices: the number of places we fly to, the %age of household waste we recycle, where we shop at etc…

None of these issues relate to either of these systems and maybe a next step in the thinking around the Internet of things is the integration of that crucial parameter.

Let me put it this way: even if a chair has been fabbed, tagged and can be easily and instantly replaced by the same model, in this day and age, noone wants to keep the same chair for their entire lives.

Consumerism is a broader behavior that technology alone cannot resolve or change.

Writing 'Creating a Culture of Innovation' (Out in 2020, Apress)

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