Jawbone EXO Ecosystem is an interdisciplinary design effort that spans many specialties like product, interaction and strategic design. A vision, not only for creating new devices, but to build an entire new strategic tool for a company to innovate in the long run and explore a whole new range of possibilities in the way people interacts with technologies.

Jawbone Exo Ecosystem by Fabio Besti

More than a decade ago cameras were integrated into devices that had nothing to do with photography: cellphones. Today another change of paradigm is happening: sensors are entering in products we wear. A blue ocean of new design possibilities is ready to be fully navigated. In this scenario there’s no more reason to create the umpteenth cool wearable device that will remain a rendering on kickstarter. Probably it’s far wiser to focus on creating a tool that will allow a company to start an innovation process to succeed in the long run. An ‘environment’ where products, softwares and experiences can grow together, shaping the future of wearable devices. In the next years we will find an increasingly smaller and invasive technology and therefore it will necessarily have to interact with the body in a far more subtle way. How is it possible? Well, a good point will be starting to not use the already overloaded visual channels, capitalizing on the other hand on new possibilities to transfer informations to the body. This will have to be a technology able to respect the sensory nature of the self. A self that won’t be just ‘quantified’, but whose natural possibilities will be implemented and augmented by sensors and processor over or even underneath our skin.

Jawbone EXO Ecosystem by Fabio Besti. Politecnico di Milano_products

Technology product design is often about ephemeral things that get old in very short time. Exo Ecosystem is not about simple wearable devices, it is a strategic tool for a company. It’s about the creation of an environment, where products, ideas, applications and user’s community can grow and evolve together. Exo by Jawbone is its first component.

In the future, what wearables will do will be decided by apps (as happens for smartphones today). This is why Exo products don’t have pre designed functions. They are concepts that want to point out the necessity of wearables to evolve from something that just ‘quantifies’ the body, into something able to communicate intimately with it and sensing things itself. Wearables in the future will be an external artificial 6th sense. An ‘Exo’ sense.

The creation of an active community is one of the most important aspects for a company’s success. Jawbone Platform does more than that as it lets the community shape the innovation for wearables. Its 3D body navigator lets users conceive projects directly on a virtual body. In order to innovate we need to start focusing on the body itself and to do so we also need different professionals to cooperate. Projects are described and developed through the cooperation of professionals in 3 main different fields. 1) Body functions (medicine and biology) 2) Ways to measure the body (hardware equipments). 3) Ways to transfer informations to the body (hardware equipments). As people works on a single project, its advancement affects the entire ecosystem towards two directions: first of all describing which hardware components need to be integrated in devices and second, it lays the bases for the development of a mobile app that will control the hardware.

Jawbone EXO Ecosystem by Fabio Besti. Politecnico di Milano_Apps

After projects are evaluated in the platform, they are converted in wearable apps. For example, in a project on body language in the Jawbone Platform psychologists pointed out which kind of gestures are important to be monitored, technology experts suggested ways to capture gestures and ways to transmit direct instructions (using vibrations) to the body. The phone screen could help to visualize body language patterns and behaviors. Other possible apps could be a sensory navigator, maps that give directions not through a screen but buzzing users’ arm. Or the Body Empathy app, with wearable devices capable of capturing emotions and sharing them though sensory notifications based on temperature. Even the other 4 senses beside sight are important channels through which technology can transfer informations, we will use them more and more in the future of technology.

To see an extended version of the project please click here