Connectivity of people and devices is a significant macro trend across various products and technologies. Throughout history, most tech innovations have stemmed from the essential need for human interconnectivity including language, printing, roads, telecommunication, and the internet.
Optimistically, products like Withings' new "BeamO" represent a noteworthy evolution—a handheld device sensing temperature, heart rate, ECG, O2 levels, and features a stethoscope. This advancement enables a mobility-limited population to interact more effectively with healthcare providers, providing higher fidelity and real-time patient information. These products accumulate valuable data points over time, facilitating meaningful trend analysis.
However, my inner cynic sees that these types of products are usually marketed toward able-bodied and mobile people. Products like this can be used as excuses to avoid human-to-human interaction… or be reasons to replace human interaction. (You may have seen the AI powered robotic barista!) Every day, we see the impact of people losing the skills of basic public human interaction and common courtesy.
Overall, my optimistic perspective embraces the potential these new technologies bring to the human experience. While acknowledging potential pitfalls, I advocate for a larger role of Design within companies exploring these technologies. Engaging in discourse is crucial to finding a balance that enhances rather than degrades our collective experiences.
Now, are you more of an optimist or a cynic?Back to Insights + News