Think about how many different mobile applications you need to check in the morning: one app to check the traffic on the way to work, another one for today’s weather, and probably several more for your email inbox and social networks. More and more, our digital lives are becoming separated into different silos before we even get out the door. The problem is that these separate digital experiences are missing out on crucial data and common interactions that can simplify and enhance our everyday lives.
Here at Coveo we spend a lot of time thinking about how these “unified interactions” could enrich our lives and make the intersection of our virtual and analog experiences more seamless. By unifying our experiences across many different digital platforms, we believe that we can make our lives a little bit easier.
We asked some of our employees what they could hope, in the not-so-distant future, to see when it comes to unified interactions making a difference in their lives. Without further ado, here are some of our best thoughts on the future of relevant digital experiences!
I can imagine unified interactions making the biggest difference for my running routine. Before I go for a run, I usually have to check the weather, decide the length of my run, plan my route accordingly, and pick out a playlist, which means planning the whole experience across several different applications.
Intuitive, unified, and targeted suggestions would be fantastic. By analyzing my distance trends (my distance increases throughout the week), I would also like targeted suggestions that are aligned with my distance and calorie goals. If this hypothetical app can also suggest runs based on the weather, even better.
All of these could be further unified with my Spotify behaviour to suggest the perfect run playlist for me. Imagine: The right distance, weather, soundtrack, and route all proactively suggested daily. And who knows, maybe I could also get suggestions for new restaurants or recipes based on my ideal run prep and recovery.
As a busy working mom, I would love for my family’s “food chain” to be more connected. Since I am committed to home-cooking, healthy eating and as much farm-to-table as I can possibly support, I would love if my meal planning and recipe apps could be connected to my grocery ordering apps and have my fridge and freezer talk not only to me but to my favourite providers once certain supplies are getting low.
Noticing patterns in my family’s consumption of certain items would be very beneficial. Taco Tuesday would be so much more efficient! I hope that our local community food producers become more closely networked — cohorts of production based on seasonality of fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, eggs and meats would help greatly to drive a more localized food ecosystem.
The technology platforms are there to do this! There are great advances in pieces of the “food chain” but independent of each other. It’s time to connect the dots!
Here’s a real-life example: my brand new Mac doesn’t seem to have the appropriate ports where I can connect my trusty old USB mouse. I know, I work for a cutting-edge high tech company but there’s something about a good old fashioned mouse. Anyhow, I turned to their support site to figure out what kind of adapter I need. Once I got the information I was looking for, I head to their online store and was targeted with a recommendation… for a wireless mouse.
It would have been so great if their support site and their online store could communicate and exchange information about my query and automatically recommend what it was I was there for. Who knows, had they gotten the recommendation right the first time, I may have been so impressed with the experience that I would’ve bought something else… but instead I just left with my mouse, unimpressed.
In 2017, we finally introduced Alexa, cable, and a TV voice remote to the family household which allowed us to simplify our music playlists and TV programs. I was excited about having my “me time” away from the family every Saturday morning to watch “Premier League English Football” (soccer) with breakfast. However, just about every Saturday, I encounter inconsistencies with my voice remote calling up wrong programming by surfacing up “Premier League Darts” or “Premier Rugby” instead of my beloved football matches! I find myself manually combing through the TV menu to find my football as my breakfast cooks. I don’t like wasting time: it’s not just the time spent searching for the right programme, it’s also the chance of missing a goal while my eggs overcook!
In a unified, perfect world, my smart TV would pick up my patterns for watching my favorite teams and recommend the best available matches and channels at the right time. Alexa would be my plan B and override or correct me for using the wrong terminology when speaking into my remote and tell me when my breakfast is ready! The Premier League is efficient in starting their matches on time and is almost non-stop for a full 90 minutes with very little advertising. If only my watching experience could be as seamless as the Premier League matches!
My iPhone knows common routes I take to get home and tells me the traffic and estimated time of arrival (they do that today). But what I’d really love is if my Starbucks app and Maps app worked together in order to inform my preferred Starbucks location that I left my house and that I was headed in their direction. That way, the unified Maps and Starbucks experience could ask me, “Looks like you’re heading toward a Starbucks, would you like to place your normal Starbucks mobile order?” I could then reply “Yes,” to which Siri would respond: “your venti mocha will be ready for pick up in 8 minutes.”
It’s easy to see how unified interactions could improve our everyday lives but it’s also particularly beneficial in the workplace. Our expectations and behaviors as consumers carry over into our professional lives and as a result, we expect to find what we need when we need it while on the job. A recent post from Coveo founder and CTO, Laurent Simoneau, explains how unified interactions are transforming digital experiences and what that means for businesses in today’s day and age.
How could unified interactions contribute to your everyday life, either at home or at work? Feel free to get in touch with us on Twitter.