Dan Gärdenfors ponders how to handle “leadership conflicts” in IoT devices:
In future smart homes, many interactions will be complex and involve combinations of different devices. People will need to know not only what goes on but also why. For example, when smart lights, blinds and indoor climate systems adjust automatically, home owners should be able to know what triggered it. Was it weather forecast data or the behaviour of people at home that made the thermostat lower the temperature? Which device made the decision and told the others to react? Especially when things don’t end up the way we want them to, smart objects need to communicate more, not less.
As we introduce more sensors, services, and smart gadgets into our life, some of them will inevitably collide. Which one “wins”? And how do we as users see the winner (or even understand that there was a conflict in the first place)?
UX design gets complicated when you introduce multiple triggers from multiple opinionated systems. And of course all those opinionated systems should bow to the most important opinion of all: the user’s. But even that is complicated in a smart-home environment where there are multiple users who have changing needs, desires, and contexts throughout the day. Fun!