Drop Out Of Design School And Enroll In Hogwarts

As I'm heading back from Downtown Austin, how I wish I could just throw what I'm starting to write from my phone to my laptop by simply waving at it like a magic wand. I can't, but it's really a matter of time.

It’s the age of The Internet of Things (IoT), one of the buzzwords of the moment around SXSW, and a lot has been spoken about the confusion, awkwardness and lack of focus on the overall approach to it. There are obviously amazing, awe-inspiring realizations of the concept out there, but there could be more, and they could be better. We are, after all, living in an era of magic, and designers must start thinking of ourselves as wizards.

More specifically like a Dumbledore-type of seasoned wizards, those who write the spell books. User experience on the Internet of Things is simply figuring out the best way a spell can be cast.

Everyone already has their wands. Our smartphones are not as fancy as those from Ollivanders, but they have the power to enchant everything, and everything can already be magic from the go.

Evil witch Magic Mirror? Bilbo Baggin’s glowing sword? All of Disney’s Fantasia?

The list is endless and all of this fiction is no longer so far off when we talk about IoT. In fact, we can face it as a millennial archive of imagination and reference for what can be done. A mirror that measures your body fat? A knife that illuminates itself when it’s hot? A bunch of objects doing your stuff for you? You get my point.

But the true magic is in being physical. As the better interface - is no interface at all. We should free ourselves from the constraints of designing essentially for screens. In the end, humans shouldn’t spend as much time interacting with interfaces, as interacting with each other.

To quote Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
That says it all, but there’s no need to fear the new. Thinking visually about not having an actual screen is scary, but also very exciting. We can break the mold and take visual solutions from our designs to the real world.

The beauty of IoT is being able to amplify people and things, without overcomplicating or taking out the essence of anyone or anything. Helping disabled people get around, compensating any faults or troubles we may have, and enchanting everyday objects so they can be used way more efficiently. Maybe they could talk to us too - I wouldn’t mind that.

It’s time to bring our inner Spielberg… or Tolkien, Disney, Rowling, whoever fits you, out there, and step into the unknown. There will be mistakes, as any magical spell can end horribly, but I believe in the end we will build wonders.

Much of this was inspired by the amazing speech of Josh Clarks from Global Moxie, along some other really interesting insights from IoT keynotes across SXSWi.

#diogopace #SXSW #SouthXMRM #InternetofThings #Thereables #IoT #Magic #HarryPotter

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