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Social Machines: How to Develop Connected Products That Change Customers' Lives

Social Machines: How to Develop Connected Products That Change Customers' Lives

Peter Semmelhack

ISBN: 978-1-118-47168-5

Apr 2013

245 pages

Out of stock



Companies like Facebook and Twitter have redefined social interaction. But what if “machines” like automobiles, bicycles, health monitors, appliances, instruments, and anything else you can connect to the Internet, could all become members of your social network, collect data you care about, and feed it back to you at just the right time? Nike+ is already doing this for your body, but every major industry, from healthcare to cars to home construction, is now building sensors and digital connectivity into their next generation of products. Companies like Ford, Pepsi, Verizon, and Procter and Gamble are also using “social machines” to reach new markets, improve brand/market awareness, and increase revenues. Social Machines is the first book for business people, marketers, product developers, and technologists, explaining how this trend will change our world, how your business will benefit, and how to create connected products that customers love.

  • Explains how smart phones and tablets enable Social Machines
  • Describes how digital technology is being “baked in” to the most unlikely new products—even wheelchairs.
  • Articulates how the “Internet of Things” is becoming social—and why that’s the foundation for powerful new business models

In the very near future, every great new product will be social. The next stage of interaction between people and our environment is upon us.

Acknowledgments ix

Part I Social Machines: An Overview 1

Chapter 1 Introduction 3

Chapter 2 A Social Internet of Things 11

Chapter 3 Why Social Networks Must Evolve 21

Everything Will Get Connected 23

Everything Will Get Smarter 29

Everything Will Get Social 30

We’re Running Out of Humans! 33

Chapter 4 Social Machines and the Future of Humankind 35

Part II Every Product Is a Platform: Rethinking Product Design in the Age of Connectedness 47

Chapter 5 Overview 49

Chapter 6 A Brief History of Abstraction 53

Chapter 7 Social Product Design 65

Connected versus Social 68

Example 1—The Weather Station 73

Example 2—Wheelchairs and Hand Sanitizers 80

Example 3—The Social Bicycle 84

Chapter 8 Avatars and the Social Seven: Unique Characteristics of Social Machines 99

The Social Seven—Overview 102

The Social Seven—Details 105

Chapter 9 Spheres of Use, or Why Your New Product Should Do Things You Never Envisioned 117

Part III The Business of Social Machines 121

Chapter 10 Introduction 123

People Sharing Things 125

Things Sharing Data 130

Chapter 11 How to Build a Business Using Social Machines 137

Retrofit Model 139

Built-in Model 142

Chapter 12 My Customer’s Customer Is My Customer: The Beauty of a Social Value Chain 149

Chapter 13 The Art of Social Pricing 153

Part IV Getting Started 157

Chapter 14 Design Requirements: What Does It Take to Design and Build a Social Machine? 159

But First, a Quick Story. . . 161

How Do I Make My Product Social? 167

Retrofi t Model 183

Built-in Model 185

Chapter 15 Getting There from Here 189

Part V Scenarios 195

Chapter 16 Smart Home 197

Chapter 17 Retail 203

Chapter 18 Transportation 211

Chapter 19 Finance 217

Chapter 20 Health and Wellness 223

Part VI Resources 229

Index 235