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Exclusive Interview With Michael Vladimer, Co-Founder, IoT Studio, Orange Silicon Valley

With less than 2 months to go to UX Next, 30-31 October at the Crowne Plaza Palo Alto, we managed to catch up with one of the shows thought leading speakers. Michael Vladimer is the co-founder of the IoT Studio at Orange Silicon Valley will be heading to UX Next to be involved in panel sessions focusing on the future of voice & AI for services & devices, & also personalization driving digital experiences. In the run up to his panel sessions, we managed to ask Michael some questions and the UX opportunity, IoT, & creating an immersive & engaging experience.

Discuss the future of the User Experience this October in Palo Alto, California

First off, can you tell us about your experience and your position at Orange?

I joined Orange Silicon Valley two years ago to create the IoT Studio. Since then we’ve focused on developing strategic projects that are at the forefront of IoT, first with low-power wide-area networks (LPWA) and most recently with smart buildings.

 How can brands maximize the new UX opportunity?

As we noted in the PAADs article (, the key to UX is the mindset of “don’t do it for me, do it with me.” The best way for brands to personalize UX is to focus their attention on making it easier for a user to achieve the user’s goals that the brand also supports.  A common mistake brands make is that they believe that they know what the user wants and they take the action on behalf of the user. Often this results in a disappointed, angry user. Many parents have seen this with their kids: the child wants to retain control over a facilitated action, the child resents losing control.  The best products and the best services provide ambient assistance to users — similar to ambient computing — that operates behind the scenes and just makes things easier for the user.

To what extent is IoT reliant on an engaging and immersive UX?

IoT is a technology that’s always part of a bigger, overall solution, so I wouldn’t say that it’s reliant to UX. By contrast, I would say that for certain products, the UX can be greatly enhanced by leveraging IoT. For instance, Tesla continuously improves the software for its cars. IoT plays a big role in determining which features to develop and improve because it allows the Tesla team to understand how drivers use the vehicles.

How important is it to consider privacy as personalization becomes more on trend?

Personalization vs Privacy is an increasingly important issue — this is where the “creepiness factor” comes in. I would say that the crux of the issue is control: users want to feel that they're in control of how companies use their data such that they can stop unwanted consequences.

Discuss the future of the User Experience this October in Palo Alto, California

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