Upcoming works

The Future of Things
Designing Social-Cyber-Physical Experiences

Ebook Available 2019

About the book:


The Future of Things looks at how things implicitly dictate our behaviours through the way we interact with them. Our daily script evolves around their use and experience, be they transportation things, edible things, readable things or wearable things. More importantly, things enable as well as restrict us in terms of how much freedom we have in the scripting of our daily lives.

In this book, Irene Ng examines how technology is beginning to change things. Where things were physical before, many are now digital, from simple boarding passes to magazines and music. Where physicality is still essential – take tea, for instance – information about things is leaking everywhere; its nutritional value, calorie content, where it is produced, even where it’s consumed. Where there is a need to control, a thing can be remotely connected with us e.g. smart homes and doorbells. And where communication between people is necessary, things can be our proxies to create social spaces on the Internet e.g. our phones and tablets.

This book delivers profound insights into how the world of changing things is also transforming us. Irene argues that the type of society to which we wish to belong is inherently shaped by the things we make. She discusses the challenges facing a world accustomed to creating physical things, now having to grapple with the design of social-cyber-physical experiences. These new experiences could spawn different ways of transacting, creating new channels of revenues in new spaces.

How do organisations prepare for this new world? How can they understand what is fundamentally driving the markets, behaviours and demand for future things?

Irene Ng’s fourth book provides insights and recommendations for firms to innovate on the manufacturing business model in an era of digitisation and connectivity that can open up markets for a freer society. It illustrates how socialisation, cyber spaces and physicality interact to create meaning for individuals through the experience of things, and suggests concrete steps as to how firms that manufacture physical products can evolve and transform their offerings for the future.

Current works

Value & Worth: Creating Markets in the Digital Economy

Available as a Kindle book on Amazon

Print edition published by Cambridge University Press

About the book:


Today’s world is dominated by rapid technological developments, constantly changing the way we live, learn, communicate and interact, and impacting the way we use objects and services to help us achieve our outcomes. By acquiring objects and technologies, we have become better at solving problems, often living our lives more efficiently and effectively. We are tooled and resourced up, empowered to achieve much more than we have ever been able to do so before.

Value & Worth: Creating New Markets in the Digital Economy looks at how digitisation is changing the way we buy and use products and services. It considers what individuals value about what we have around us and the way we use them, in order to understand how we create that value.

Crucially, the book looks at how markets are converging between exchange (when we pay) and consumption (when we use). This convergence, accelerated by greater digitisation, means there is a need to understand contexts of value creation within lived lives. This will enable firms to innovate and design future products and services to take advantage of the connectivity between them, and emerge horizontal or systemic business models.

Value & Worth: Creating New Markets in the Digital Economy provides an understanding of these contexts of value creation to propose how latent needs emerge, and to identify new exchanges that could empower individuals to achieve outcomes that ‘fit’ into their lives. These new exchanges could potentially evolve into new economic models, sources of wealth creation for the future.

About the author:

Irene Ng is the Chief Executive of HAT Data Exchange Ltd, Professor and Director of HATLAB at WMG, University of Warwick. She is also a Senior Member of Wolfson College, Cambridge.

Irene studied physics, applied physics and computer programming as an undergraduate and became an entrepreneur and practitioner for 16 years before switching to an academic career. During her time in industry she occupied a number of senior positions in industry rising to become CEO of SA Tours and Travel group of companies (Singapore, Malaysia, China and UK) and founded Empress Cruise Lines, a company with an annual turnover of USD250m which she sold in 1996.

An Industrial economist through her doctoral training, Irene’s research lies in the trans-disciplinary understanding of value; creating, designing, pricing, contracting and innovating based on value, particularly of data and digital products. Her specialism is in the economic design and engineering of data markets and ecosystems. She has published in numerous international journals in the domain of engineering, management, marketing, information systems, economics, education and sociology and she is the author of 'The Pricing & Revenue Management of Services: A Strategic Approach', lead editor of the book Complex Engineering Service Systems: Concepts and Research and 'Value and Worth: Creating New Markets in the Digital Economy' published by Cambridge a University Press.

Both an entrepreneur and an academic, Irene is an Angel investor for startups in the HAT ecosystem and advises organisations and governments on the value of data and the design of economic ecosystems in the digital economy.

More info at http://ireneng.com