In the olden days when cars first hit the road, they were called “horseless carriages”. The reason was simple. Folks had no other point of reference to understand what a car would do – they were carriages without the horses. It took a long time before the various and incredible possibilities that cars offer became more apparent.
So these days, we think of computers as things that well, compute. They are computational tools. And computers do compute. But we are just starting to realize that they could do many other things too. Most important, they can make us all more creative.
They do that to a limited extent now. But too often, those designing uses for computational power think of computers as a way for them to give solutions to us. They should be thinking of computers as empowering us to do stuff that goes way beyond the programming itself.
Freddie Mini argues that this is where the new product ideas for the internet of things will emerge. Not just more functionality, so that our refrigerator can talk to our smartphone, but more tools that allow us to create new uses for the fridge programming and the programming of everything else we connect with.