IHA spent time speaking with Kevin Young from Continuum about his upcoming presentation at the 2017 International Home + Housewares Show. At the Show, the Innovation Theater will feature 21 presentations over four days covering topics ranging from new product design to the smart home.
Continuum is a global innovation design firm, whose work is informed by the needs, desires and aspirations of people: customers, patients, citizens and those who make client organizations work. Headquartered in Boston, with offices in Los Angeles, Milan, Seoul and Shanghai, Continuum brings to every project a global perspective with world-class capabilities and local sensibilities. Continuum operates with a collective purpose of making a difference—in people’s lives and in clients’ bottom line.
Kevin Young, senior vice president of product experience, is responsible for maintaining the health of and planning for the growth of Continuum’s product experience business. He also leads programs and project teams directly, working with clients to solve their most complex challenges.
Since joining Continuum in 1997, he’s managed award-winning projects, including the MIT Media Lab’s One Laptop Per Child. He builds strong relationships with Continuum’s Fortune 100 clients, including Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and American Express.
Kevin graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University with a BID in industrial design. His product design successes have resulted in 14 design excellence awards and 18 U.S. patents.
Kevin, what is the most exciting or rewarding part of your work? What fuels your inspiration?
I’m fascinated by the rapidly evolving role of technology in our everyday lives. We’re in the nascent days of understanding the potential of sensing, monitoring and data assessment. Continued technology miniaturization and affordability will allow for new and unforeseen interconnected experiences. The key for organizations is to understand how to create meaningfully connected experiences that solve business challenges while improving people’s lives. I’m particularly passionate about the potential for technology advancements in health and wellness. In the next 5-10 years, we will know much more about our health and how to live healthier lives.
In the past few years, what has changed most in your business? How has your company met these challenges in the way you do your work?
We are experiencing a dramatic shift as traditionally product-based companies are understanding how to become digitally savvy organizations that focus on experiential ecosystems rather than stand-alone products. Many of the companies that partner with us are seeking help in making this transition.
Why did you choose to speak at the 2017 International Home + Housewares Show?
I’m really looking forward to speaking at the Show! I’m most excited to give the audience a glimpse into the future. I’ll be talking about experiences that could exist in 10-15 years, and the roadmap a company like Fisher-Price can set to get there.
While working with Fisher-Price on the Future of Parenting, we spoke with subject matter experts and futurists who helped us identify trends in the areas of technology, culture, and business. Doing so allowed us to envision meaningful connected experiences in the home. We can share this approach and the trends that we feel will impact future connected products and services.
Tell us what you will be speaking about and how and this topic is important for Show audiences.
I’m excited to share an amazing vision for the future connected home. I’ll highlight some key products and services we thought about that don’t just help children learn and develop, but enable families to live easier, happier lives in a connected home.
When we’re thinking about the Internet of Things today (and in the future), it’s important to consider what enhancements can be made to products that offer real value. I’ve seen connected toasters, but don’t think people really need to program when their breakfast is made each morning. In addition to showing some amazing future-state product ideas, I will also offer a framework for envisioning these types of product experiences—kind of a checks-and-balances approach to be sure you’re designing products that will offer value to consumers and impact your bottom line.
Parenting in the Connected Home of the Future
March 19, Sunday, 1:30 – 2:20 pm
Innovation Theater, Lakeside Center, Room E350
What do you see as consumers’ biggest concerns regarding housewares products?
I often see companies push to be “tech-first” when thinking about consumer needs. In reality, brands should be considering their consumers first to be sure they are creating products and services that will be meaningful to them. Otherwise, customers will be hesitant to buy connected products, because they may not deliver real value.
What are some of today’s trends or issues that new product development professionals and/or retailers face in the housewares market?
I’ll be sharing the consumer, technology and business trends that informed our future-state connected home, so I don’t want to give too much away just yet!
To see how Continuum’s research informed Fisher-Price’s approach to the Future of Parenting, see the following video:
And about Kevin and the Continuum team at work for the Making the Future of Parenting project, see:
Contact Kevin at:
SVP Product Experience
21 Drydock Avenue, Suite 410 W
Boston, MA 02210 USA
Innovation propels the housewares industry. Learn from experts about how to invigorate your new products and services by enhancing your innovation efforts. Critical issues such as global design trends, licensing, the emerging Smart Home category, branding, the needs of distinct consumer age and gender groups, the future of food and parenting – all impact the home goods market. Be sure to attend the free executive-level educational sessions at the Innovation Theater. These programs will give you a fresh perspective as you walk the Show and will inspire, inform and improve your business.
The four days of the 2017 International Home + Housewares Show will be packed with events and education. To help you plan your valuable time at the Show, we introduce you to the speakers and the 21 exciting presentations that will take place in the Innovation Theater in the Lakeside Center. Gain cutting-edge insights that you can apply to your work. All programs are audio-recorded and will be available at www.housewares.org after the Show.