The world as we know it has changed. As we acclimatise ourselves to the new normal, we find the need to cope with information overload. Thankfully, technology offers us remedies to face this challenge. Today, a plethora of products and platforms cater to a diverse consumer base. The widespread scope that devices have to offer has ensured that no one is left behind when it comes to staying connected. In fact, the synergy between software, services, and hardware offers us the ability to consume news, shop online, focus on work and productivity, and stay entertained in a seamless manner.
Connected devices: A unified experience
What ties these aspects of our life together is the Internet. The vast array of products and platforms available today have simplified our lives, while yet managing to complicate it a tad bit. It is a paradox thanks to technology again because it is a this-or-that choice when it comes to devices. Users should never have to choose one device over the other.
If you find yourself replying to an email from your smartphone, and say its battery runs out, you will switch over to your laptop or tablet. Efficient design commands that you must be able to switch, and continue on your next device, right where you left off. In this case, simply continue drafting your email on your laptop or tablet instead of starting all over again. Thanks to the Internet and the power of the cloud, such burdenless or unified experiences are a reality.
The software and hardware play
Optimised hardware and software in the connected ecosystem play a crucial role in ensuring a consistent experience. Consumers have unique experiential preferences. For example, while working on a Word document or PowerPoint presentation, a user may prefer the menu be dark instead of white. As minor as that may seem, it is a dealmaker or breaker for users. Even a minor tweak in user interfaces of popular services such as Facebook or Instagram become trending topics on social media these days.
These preferences are not isolated but tend to be holistic and extend across various device touchpoints consumers may experience. Through rigorous brainstorming customer preference, we have learnt that users always wish for a fast and fluid experience. To make this happen, hardware and software should effectively harness hardware advantages with optimised software that runs on it. A seamless integration between the two must offer unique experiences to the user.
Wide range of devices in an ecosystem
Although most of us are facing disruptions and work and interact remotely in the present, life will hopefully kickstart soon. As we find ourselves getting back, we should be able to gather ourselves from where we paused at the onset of the crisis.
Technology has evolved with time and adapted changing preferences to offer new possibilities. Devices play a major role in communication, productivity, utility, and entertainment. In a connected ecosystem, their use is not restricted to any specific application anymore. A television can double up as a work device, especially useful when working from home. If one has too many things on their plate, then a larger display would help make things easy to manage.
Similarly, users may not need to invest in a laptop when they get an expanded canvas to project their complex list of tasks and responsibilities during a workday. Similarly, fitness data from your wearable can power your smartphone app and talk to a health app or gym equipment, enabling customised health advice. This is where the industry is playing a major role, with an aim to offer ubiquitous experiences.
Intuitive design has put us at ease as devices are enabled to do all the hard work to make our life easy. By working in the background, the operating system is learning by itself to tell us what and how much to eat, how much to sleep, and how much to exercise. This background task saves us time to accomplish tasks that matter more, like spending time with our loved ones.
Advancements in technology and trends of the future will continue to enhance user experience by prioritising seamlessness and fluidity. These are exciting times for raising the bar and unlocking the true potential of technology via connected ecosystems that offer burdenless experiences.
Views are personal. The author is vice president and chief strategy officer, OnePlus India.