25 October 2018
Author: Will Howe
While these products are in the foreground today, they will become so integrated within the household surroundings that they won’t feel like tech anymore. The language we will use to design these objects will be more in tune with the environment they belong in. Moving away from screen-based activities, future interfaces will be designed to be more in-keeping with our natural behaviour and use needs of space.
For example, where practicality needs cleanliness and durability, hardware in the kitchen might be embedded or concealed, while a product in a living room might exhibit proud prominence as an object that the entire family communicates both with and around. In this case, its physicality might engage us in a multisensory way, with tactility, warmth and friendliness.
The future multisensory experience of these app-driven products requires a unique vision. Hardware will become increasingly complex, demanding that layers of functionality are tacitly explained. These are the kind of questions we are beginning to answer in our work with companies that explore AI and machine learning. This has become especially interesting where these pioneering factors are at the heart of their core proposition.
At a time when new technology has, arguably, done plenty to separate us from each other, we hope that these new experiences will bring people back together. In these future home scenarios we aim to humanise complex and abstract technologies, by giving them a physical presence that makes them more accessible and understandable to everybody.
Will Howe is director at Map Project Office, a strategic industrial design studio that creates experience-driven products using new and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality. Will writes as part of LS:N Global's Far Futures mini-series Future Homes.