5. Speculative UX

Our project team is to create a speculative design based on a fictional World we envisage. We are Hilary, Pat, and Rob. Together we are Team HiPaRo (HPR). Or something equally crazy. This is a fun project, after all.

Our Future World

Projections of our future are littered with the detritus of our past. We want to be fresh. Why must everything be so grim? Today’s living condition is exacerbating poor mental health, a grievous conflict between power, ambition, and wealth. Can we dream of better?

The World we may work to is no worse than today’s, if only better. Our populations, today divided by politics, religion, and lifestyle have rejected the constant dystopian policies of successive leaderships and united in collaborating toward a happier future. There are problems and none that cannot be sorted out with the right mindset and a willingness to compromise.

This is not communism or socialism, nor popularism. This is a movement that holds our combined wellbeing and health as the core values: a look forward to future generations. Industries work to produce the products we need and less on disposable luxuries. Social media is social and progressive. Those needing a hand up are embraced and those only willing to be dragged along encouraged to contribute.

It’s not all perfect. Change takes time. Not everyone is going to benefit in the short-term. And that’s where the shared vision positive mindset toward The Change comes in. There are people who would prefer to profit from the ‘old ways’ of division and distraction. Our majority moves forward. There is an overwhelming feeling of positivism. And the results are only encouraging and motivating for more to join in and to share their happiness with those less fortunate.

This isn’t a Green dream. It’s a people reality. It only needed a small nudge and a big change. In our future World, it is working.

storyboard cartoon by the author of how translation doesn't always give us our answer

Our Future World’s Technology

BlueTooth

The latest release gives us an increased range of up to 5 KM and connectivity in excess of 1000 host devices.

25G

Wireless network with 70% coverage of the World’s population serving data speeds in excess of anything a human can consume with capacity for ‘mainstream’ ultra Band connectivity. 

Deep-penetration atomic radiation safely saturates through all but the most ardent of Faraday materials and attenuating architectural structures.

Near-Field Private Network

This secure transmittal and receipt radio technology enable an accurate and secure connection between two clients within set parameters of proximity and privacy settings. 

Quad-antennas direct the radio signals and can create a ‘squared’ field. For example, in the home, a combination of Indoor Location and NFPN accurately ‘geofence’ the network within a space, room, or building. Leave the room and leave the connection.

Glasses

A revised approach enabling prescription ‘Glasses’ with NFR to your personal computational device enabling the full power of graphics and artificial intelligence.

Glasses no longer require a projector onto the lenses. Display screen technologies enable the forming of complex shapes. Bi-Pro focussing serves the display with perceived depth of field. (Some users without corrective visual surgery or contact lenses require a deeper layer of lenses).

If only we could design out the notch.

Alternative and Inclusive Devices

Visual and neurosurgery techniques are available, rare, and expensive. Auditory restoration is highly desirable and cochlear implantations commonplace in wealthier societies.

Providing an equivalent experience has proven more difficult with REALITy, and generally offers an alternative experience to the otherwise highly visual HCI.

Artificial Intelligence

Computational and connectivity speeds enable server-side processing of client needs. Deep Synapse Technology collates body articulation and emotional facial recognition and postures against our users’ developing emotional intelligence profile. Service predictions are growingly accurate.

The New Web enables user profiles to interact with one another before the human user is even aware of other characters who will intercept their experience. 

The limit is our user’s cognitive ability and existing distractions.

Virtual and REALITy

The combination of data transmission and processing speeds has negated even talk of VR other than in a historical context. What was considered VR in 2020 is now the REALITy (Reliable Entity And Live Intelligence Technology) of computing.

Holographic UI is inefficient and requires more energy than is available from battery power. However, the combination of Glasses and REALITy can produce the illusion of holographic assistants. 

Psychological reports suggest criminal activity is being encouraged by the technology as personality vendors work to perfect the machine learning required to assist users with only legal activities.

Personal Devices

The meridian of the form factor has developed a dichotomy between miniaturization and practicality.

Glasses are enabling personal devices to be carried within clothing while GUI and HCI is managed via Glasses or with augmented HCI via wristlets.

For practicality, tablets remain the minimum form factor for frequent document processing although personal devices may cast easily onto any open very large display.

Public large displays are appearing in entertainment spaces where users can share (cast) content from their devices.

25G connects personal devices to domestic media devices that process ‘server-side’. The new SLITHER processor family form factor enables domestic devices to be very small. Users seem to prefer the device embedded in their media systems and then serve their data to desktop displays and workspaces.

It is possible, if expensive and often impractical, for a personal device to be no larger than a micro-SIM of the 2020s.

Solar cells

Solar energy is high on the list of Personal Renewable Energies along with Physiological (Kinesthetic and Chemical) Generation.

Battery technology with carbon mesh technology is expensive and worth the expenditure for size, weight, and longevity.

Web Component Language (WCL)

HTML, CSS, and client-side scripting are rolled into one usable programming language based on components pliable to design languages.

Server-side language and database management have coalesced into a CSQL (common standard query language).

Device to server and server to device data transfer, processing, and the return has never been quicker. In an analogy, if PHP and MySQL were fired at the Moon in 2019, it would take six minutes to return. If CSQL were fired at the Moon today, the signal would be returning from Saturn within the second.

Form Factor

In vogue today, smooth and grippy and featureless surfaces with micro-rounded edges contrast against the cold and silky display surfaces that can be wrapped around almost any shape.

Our users are looking to keep their hands free as much as possible. HCI is evolving and there is often frustration with the change between devices. The Personal Device (PD) HCI is not mature.

Vehicle systems have been standardised and feature restricted when driving. PDs remain available, although Glasses are under consideration as driving distractors and some US States have sought Department of Justice to bad them while in transit.

Smart Communication Devices

The smart cell phone has improved exponentially in capability, capacity, and computing. The form factor continues to offer the range of screen sizes we would recognise in 2020. The 40mm x 60mm x 4mm factor has proven popular and is perhaps as small as HCI will allow.

With fast data and vast SSDs topping 15 TB, combined with the natural unification of useful apps and data sources, the smart communication device is the device to own. 

Often worn on a lanyard around the neck, it is not unusual for youths to constantly stream their experiences. All of them, which is opening the discussion on what common decency standards should be.

Transport integration is very convenient. One’s ‘phone is one’s autopilot, security ID, wallet, and health advisor. It’s just so good and casting the display on to large displays and using the laser projected peripheries everyone now has their office n their pocket – or around their neck. And don’t worry, device theft is now pointless.

Indoor Positioning Systems

All new buildings are fitted with IPS beacons. Accuracy is within 160mm in most applications.

Induction Charging

All new public spaces have induction charging built-in. All battery and rechargeable devices that can charge wirelessly will charge from entering to leaving the building.

Personas

Our team of three have each prepared a proto-persona based on our own experiences and Imagineering of our future World problems.

Problem

Our personas need to communicate with people from other nations, with different languages and cultures. Moving to a new country can be isolating and without sharing a local language, prejudices can grow toward the outsiders. Their skills and abilities may be overlooked at the expense their being unable to fit in.

Solution Area

Our team is considering earbuds that not only translate spoken language but do so instantaneously client-side. The feedback voice mimic’s the speaker’s voice, tone, and inflect, which makes for a greater depth of communication at work, play, and home.

The devices are gesture-controlled and configured on a smart device using the accompanying app. In-app purchases may apply. Through the app, the devices’ experience can be augmented with virtual reality user interfaces projected onto the popular Glasses eyewear.

Our users can quickly focus in on conversations, join closed groups, and perform alternative communication tasks with gestures, or when combined to the app.

Where a conversation is needed with people who have not yet got their earbuds, an optional hi-fidelity speaker or area-wide network speaker system is available. The speaker only needs careful positioning away from the owner when they open the conversation. All replied dialogue is repeated to the earbuds. (Configure your preferences using our optional app).

Sketches

Back in 2019, and while sat in a mildly mismanaged McD’s, I sketched out the technologies in response to class feedback we received from our presentation on our ideas.

It was difficult for our student colleagues to understand exactly where in time our Future was positioned. Most have opted for a post-apocalyptic and dystopian World, while we have stepped only a handful (and toes) years into an optimistic tomorrow.

A sketch would help us to focus on the experience by finalising our technologies?

Illustration

earbuds featuring day-long comfort, an infrared camera sensor, and eight directional microphones
The diddyBuds (name tbc).