What happens when digital goes big?

Much of the digital revolution of the last decade has been small - small devices, personal services. What happens when it goes big - and transforms out businesses and cities?

For a while now, the focus of the digital evolution of our world has been on the small: smartphones, smart watches, apps and other small, personal things that inform our lives.

But what happens when digital goes big? When we’re not connecting our watches, but our urban infrastructure? What happens if farming is disrupted by technology (again)?

Here’s three things you should be thinking about:

  • Connected cities – what happens when our city infrastructures start getting connected and smart, as a result?
  • The Internet of Things in business – what happens when you bring pervasive internet connected objects into fields like, say, agriculture?
  • Connected products and services merge – one of the interesting facets of the digital revolution is that the line between product and service has been blurred, possibly for good. What does that mean for business?

These topics will also be in play for NEXT this Autumn – because co-curator Peter Bihr is already thinking hard about them. His latest blog post lists some of the key projects he’s working on that will inform NEXT15:

  • A research report for use by the German government will focus on connected cities: Implications, governance, data, responsiveness.
  • A longer-term research project about IoT in agriculture, which also happens to allow me to work with Alex/Designswarm, which is always a pleasure.
  • And of course ThingsCon, our conference about how to build connected services and products. Kind of a big collective meta take on the theme of connectedness, of plugging the internet into ._

Seven months to go…

Photo by Fabian Horst and used under a Creative Commons licence