Nestor Bailey: Toby Boudreaux: Designing a Technological environment to bring people together


In an age of ubiquitous devices and sensors, privacy becomes an activity rather than a default state.
Source: „In anticipation of his presentation at the PSFK CONFERENCE 2014 we spoke with Toby Boudreaux, the CTO of Control Group who helped create the new MTA’s subway wayfinding kiosks. Read his thoughts below on how the universal Internet of Things is inevitable, but it will be a subtle reorganizing of our current world rather than a totally new one.
The most significant pattern I see lately is the embrace of peripherals and intelligent objects/spaces after a few years of heads-down mobile and tablet use.
Now, everything from our bathroom scales to our carbon monoxide detectors to our children’s toys are “smart” objects – coupled with phones or running their own operating systems and, often, multiple applications. Have smart objects always been around? Yes, sure. But now, they’re stealthily integrating, plugging together all the little gaps that apps and analogue allow. No single shiny product or solution is sticking up and standing out. Instead, a slow, simmering movement toward distributed, connected, micro-specialized computation is filling the product space that sites, then apps, have always dominated.
This is branded, “The Internet of Things” or, “The Internet of Everything” but I think it’s something wider, more varied, and more powerful than simply connectivity. It’s a diffusion of computational power away from the privileged pocket computer du jour to traditional objects that benefit from a CPU. It’s not necessarily about the Internet, or connectivity. Instead, it’s about recognizing that you can’t replace everything in your life with a mobile app, and embracing that dedicated physical objects and interfaces are usually better tools than touch screens. Everything has a brain, now, and everything is speaking relatively understandable languages.”

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