In a great presentation at Web Directions South 11, Mike Kuniavsky explored the curious revolution of ubiquitous computing. Embedding powerful information processing technology into anything is becoming so cheap that it’s almost free and the implications of this are huge.
The cloud and uber portable computers (i.e. your phone) are just the tip of the iceberg. Kuniavsky:
“when something becomes cheap enough, when cost passes a certain tipping point, it quickly joins the toolkit of things we create our world with.”
This translates into fascinating world views for consumers. Now the successful UX of a brand begins with continuity of experience across all devices. Kuniavsky argues that these devices are no longer perceived as valuable in their own right, but rather in the access to services that they provide. A device, such as a mobile phone, are more valuable to the consumer as a portal through which brand and service clouds are accessed.
These perceptual changes are part of major shifts in how we interact with with our world, we are increasingly trying to reason with algorithms and adjusting our behaviors to them.
Kuniavsky has kindly posted up his keynote speech, a highly recommended read: Unintended consequences. Design [in/for/and] the age of ubiquitous computing.