DAYTON, Ohio — VINT, the trend lab of Sogeti, a leading provider of technology and software testing, today presents its second Internet of Things research report. Entitled Empathic Things, this study looks at the internet in, on, and around the human body, and the impact for people and companies. VINT presents six categories of so-called “Empathic Things,” representing migrations of smart technology from handheld devices to the body itself. These will help public and private sector organizations to better understand their clients’ personal situation. Although they admit that these solutions represent a huge social experiment, the authors make six recommendations for success in the new era of “empathic things.”
This report is the second in a four-part series on “Internet of Things”.
“Companies and consumers, governments and citizens are interacting in ever more intimate ways,” explains Menno van Doorn, Managing Director of VINT. “With the rise of empathic things, the boundaries between man and machine are blurring. Making our lives easier. Existing senses are being sharpened, and even new ones created. Additionally, our healthcare is shifting from cure to prevention.”
Internet In, On, and Around Our Bodies
VINT has identified six categories of “empathic things”; wearables, augmentables, surroundables, enchantables, swallowables, and biohackables (download a descriptive infographic at the end of the press release). These are defined by location – in, on, or around the body – and the types of data they receive and produce. Their variety underlines the pace of the current transition to a more empathic form of automation.
“This will undoubtedly be accompanied by a large number of failed market launches,” the authors commented. “Technological potential, social desirability and economic feasibility will ultimately determine whether intimate technology becomes a universal part of our daily lives. The old marketing mantra, ‘product, price, place, and promotion’ is still applicable. However, ‘place’ is replaced with ‘context’: understanding the client’s personal situation and mindset. Intimate technology makes that possible, so that empathy with the client becomes child’s play.”
Six Recommendations for Success in the Age of Empathic Things
Based on a series of future scenarios, VINT has formulated six recommendations for business success in the transition to intimate technology.
- Choose Digital First– Intimate technology adds a new digital layer to business practice. It makes interaction more personal, both internally and externally. New consumer data opens doors to new sales opportunities.
- Build Systems of Engagement– Static IT systems are a thing of the past. Dynamic empathic systems are the future. They create more value from the ecosystem than from the technology. And their open nature enables endless information sharing.
- Analyze Where Connectivity Adds Value – The power of empathic things only comes into its own once new, previous impossible connectivity is established. A forklift truck driver cannot work with a laptop on his knees. Digital glasses gives him the connectivity he needs.
- Build Better Knowledge Bases– Data has to be coupled with the right metadata to matter in the user’s specific context. The more data points you provide, the easier it is to retrieve the right information, in the right way, at the right time.
- Build Bridges between Early Adopters and Mainstream Users– Buy a limited number of specific empathic things, let employees use them actively, and encourage them to share their experiences with co-workers.
- Look After Privacy– Data has never been so personal. And so privacy has never been so important. Be clear about how you use data and what information each detail will provide. Ensure that people retain control of their own data. Make privacy part of the design.
The Internet of Things Series
Empathic Things is the second in a four-part series of Internet of Things reports from VINT. The first was published in the fall of 2013, under the title Things – Internet of Business Opportunities. The next, Industrial Internet, due for release this spring, will describe how autonomous sensor-based networks can further automate production processes and chains. The final report in the series will be Smart Cities, looking at the future for high-tech home and living environments.
The VINT authors of Empathic Things are Sander Duivestein, Thomas van Manen and Erik van Ommeren. They are also working on the next two reports.
Sogeti is a leading provider of technology and software testing, specializing in Application, Infrastructure and Engineering Services. Sogeti offers cutting-edge solutions around Testing, Business Intelligence & Analytics, Mobile, Cloud and Cyber Security, combining world class methodologies and its global delivery model, Rightshore®. Sogeti brings together more than 20,000 professionals in 15 countries and has a strong local presence in over 100 locations in Europe, USA and India. Sogeti is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cap Gemini S.A., listed on the Paris Stock Exchange. For more information please visit www.sogeti.com.
The Sogeti trend lab VINT (Vision – Inspiration – Navigation – Trends) is a part of SogetiLabs, a network with Sogeti’s top technology leaders around the world, always have an eye on the horizon looking for evolutions driven by new technology. In recent years VINT did research into Open Source Innovation and Crowd Sourcing (2006), Social Media (2008), Crisis and Paradigm Shift (2010), The App Effect (2012), The Connected Workforce (2013) and Big Data (2013). VINT was set up in 1994 and has to date published more than 10 books and a large number of video productions. For more information please visit www.sogeti.com/vint.