Ambient user experience occurs when various technology systems and devices—and the data gathered by them—seamlessly interact and adapt to user needs based on the context in which they are used. This may or may not require a human touch. Gartner, which produces technology research for global firms, named ambient user experience one of the top tech trends for 2016. Additional industry research predicts that the devices and sensors will be able to organize our lives subtly in the background without us knowing they are doing it. “So much so that it will become a part of our lives, and we may end up depending on it a great deal that we will wonder how we will function without it,” explains this Future Focus whitepaper from emids.
It may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but it’s closer to reality than you may think, especially considering the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Gartner defines IoT as “the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment.” Examples of these physical objects that make up IoT include wearable sensors that capture a patient’s biometric data, or tracking devices that can help hospitals keep track of patients. But the physical objects are only part of the solution. “Though the sensors by themselves have the capability to do a lot, they are still working in silos and the true potential of the data collected is not being tapped into,” the whitepaper notes.
This 2015 article from Deloitte University Press says to create a truly ambient experience, organizations need to stop focusing on the “things” side of the equation:
“Innovation comes from bringing together the parts to do something of value differently—seeing, understanding, and reacting to the world around them on their own or alongside their human counterparts,” the article notes.
It goes on to name capabilities that need to be in place in order for this to happen, including seamless integration of information that flows across proprietary systems and the ability to harness data collected by IoT-enabled objects to detect signals and predict impact.
Read our white paper to learn more about design for the ambient user experience.