Martin Deinoff and Frederick Marcus gave what has to be the most strange presentation I’ve seen at NEXT. The talk was nominally about making data central to product design.

You should bake technology into the product to make it better, they suggested. And there are several layers of data:

  1. Product
  2. Product data layer
  3. Extended service data layer.
  4. Organic data layer (social media)
  5. Broadcasting data layer

data layers in product development

So, a pair of scales with a WiFi chip (layer 2) apps and website (layer 3) and then tweets your weight (layer 4) – or connect to your doctor or your sports system…

Beware: The power of habits is strong, the habits of power possibly even stronger. (IE, your traditional management may be resistant to these concepts – there’s always golf to distract them – and you need to find ways of doing this that don’t need their permission)

But data is a two-way flow. You need to respect and understand the power of the user – something they never had before: time, media, tools, opinions and information. Time, for example, is time shifting of media consumption. Fredrik is a time-shifter, never watching TV when it’s broadcast. We chose to control media – like using comparison sites instead of going to a business’s site.

Frederick Marcus

Product development is all about utilising the power of digital technology. The levels of data we have now are new. There’s an ecosystem of data around every product in social networks and elsewhere. Price as a message (or absent message) is a problem – because people now have easy access to that information. Transparency is damn efficient. It is better to be good than to try and persuade people that you are good. Why are cars more integrated with the net? Spotify in the car – homepage linking to maintenance videos. Data about how you drive and your fuel consumption. Make it useful, and then you can integrate commerce around it. Integrate everything.

And then we went into a bizarre demo – of a teleport system mediated by your iPhone or iPad.

Martin Deinoff

The beaming app, you see was too technical, so people made mistakes, and so they went missing during the teleport.  So they had to back people up. Problem: old backups. Half a year old in some cases – kids had grown, wife left… Half a year of work to catch up to. Solution: Instant backup.

How interesting is it to see Foursquare and Gowalla in Facebook? Not very… Now you’re beaming it is very, very interesting….

And then they demoed beaming a mouse live on stage. Uh, wait for the video. It might make sense then…