This article has an image of vending machines at the header, because I feel that it is what most glorified IoT devices turned out to be for our lives, automatons.
We have a lot of hurdles in technology to jump through. Frequency, efficiency, speed, resolution, space, mass et cetera. We all strive to push those towards the better. Integration, connectivity, autonomy and similar terms are also under the spotlight.
As a technical founder, I also tend to think in those terms. Improving specifications and implementing features that are bound to make an item better a better version of itself.
But I would like to take a step back. Let's think about the experience.
Today, our technology riddled life has many objects. One might have a home assistant, connected lighting, smart phones, computers, a router, several smart home gadgets, maybe even a renewable energy source. Almost all of these devices are present for the user's convenience.
Say, we can use a home assistant, the router and the smart light fixture dim the lights. Or heat up the apartment with respect to its use. They don't make life very convenient, but only slightly. These devices don't have intelligence, they have procedures. For intelligence, I foremost expect autonomous decision to take place.
Today, devices are still unable to show such a skill. This is partly due to the fact that we are cautious in accepting technology in skin contact with us. We are willing to control devices than to give initiative to them. On the other hand, it is partly due to our limited capacity in making, we just don't have the technology ready-yet.
I think that the technology today is present for us, we just want better tools. It might be a primal tendency of ours. We select control over independence to avoid making ourselves obsolete.
I also think that the technology we make should be present with us. I believe that it is the hurdle ahead. We are just scraping the bottom of the convenience available to us through tools, we need them to be independently useful.
And services of tech giants are actually pretty close to that. I feel that Google is long past being a collection of tools. It is an extension of my intellectual community. I don't have much control over it, it is just as is.
I envision the same happening for the physical products that we use. I would like to see them to supersede tools.
That requires those products to be damn smart. Simple IoT devices with messaging protocols won't cut that, they are too dumb. Cloud connectivity and service through cloud would be too slow. We need a stateful, distributed, containerized, machine learning capable devices for that.
That is why I believe that machine learning and edge computing together will be the driving force for products that are designed to interface humans.