The widespread rush into internet-enabled devices provides proof positive that the future is now, at least as was imagined back in 1990 when a piece of toast was cooked to perfection by an internet enabled Sunbeam toaster. As companies look to create new brand experiences through connected devices consumers are left to determine if these devices truly simplify tasks and solve problems as opposed to hawking technology for technology’s sake alone.
A complicated user experience can generally go one of two ways: consumers tend to deal with difficult devices they consider essential – laptops, tablets, phones – whereas overly complex “non-essential” products may end up in a basement box where old, troublesome devices go to die. Designs that resolve underlying technologies to a nearly invisible state complemented by
communications clearly outlining the value proposition tend to live on as a “how did I live without…”
A recent example: General Tool & Instruments is marketing a new line of smart phone connected
measuring devices at Lowe’s. These precision measuring tools, under the ToolSmart™ brand are
designed to capture and record precise measurements, eliminating over or under ordering home
or commercial project materials due to lost, incorrect or unreadable notes.
Group 4 was engaged to design the packaging for ToolSmart and its debut in Lowe’s
Innovation end-cap display. Skilfully integrated packaging graphics and structures
stage the product with strong visual cues, icons and simplified use and benefit statements.
Here the packaging helps bridge the gap between promise and purchase, a key link in
the overall user experience.
Read the case study here…
In a recent Gartner IoT forecast*, it’s estimated that by 2020, more than 21 billion things
will be connected to the internet with as many as 500 networked devices in the typical home.
Hard to say if connected toasters will be among them but it’s not hard to imagine a good
number will be found in tool drawers, benches and belts.
*”Gartner Says 6.4 Billion Connected “Things” Will Be in Use in 2016″
Gartner IoT Forecast, Nov. 2015