I have a vision

A couple of weeks ago I watched the Microsoft’s future vision video, showing ‘How people will get things done at work, at home, and on the go, in 5-10 years’. Well, I hope they’re wrong because I don’t quite like what this future looks like. The whole video is an extrapolation of the power of technology to the future, brutally forced into everyday moments.

I’ve been working on projects that required making a video to show how a product or service would integrate on a future context. Sometimes is challenging to convey ideas without bending some of the features in order to make them understandable for everybody, using just audio and video. But there are ways to do it. In Microsoft’s video I don’t feel neither the concepts nor the representation of them are exactly on track.

I picked three moments that called my attention:

1. Is she using her glasses to translate the audio? I don’t think glasses are the best product to integrate such a feature. Solving an audio problem by putting a piece glass in front of your eyes when you don’t need it doesn’t sound appropriate. Wouldn’t be the phone a better option?

If the reason behind it is to make it discreet for other people and integrated in an object people usually wears, then I don’t understand the shining “translating” on the glasses arm which is seen only by people surrounding the user.

2. It scares me the amount of screens that will be surrounding people. Or people surrounding screens… But it feels the relationship between users, screens and context (which is what I’d like to know about the future) remains unclear. It’s even more confusing. Is all the information (work-related, personal, confidential) available from every screen? How is it filtered? By location, by people around the screen? Maybe it’s too risky to answer some of these questions on a visionary video.

Also I’m not sure why information is not confined within the screen frame anymore, and expands on walls and tables.

3. Do you really need to check the content of your fridge on a screen? Is it too much effort to just open the fridge?


Anyway. This July I spent some days in California. One afternoon I was sitting with my friend Eric on a campsite near Yosemite. It was a place with great views, nice weather,  and the right time to open a bottle of wine. The cork popping sound is kind of iconic, and always helps celebrate a memorable event.

Then we imagined the cork was able to capture that moment. *Of course* technology would make it possible – this technology that will be everywhere, that will be very small, and very intelligent. With a pinch of irony, we imagined another example of what we might find around us in the future, specially if we follow certain future visions.

Take it lightly :)

Presenting… the e-Cork.

2 Responses to “I have a vision”

  1. Kevin Cannon Says:

    Is it bad that I think that’s a beautiful idea. :)

    To me, that’s exactly the subtlety that is missing in those videos.

    How do we design subtle technology?

  2. Ulrik Hogrebe Says:

    Heay wouldn’t it be cool if we made it in white ceramic and then integrated like a touchscreen and gestural controls and maybe a little camera that could capture your facial expression at the exact moment you popped the bottle and then beam that into the cloud where you could share it along with your geo-data with your friends and maybe find people who have opened bottles in similar locations or of a similar kind and then you could connect with them and share your social graph and start communities of other enophiles that would make it easier for brands to start meaningful conversations with a targeted group of first movers in the field! Think I ticked all the boxes of future-ism there – except maybe info-graphics…

    But sarcasm aside, there is that whole thing about the future being a pretty crappy place if all we do is extrapolate the known into the unknown… or something deep like that:) I suppose that is incremental design extrapolated…

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