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An AI-first mobile operating system that predicts user intent

Imagine that your smartphone could proactively guide you through a busy day, like an intelligent personal assistant in a science fiction movie. Such a system would need a very well considered user experience, as well as a model of secure data capture where an immense amount of personal information could be used privately to generate predictive insights for users — all without ever leaving the device.

An illustration of a woman sitting in an airport on her phone, with abstract slices of time behind her.

Humanistic worked closely with a large smartphone manufacturer to solve an app integration problem in their OS, and ended up uncovering a new vision for a modern mobile operating system. This work helped inform approaches to interaction design, user experience, data collection and on-device computation for future market-ready versions of their popular mobile OS.

To get there, I co-led a number of workshops to uncover and separate what was actually possible versus science fiction, enumerate the array of different sensor or data inputs which could be fused to make assumptions about a user’s context, and discover opportunities for where we could push the envelope with local on-device processing. Armed with these insights, various models of human behavior, we began to piece together a vision for how a mobile OS could automate a person’s life while keeping the human in-the-loop, and in-control. 

a photograph of a person writing on a large paper scroll
a photo of a large paper scroll's sketches
redacted concept sketches
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a photo of a sketched journey map on a whiteboard
clients and stakeholders standing over a large paper scale as it's presented
a redacted sample of a journey map
interface concept sketches
a screenshot of the design system
redacted samples of the OS interface
a sample of a map interface with pill shaped icons on the edge of the screen
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The final output of the project and the prototype was a huge success. So much so that aspects of the project have been integrated into subsequent generations of their mobile OS as banner features — part of a long-term strategy to help users offload some of the finicky interactions that have plagued mobile computing. 

"It was lovely working with the team at Humanistic. With such a complex domain area, it wasn’t always clear on how to proceed forward. Matt & Shawn found a way to connect the dots for us and find the signal hidden in the noise. They have quite a unique understanding of technology and user experience, I look forward to working with them again soon."

Senior Scientist

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