The best-selling author of "The Design of Everyday Things" casts his critical eye on the new dawn of "smart" technology, from smooth-talking GPS systems to cantankerous refrigerators.
This is a consumer-oriented look at the promise and perils of the smart objects of the future, and a cautionary tale for designers of these objects - many of which are already in use or development.
Don Norman, a popular design consultant to car manufacturers, computer companies and other industrial and design outfits, has seen the future and is worried.
He points out what's going wrong with the wave of products just coming on the market and some that are on drawing boards everywhere - from "smart" cars and homes that seek to anticipate a user's every need, to the latest automatic navigational systems.
Norman offers a theory of natural human-machine interaction that can be put into practice by the engineers and industrial designers of tomorrow's thinking machines.