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Posted by Sarah Rotman Epps on October 17, 2012
Clients frequently ask me about the big picture: How is consumer computing changing, and what’s coming next? My new Forrester report, published today, takes on that question. It’s called “Smart Body, Smart World,” and it describes the paradigm shift in computing that we see happening now. Computing has evolved from the mainframe to the desktop to the shoulder bag to the pocket, and now computing is taking over new frontiers: Our physical bodies and the physical environments we inhabit.
When we look at new, sensor-laden devices (SLDs) like the larklife or Progressive Snapshot,we see the beginnings of a new phase of personal computing that will transform the way we live and work. Sensor-collected data, when combined with intelligence and advice, will influence our decision-making and self-expression in domains as diverse as health, finance, shopping, navigation, relationships, work, and communication. SLDs could take any shape; in this report, we talk about them in two broad categories:
Wearables collect data about our physical bodies; embedded devices collect data about the physical environments we inhabit. When we use the data collected by these devices to make information-enhanced decisions, we create a paradigm we call “smart body, smart world.” It’s hard to overstate how different our lives will be when the smart body, smart world paradigm is in full force. For consumers, effects are likely to be positive and negative: With more information and guidance, humans can make more “rational” decisions, but if we’re always listening to our devices we may experience less spontaneity too. For product strategists, designing for more simpatico human-device interactions means that:
There’s a lot more to say about this topic; I encourage clients to read our report and get in touch if you’d like to discuss it further.