Hardware, Software & the Internet of Things
June 23–25, 2015 • San Francisco, CA

Interacting with a world of connected objects

Tom Coates (Thington Inc.)
5:25pm–6:05pm Wednesday, 06/24/2015
Location: Cowell Theater (Herbst Pavilion)
Average rating: ***..
(3.94, 18 ratings)

Prerequisite Knowledge

Primarily, this talk is for people trying to work out what direction the UI and interaction layer may go in the near future, and to introduce them to a variety of patterns and ideas beyond the standard dashboard or app...


The network that over the past couple of decades has connected people to one other, to information, and to online entertainment is now spreading into the physical world, bringing hundreds of millions of new objects online. Within a few years it may be impossible to buy an electrical device that does not come—by default—with internet connectivity and some kind of online or app-based service layer.

But in a near-future world in which all the objects and environments can belch out information all the time and take instructions over the air, how will we cope with the sheer amount of information—and how on earth are we going to interact with it?

In this talk, Tom will look out a little further than the object+app model and review some of the problems and possibilities that connected objects could bring into the world at scale, and some of the ways we might go about attempting to bring out their nature and value to everyone on the planet.

Photo of Tom Coates

Tom Coates

Thington Inc.

Tom Coates is co-founder of Product Club, a new product development and innovation company based in San Francisco. He’s also a writer and technologist focused on the shape of the web to come and on developing new products that thrive in it. He’s worked for many prominent companies including Time Out, the BBC, and Yahoo! where he was head of product for the Brickhouse innovation team. He’s most known for the Fire Eagle location-sharing service, and for his work on social software, future media, and the web of data.