Last month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas featured a flood of new connected devices catering to needs as diverse as entertainment, personal security, home energy efficiency and biometric monitoring. Each of these devices is intended to improve its owner’s quality of life — but it’s easy to imagine being surrounded by a cloud of these “helpful” personal devices, all simultaneously sounding their alarms, experiencing chaos instead of calm. We can find ways to streamline how connected objects communicate and cooperate, how they connect and stay connected to the cloud, and how they use the capabilities of the cloud to create the maximum benefit for the user. Here are a few considerations that designers working on the next generation of connected objects should ponder, to be sure that their devices create calm and not chaos.
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