After a few years of testing prototypes and forming partnerships to purchase artwork, the partnership led to the 2017 release of the Frame TV, a Samsung TV that resembles a picture frame. It uses motion sensors to show art when there are people and turns off when no one is around. The TV has become a bestseller.
Béhar, who founded Fuseproject, an industrial design firm, said he understands Amazon’s approach as a retail company to rapidly testing ideas – like when it measures how customers react. with different prices in its stores. But “with hardware, people will be left with things that are useless or no longer working,” he said. “In the world we live in today, with global warming and plastics and waste, I think that’s something to be very careful about.”
Don Norman, who founded the Design Lab at the University of California, San Diego and wrote the book “The Design of Everyday Things,” says over the course of his career he’s seen a number of other companies. use the same approach as Amazon.
In the 1990s, when Norman was working with Apple as a user experience architect, the company partnered with Sony on a product. He said Apple planned to spend years researching the market and testing prototypes before shipping.
“Sony laughed at us and said, ‘What a stupid way of doing things. We just build a product and we sell it. We get feedback, and we remove it and make a better feedback. It’s much more efficient and faster than your method,” says Norman.
This ongoing development approach is unpopular, he said, because most companies realize that customers get angry when devices are quickly killed off. “There is some logic but also complete disregard for what it might mean for your customer or your environment or the world,” said Norman.
Kyle Wiens, chief executive officer of iFixit, a company that sells parts to people to repair devices, said there are better ways than Amazon to discontinue products. When Pebble, a smartwatch maker, closed in 2016, the company said the software would continue to work. People continue to enjoy the product years after the company’s death.