With a team spanning between Tokyo and New York, we were tasked to create a speculative vision for the future of collaboration. The project was a 3-day sprint, that consisted of late nights, many Skype calls, and lots of snacks.
Our goal was to have fun and utilize the successes and drawbacks from our current collaboration that we were conducting, and translate the ideas we had for improvement into future solutions. We had to identify what constituted as collaboration. Was it a master-apprentice relationship? Or a peer-to-peer skill share? Could it be a combination, or rather, could a potential solution be applied to multiple uses? Scroll down to navigate through our process and outcomes.
what does global collaboration look like in the future?
Our team envisioned the future of collaboration through the lens of the 2040s. We began mind-mapping different trends, like significant increases in automation, the use of AR & VR, and remote interaction & work. This increase of remote collaboration and automation inherently shapes the role of the future designer, but we feel that the human touch will remain essential as the divide between transhuman ideology and normalcy increases.
Our idea was to create gloves that extend one's physical movements to their global counterparts, by letting two users experience each other’s hand gestures. This concept has a range of possible applications and details from the functionality of the gloves, to how people would experience feedback within them while working together. It also led us to consider a product as well as a service for ease of use and accessibility.
We also tried to analyze different technologies (in grey) and industries (in green), based on high vs. low collaboration, and low vs. high tech. We identified their remote collaboration abilities now, and what they might look like in the future.
Our speculative service, ProtoCol, would operate like an enhanced version of a Google Fiber Space). It offers several locations around the globe with bookable rooms for collaborators to schedule. Upon arrival, the collaborators would be given identical materials, sourced by ProtoCol.
The system would consist of:
- Two or more collaborators : users looking to work on prototyping and building physical things with equal input.
- Global workspaces : bookable rooms that collaborators schedule
- Identical materials : ethically sourced by ProtoCol ahead of time so they are ready for collaborator's arrival
- Calibration mat : a surface that can sync the points of each user's material as they shape their prototypes
- Smart glasses : for an augmented view of their dually-molded prototype with a headset to call the other collaborator
- Pair of ProtoCol gloves : gloves that provide haptic feedback of a collaborators movement as one pilots the making
alternative use case
User A molds a physical material, while the User B molds a holographic material. User B is still feeling the process of molding in her hands as though it were the real material because of the haptic feedback embedded into the gloves. Haptic feedback inspiration and validation drawn from Embodied Media at KMD.