Nest was cool, but August is awesome. As we talk about the internet of things, I think about how this is a perfect execution of having something be “smart” but actually be useful as well – not just appealing to the geeks.
The beauty of August is that is plays on constructs that we already use in the digital realm ( permissions ) but makes them analog. In a way that has never been done before. And really, the key itself is an outdated concept. We have replaced it everywhere possible. This makes me think about homes and spaces in terms of those same digital terms – people crave contextual access.
Although the launch focused on homes, I think where this could really shine is with brands, guerilla marketing, and nightclubs. Pepsi came out with the like machine yesterday, which was impressive, but August is that on another scale. Imagine a brand telling you that you have an exclusive pass to the movies, or a VIP party, or a car. And these may not be the best examples, but what we really again are talking about here is access. What could you unlock that could provide a meaningful experience. And if we expand this handshake protocol to other types of mechanical actions, perhaps a lightswitch, or a valve, or a secret elevator floor, imagine what could be unlocked. What experiences we could create. In a world where digital and IRL are blurring, access to a new place could change your whole perspective.
In a world that craves exclusivity and scarcity – what power does a lock and key hold ? I think their are opportunities to move past surprise and delight here. I hope that other people are thinking this way as well. Past the physical to think symbolically about how this marries experiences, mobile, digital, and access.