Global Constant
Steve Nay's ramblings

Value in the "Internet of Things"

Phil Windley has a great article titled “Personal Event Networks: Building the Internet of Things.” His discussion of value is insightful:

The customer sees more value in products that cooperate than in products that are merely online.

The reason I bought a Kindle 2 when the Nook had arguably more enticing hardware is because of how the device was connected–it had the Amazon ecosystem backing it, and it integrated well with some other things like Facebook and Twitter. I never even considered the Sony ereader because it was just an ereader with no connection outside itself.

All the same, I wish my Kindle updated Goodreads for me–that would give me a lot of value. Instead, I have to enter my progress manually in Goodreads, and copy and paste quotes I want to share. The services don’t talk to each other. Reading ten pages on the Kindle ought to be enough for Goodreads to update my progress, rather than requiring it to be a discrete action. This leads to another of Phil’s points:

Note that I'm not using the app to plan the trip, I'm using the product—the GPS—but the app sees the events from the GPS and the car and links them together. This is an important distinction because the product, naturally, is the locus of my activity. Rather than forcing the user to interact through a phone interface in a video game-like virtual world, I merely use products as they were intended. The UX is the natural interactions I have with things in my life.

(emphasis added)

An event network is the best model to enable these kinds of interactions. The Kindle needn’t implement the Goodreads API; it could just raise events. Then I can use a language like KRL to glue it together with Goodreads.