Enabling design through technology

The new Nest thermostat has been praised the entire Tuesday. Everybody talks about its simplicity, its beauty. How this product will be the “iPhone of thermostats” (hell, it even was designed by one of the original designers of the iPhone!) It really is a marvellous piece of design, but this was only made possible by the incredible technology inside (for a thermostat).

Underneath that shiny metal and glass lies a plethora of sensors, chips and controllers. Sensors to check for activity inside your house and temperature. Chips for WiFi and advanced AI controllers to learn about your home’s climate. This technology enabled the designers to create a device that didn’t require manually setting temperature schedules. It is technology that makes it possible to reduce the complexity for the user. This exact device couldn’t been built 5 years ago.

Designers craft the interface between humans and technology, but it is the technology that exposes possibilities and imposes restrictions that limit the design of the device..