Putting the User Back in Control

Connected and connection-ready devices are becoming commonplace, from Nest’s thermostat and Philips’ Hue lightbulbs to Amazon’s voice-controlled Echo, to connected cars. All of these, however, communicate only in branded silos. Services like IFFTT tried to breach the silos by letting users set up their own connections – combinations, however, were limited to pre-selected products and programs.

Reality Editor is a project from MIT research aiming to put the user fully in control of how devices communicate, its potential limited only by users’ imaginations (and sensibleness).


In a recently released demo, we see devices being identified by designated glyphs, which brings up an interface allowing users to draw connections and define actions – between a lamp and a chair, a car’s dashboard knobs and a thermostat, or between all four.

A system like Reality Editor heralds connected devices being useful instead of usable – and brands should take note that this is achieved by putting the user back in the driver’s seat.


Spotted by Johannes Hinrich Meyer, Strategist, FCB Inferno