The best way to predict the future is often to invent it, so I’d like to encourage you to use this chart to invent the apps you’d most like to have at your disposal. You don’t actually to build them; odds are if you can dream them up, it won’t be long before someone else either: a.) Builds them, or b.) Makes them so easy for you to build, you do it between dinner and desert.
Work from left to right, and start with Identify. Focus your attention on anything of importance to you, and figure out what you’d like a service to be able to identify instantly for you. This chart includes many possibilities that are already possible, like identifying a flight, but we have just begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible. You could start small, with something like the ideal next Scrabble move, or aim high and conceive of a service that could locate your soulmate.
Next, how do you want it to Differentiate these selections? This is where you ought to feel like a kid in a candy store, because the ability to recognize patterns in data is growing so powerful, it often feels like magic. Give some thought to the ways in which you want to be able to sift through all the possibilities to find the ones that are perfect for you, at any give moment. To continue the Scrabble example, perhaps you are playing your 17-year-old daughter by phone and do not wish to make it obvious you are cheating, so you want not the best Scrabble moves, but ones that are just good enough for you to barely squeak out a victory?
Third, tell us what happens next. Do you want to Interact with the results through some boring set of numbers or figures? Perhaps you might like to have the data surround you, in exquisitely beautiful images? If you chose the soulmate search, pictures and videos would be nice (at the very least.) For example, here’s a piece of fiction I wrote about a Soulmate app. This stage – Interaction – is ripe for dramatic innovation. It is also the realm of customer experience, the next big competitive battleground for companies.
Finally, our world is all about learning. How would you like future Customization to be impacted by this experience? You might value your privacy, and choose “not at all.” But most people crave intelligent interactions, and it would be wonderful if each of us – and our tools – get smarter as we go through life.
Look around. The world is your playground. What do you want to do next?