VMSD - April 2017 - 17

"preparing your firms and

ensuring they understand the
immense impact technology
will have on all of us designers,
as well as consumers, will help
make sure the lights stay on in
the long run.

"

tures products and experiences that I'm not seeing in even the newest
designed spaces. It concerns me that there is apparently a widening
gap between our industry and the one that's introducing the next
iteration of the industrial revolution.
According to a 2016 IBM investor briefing, by 2020, there will be
an estimated 29 billion connected devices, and that's just the beginning. This year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the National
Retail Federation's (NRF) annual "Retail's Big Show" were both full of
devices that watch, track and adapt to the consumer. I talk to Apple's
Siri and my Amazon Fire device almost every day, yet is that kind of
technology being incorporated into our designs and practices? Don't
we have the responsibility as innovators and designers to bring to
bear these tools to create well-designed, tech-friendly spaces?
Look no farther than Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM. Like many in the
technology experience sector, I became fascinated with its Watson
computer when it debuted on "Jeopardy" in 2011. I'm amazed at how
often I'm now seeing the Watson logo pop up in various places, as if it
were any other well-established brand.
Just how prevalent is Watson in the lives of consumers? Also
stated in a 2016 IBM investor briefing, Watson ingests 100 terabytes
of new data every day; it connects to 2.2 billion locations and is
involved in between 15 to 26 billion API (application programming
interface) requests per day; and its new client base is growing yearto-year at an astonishing 72 percent.
Let's imagine what a Watson-assisted store design would look
like in terms of methodology: The design team receives an RFP
from a prospective client who wants to create a new food hall concept backed by a famous chef. Day one, the group tasked to develop
the proposal meets in the firm's "design intelligence center" to
review the project and ask Watson a series of questions. The studio
leader speaks openly to the neural net system. For example, "Watson, tell me about the chef and display her social media accounts,
comments from critics and images of her most popular dishes."

Within seconds, Watson could aggregate thousands of data points
to synthesize meaningful insights about the client's patrons.
Next, for the build site, designers could ask Watson to bring up
information about the location. Seconds later, the city records of San
Francisco (or wherever the site may be) are searched and the plan files
are acquired. But wait, the record says the curtain wall was redone
11 years ago, but no images are on file. What to do? The studio leader
could call their site inspection contractor who employs a worldwide
drone fleet. Within minutes, a pop-up alert could relay the drones into
position and provide live feeds and updated images of the building.
Moving on to the hypothetical design development phase, the
Revit model is taking shape. But the client has just indicated that the
chef now wants to add a cooking school and a raw food feature. In
the past, this kind of variation not only meant delays and additional
fees, but often a major rethink of the schematic phase. With AI, this
process is simplified, and the team assembles once again to tap into
a worldwide net of data, insights and metrics to update the model
immediately. In short, gone are the days of waiting for research and
sifting through papers.
Some of you may think this sounds like a science-fiction fantasy,
but I can assure you it's coming. Preparing your firms and ensuring
they understand the immense impact technology will have on all of
us designers, as well as consumers, will help make sure the lights stay
on in the long run. Gene Roddenberry of "Star Trek" fame was a true
visionary: In the '60s, he knew one day we'd be talking to devices to
facilitate our needs. And now, it's not about turning over decisions to
robots, but rather, more easily accessing the core aspect in the acronym "AI": intelligence. 

Brian is a partner at the digital agency REX (Beverly Hills,
Calif.) and CorbisGlobal (Manhattan Beach, Calif.). Follow
him on Twitter @briandyches.

vmsd.com

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april 2017

17


http://www.vmsd.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - April 2017

VMSD - April 2017
Contents
From the Editor
VMSD Editorial Advisory Board
The Goods
Next Store
Design Dynamos
A Little Goes a Long Way
Eat, Pray, Slay
Strike a Pose
Showroom
Ad Index
Checking Out
VMSD - April 2017 - Intro
VMSD - April 2017 - BB1
VMSD - April 2017 - BB2
VMSD - April 2017 - VMSD - April 2017
VMSD - April 2017 - Cover2
VMSD - April 2017 - 1
VMSD - April 2017 - Contents
VMSD - April 2017 - 3
VMSD - April 2017 - From the Editor
VMSD - April 2017 - 5
VMSD - April 2017 - VMSD Editorial Advisory Board
VMSD - April 2017 - 7
VMSD - April 2017 - 8
VMSD - April 2017 - The Goods
VMSD - April 2017 - 10
VMSD - April 2017 - 11
VMSD - April 2017 - 12
VMSD - April 2017 - 13
VMSD - April 2017 - 14
VMSD - April 2017 - 15
VMSD - April 2017 - Next Store
VMSD - April 2017 - 17
VMSD - April 2017 - 18
VMSD - April 2017 - 19
VMSD - April 2017 - Design Dynamos
VMSD - April 2017 - 21
VMSD - April 2017 - 22
VMSD - April 2017 - 23
VMSD - April 2017 - 24
VMSD - April 2017 - 25
VMSD - April 2017 - 26
VMSD - April 2017 - 27
VMSD - April 2017 - 28
VMSD - April 2017 - 29
VMSD - April 2017 - 30
VMSD - April 2017 - 31
VMSD - April 2017 - A Little Goes a Long Way
VMSD - April 2017 - 33
VMSD - April 2017 - 34
VMSD - April 2017 - 35
VMSD - April 2017 - Eat, Pray, Slay
VMSD - April 2017 - 37
VMSD - April 2017 - 38
VMSD - April 2017 - 39
VMSD - April 2017 - 40
VMSD - April 2017 - 41
VMSD - April 2017 - Strike a Pose
VMSD - April 2017 - 43
VMSD - April 2017 - 44
VMSD - April 2017 - 45
VMSD - April 2017 - 46
VMSD - April 2017 - 47
VMSD - April 2017 - Showroom
VMSD - April 2017 - 49
VMSD - April 2017 - 50
VMSD - April 2017 - Ad Index
VMSD - April 2017 - 52
VMSD - April 2017 - 53
VMSD - April 2017 - 54
VMSD - April 2017 - 55
VMSD - April 2017 - Checking Out
VMSD - April 2017 - Cover3
VMSD - April 2017 - Cover4
VMSD - April 2017 - DCover1
VMSD - April 2017 - DCover2
VMSD - April 2017 - D1
VMSD - April 2017 - D2
VMSD - April 2017 - D3
VMSD - April 2017 - D4
VMSD - April 2017 - D5
VMSD - April 2017 - D6
VMSD - April 2017 - D7
VMSD - April 2017 - D8
VMSD - April 2017 - D9
VMSD - April 2017 - D10
VMSD - April 2017 - D11
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