The number of services experienced across multiple digital touch points is growing rapidly. Today many of them are essentially replication engines, enabling the same pieces of content to be accessed in a more or less optimised format on a range of devices.
Those engaged in the design of these experiences will soon find it evolves into a requirement for practitioners who think beyond replication and understand how multiple touch points combine into an experience greater than the sum of their parts.
Of the major handset manufacturers, it is Motorola which appears to have this strategic outlook closest to its heart. The evidence is clearly visible on its stand at MWC, where the connected home and multi-screen content across tablets, phones and TVs take centre stage.
The main focal point, however, is the Atrix. This device, unveiled earlier in the year at CES, re-designs the mobile experience in the context of its connections.
In an attempt to illustrate the principle, I’ve roughed out another digital sketch on my iPad:
This architecture diagram shows how the standard UI of the Atrix device (on the left-hand side) changes depending on what it is connected to and also drives secondary UIs on other displays (on the right-hand side).
For instance, if you drop the Atrix into its home media docking station, the mobile UI switches from small icons to big, easily accessible remote control buttons. It also drives a secondary UI on the connected home TV, running both from the processor core of the phone. A further dimension to the experience comes from the addition of a separate remote control accessory.
Similar UI changes occur when connected to the Atrix laptop dock or in-car docking station.
The implementation of these kind of UIs is clearly in its early stages and may have limited consumer appeal in the short-term. However, Motorola is building a strategic advantage by embedding this sort of architecture into its product development.
It will soon be a requirement for all digital devices – large or small – to understand what they are connected to and adjust elements of their experience in response.
This strategy should be at the heart of Motorola’s revival.