As part of our Future of Home Living Series, PSFK Labs reached out to experts to get their take on the changes we’ve identified that are driving the evolution of the home. We recently caught up with Mike Milley, Designer and Global Director of Samsung’s Lifestyle Research Lab. Read our chat with Mike below to hear more about how new technologies are changing the way we consume entertainment.
What are the big technology shifts that will change the way entertainment and information will be shared throughout the home? How far away are we from cutting the cord?
Pervasive, networked displays are enabling information and entertainment to follow the user around the home, but there is still a value for the big screen/shared experience. This is a legacy that will not be going away anytime soon–as social animals, we love watching TV together, even though we are more likely to be layering our togetherness with an individual/satellite display on which we are having a parallel private experience. The saturation of personal/portable devices is enabling “alone together” experiences, which obviate the argument over “who drives” because now there’s a screen for everyone.
As content proliferates, on-demand models are becoming a more efficient mode of media consumption-why pay for 500 channels if I only watch 15?
With the explosion of sensor-embedded objects that have moved from simple wearables to products for the home, how does that impact our daily life and routines? What are the benefits of all that data?
We are increasingly using this data to be smarter about decisions: helping us to meet our goals of being healthier, more economic and more efficient. Successful products/services/experiences will be those that help us turn information into knowledge, visualizing data so that it becomes meaningful/actionable.
When technology becomes more anticipatory and responsive, how does that change our relationship to our homes? What is the balance between human input and HAL from 2001?
Above all, people want at-home experiences to be effortless: we are tired of having to work so hard to set up and optimize devices that are supposed to make our lives easier. The big benefit of sensor-generated data is the effortlessness by which a system can learn user preferences. As systems and services track/monitor/process the data we generate, they will become better at anticipating our needs, and ultimately evolve from passive tools to proactive partners. A system that senses my behaviors/stats and learns my needs can save me the effort of having to actively customize it.
All this surveillance/monitoring gives us a sense of more control at home, but is only valuable when the output is usable/actionable. Data becomes useful when it is properly visualized and analyzed based on the user or context. Otherwise it just contributes to the data flood that threatens to overwhelm us.
Responsive technologies can also provide a better way to filter and prioritize content and information, ensuring that only the most relevant content comes to the fore.
Consumers expect the highest hi-tech from mobile devices and displays, but are pretty conservative when it comes to appliances. They still want a bit of heritage/authenticity in the kitchen. Analog PUIs are considered the most premium, and are favored as the most nuanced way to control cooking appliances, for example. The long product lifecycle of appliances makes consumers skeptical of flashy technological features that could quickly become outdated.
What do you see as the next big trend(s) urban living and why is this important?
Urbanization is a massive global trend which has 2 key impacts:
- smaller living spaces. The rise of the micro apartment creates new kinds of needs for more space-efficient living: tools and objects that are portable/modular/storable; spaces that are multi-use and easy to reconfigure/repurpose. As storage space decreases, we will increasingly rely on more frequent shopping trips and instant-delivery services.
- increasingly high-density living drives opportunities for sharing and collaboration as we negotiate more communal living arrangements. Access becomes more important than ownership
What are three things you’d put in your perfect home or apartment?
- Organized and ample physical storage
- Ultra high speed wireless network
- Obnoxiously large visual display
PSFK has announced the latest in a series of trend reports. Following studies into retail, social media, gaming, work and mobile, the PSFK Labs consulting team have generated the Future of Home Living report. That report manifests as a free summary presentation, an in-depth downloadable PDF and an exhibition in New York City that runs to August 16.
RSVP below to take a tour of the exhibition at 101W15th.