Friday, November 24, 2006

Devices Phone Home?

There is a (now infamous) scene in the movie Office Space, where the boys take the office printer out for a little drive.... and beat the hell out it.... Who hasn't wanted to do this a printer, especially in the days when a printer just wouldn't tell you what was wrong with it. Well, they tried putting in all kinds of error messages so that we could fix it ourselves, but at the end of the day, we pretty much wanted to know when the nice man with the white shirt and shiny shoes was going to turn up and make it all better again. Of course, that was predicated on the guy actually knowing that something was wrong with the device in the first place. Patricia Seybold makes a good point about making products ready for phone interaction. If you think about it, there is no reason why messages from devices cannot be processed into a series of interaction rules that you specify. A simple paging or sms alert to the appropriate sales person might get you there to some degree. But for really tight service, wouldn't you want field service to get a call, accept the "gig to fix it", book an appointment, etc. etc. all in an entirely traceable way?

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1 comment:

Patty said...

Hi Paul,
Thanks for the link. While my "phone home" idea was really about having the device itself contact an application via the Net in order to kick off a process (e.g., order more ink, now!), I love your idea of adding human interaction into the process. I can think of lots of examples, including the one I just cited, in which I'd want to have a quick chat with someone to confirm my replenishment order and perhaps to ask a question...


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