With the rise of AI, machine learning and data analytics and the rising success of tech-based start-ups we could be forgiven for believing that businesses of the future are moving away from human beings and closer to a world where technology is the hero. However, a recent analysis by Untapped has shown some fascinating examples from the ‘insight interface’ – where unarticulated human needs and breakthrough technology have unlocked big, new business ideas. Here’s a round-up of some of our favourites:
The Climate Corporation
David Friedberg and his team devised a weather prediction algorithm initially for the insure-tech industry, but as they observed the actual behaviours of how their data was being used by their customers, they noticed that a significant number of farmers were using the weather prediction model as an ‘ag-tech decision support tool’ for crop planning. Listening to David’s advice on the Future Food podcast, he says “ask your customer what is their biggest problem that they are facing, and then innovate a way to solve for that, don’t ask them what they need”.
Pixie Dust Technologies
In a recent article for Forbes about technology and empathy, Pixie Dust technologies, a Tokyo based business, has developed a ‘SOUND HUG’ for people with hearing and other physical disabilities. It is a large sphere with built-in speaker and LED technology that converts sound waves into real time vibrations and illuminations of different colours. “Our company is focused on ‘Digital Nature,’ in other words merging technology with everyday life in a natural way,” says Aiko Kuroda, director of business development at Pixie Dust Technologies. The Japan Philharmonic Orchestra have now used the device to allow hearing-impaired people enjoy music through haptic and visual stimulation as it allows people to ‘listen with their whole body’.
Collaboration Between Giorgia Lupi & Other Stories
Giorgia Lupi is an information designer and passionate advocate for Data Humanism. Through a recent collaboration with Scandi fashion brand & Other Stories she has transformed data visualisation into hand drawn prints for a new fashion collection. “Simply put, we wanted to use data to tell stories. But more specifically, through analysis and research, we extracted data creating beautiful visualisations to represent the life achievements of three female science trailblazers”.
So what are the 3 lessons we can learn from the insight interface between humans and tech?
- Observe actual human behaviours to elicit unarticulated needs and use your tech to solve for these needs,
- Consider all the ways you can design in ‘user-empathy’ features into your tech-based product or service,
- Ensure your proposition has a human narrative. Design these story elements into your tech from the start.
Do get in touch if you would like to discuss how the insight interface between humans and tech could take your business idea to the next level.