I have a dream: Connected World

Miljenko Baković - Feb 22, 2024 12:16:08 PM

Nowadays, everything around us is "connected," and it seems like every type of device has a version that includes some form of connectivity feature — from household appliances and wearables to various tools and machines. While many of these connected features add value for users or manufacturers (since data is incredibly valuable), there are instances where connectivity simply serves to generate extra profit. In such cases, the price of the device can hardly be justified because the added value over its lifetime is minimal. 

But does it have to be this way? Imagine if these devices were part of a larger connected ecosystem, where all devices work together to provide a seamless digital experience for their users. Could that seemingly small added value become a crucial component of a larger system?

The primary issue in today’s connected world is the lack of interconnectivity among devices. It’s quite ironic — despite all the connectivity and data, devices often operate independently, which significantly limits the possibilities.
The smart home industry recognizes this problem and is working towards greater collaboration among manufacturers to offer users an enhanced, seamless digital experience.

However, this effort typically ends at your doorstep. Once you leave your home, the integration ends. Your vehicle, the traffic infrastructure, and your office (along with all its devices) remain unaware of your movements unless you manually inform them, for example through your smartphone.

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The vision of a truly connected world isn’t about having a multitude of devices working in isolation or a semi-connected manner but about creating a network where everything is always interconnected. With advancements in AI, the possibilities that this kind of network could provide are endless.

Imagine waking up to a smartwatch that automatically signals your smart home system to start heating your apartment, brew your coffee just right, and queue up news tailored to your interests on your TV. As you prepare to leave for work, your smart home system recognizes this and informs your car to warm up and prepare the best route to avoid traffic, based on real-time traffic information. Your office heating system is also notified at some point about your arrival and adjusts the temperature in optimal moment. Your morning office coffee or tea? It’s ready just as you walk in. 

There are some great initiatives starting to address these use cases, as the one between Hyundai, Kia and Samsung where they are inter-connecting smart homes with vehicles. But we need more, much more, to fully leverage all those connected devices out there.

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Taking it one level further, imagine if the electricity grid could anticipate your energy needs by knowing all of this, or if traffic infrastructure could dynamically adjust to improve traffic flow and reduce accidents. What if every aspect of our daily lives worked together seamlessly in the background, requiring minimal human intervention, and allowing us to focus on what truly matters? 

The impact on our lives would be huge — more time with loved ones, a significant positive effect on the environment by optimizing energy use, the convenience of not having to manage countless tasks daily and much more…

Of course, there are significant privacy and security concerns that are and must be further addressed along the way. Nobody said it will be easy, but I believe we will get there, sooner or later.

This is how I envision the real connected world.

It’s a privilege to be able work on some aspects of these challenges in my professional career at Reeinvent, where we strive to unleash the full potential of connected devices. If you’d like to discuss this further, feel free to reach out to me - I would really like to hear more on your view of connected world.

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