“The most radical change [according to German entrepreneur Stefan Liske] is that “in big societies, there is a huge status shift happening, where we are losing the idea that you use a car to define your status. So the industry needs more flexible leasing, financing and car-sharing models. And second, they have to find new revenue streams.
The near future that Liske describes echoes the computer industry’s earlier shift from a business model based on hardware to one based on software. “Audi and Toyota have just invested $1bn in wind energy. If you’re leasing a car from them, they can sell you the energy – or they go in a different direction like BMW, who just invested $100m in start-up companies offering transport-related mobile services.”
Underpinning all these innovations and ideas is what Liske sees as a major behavioural shift among the generation of “digital natives”. “They don’t care about owning things. Possession is a burden, and a car is a big investment for most people – not just the vehicle, but the permits, the parking space.”
Posts in category 'Mobility'
“The airline passenger journey, from home to boarding the plane and beyond, is a dynamic and emotional experience, with many media messages and retail choices along the way. But how can we measure these changing emotions and the effect they have on the passenger’s state of mind? And what messages types are most likely to be understood in these states of mind?
Recent research by psychologists, specialising in the field of ethnography (the observation of respondents in the natural environment) has identified the passenger experience to be an unusually highly dynamic and stimulating experience. Hannah Knox, a British-based behavioural psychologist has described airports as “An increasingly intensive use of space where anything might happen…”
Red Border has carried out in-airport and cross-media ethnography, identifying distinct emotional zones in the flyer’s journey, as well as the experience of magazine reading.”
“After steady year-on-year improvement, Ford has plunged from fifth position in 2010 to 23rd in the 2011 Initial Quality Study released by J.D. Power & Associates on Thursday. Lincoln, the luxury subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company, was ranked eighth last year, but fell to 17th this year. [...]
Primarily, the steep decline was attributed to consumer complaints about MyFord and MyLincoln Touch, the company’s in-car telematics systems that use a touch screen, dashboard display and voice commands presumably to help drivers operate radio and climate controls, as well as the navigation system.”
Acclaimed designer Alan Cooper provides further reflection on the matter:
“Automobile manufacturing companies like Ford need to acknowledge that they are no longer making automobiles with attached computer systems. In reality, they are making computer control systems with attached motion mechanisms. The digital computer is increasingly dominating the driver’s attention, even more so than the steering and brakes. If auto makers don’t give equivalent attention to the design and implementation of these digital systems, they will fail, regardless of the quality of the drive train, interior furnishings, and other manufactured systems. [...]
Back in the 1960s and 70s, it was efficient for an automobile company, with core competencies in big manufacturing, to outsource dashboard electronics to specialized vendors. but now those little radios have become all-encompassing telematics, and Ford, whether it likes it or not, has to integrate the design of its electronic solutions with the design of its manufacturing business. It’s the riddle for the information age again: Ford isn’t a car company with digital capabilities, but it is a computer company with big manufacturing capabilities.
Designing and building a better automobile cockpit is the tip of the iceberg. The biggest task facing Ford and other car companies is changing the way they think and the way they work.”
This is the image engineers and designers from Toyota Motor Europe (TME) and the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID) had for Toyota’s “Window to the World” vehicle concept, which was recently exhibited at the ACEA exhibition: “Our Future Mobility Now”.
The concept re-defines the relationship between passengers in a vehicle and the world around it, by transforming the vehicle’s windows into an interactive interface. Using augmented reality, what used to be a pane of glass, begins to provide passengers with information about landmarks and other objects as they go past. The window can also be used as a canvas for drawings, which then interacts with the passing environment.
Engineers and designers from TME’s Kansei Design Division teamed up with CIID to develop this concept in the context of near-future mobility. Instead of creating a concept simply with strong visual aesthetics, they aimed to create beautiful and intangible experiences to address specific needs and desires, to bring genuine value to the vehicle’s passengers.
Through the latest advances in augmented technology, TME Kansei Division and CIID developed five concepts for Toyota’s “Window to the World”.
If social car-sharing services like Zipcar, RelayRides and Getaround continue to generate momentum, millions of the nation’s automobiles will become part of one jointly-owned, collaboratively-shared fleet, available for use by anyone, at any time.
City as a platform (video)
In her role as Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York, Rachel Sterne is tasked with strengthening the City’s digital media presence and streamlining internal digital communications.
In her talk Sterne demonstrated recent innovations that are shaping the city’s future. Mentioning how city resident participation is crucial with a real-time approach, attendees were shown “The Daily Pothole,” a Tumblr that tracks the D.O.T.’s progress in filling potholes in the five boroughs and its companion app, the roll-out of QR code technology on building permits, the NYC 311 app, as well as fielding service requests via Twitter.
Industrial Design: ID For The City (alternate) (video)
Duncan Jackson and Eoin Billings (interview), are both partners at Billings Jackson, a design firm specializing in public spaces. They spoke about their work, history and how they bridge the gap between architecture and manufacturing. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, they appreciate and embrace the the urban landscape for what it is. Crafting solutions that interpret design vision in city environments is their forté and the duo explained the value in understanding the intricacies of each place, culture, and its residents before beginning a new project. Their approach is exemplified through their architectural work, with city life exuding from each structure rather then being blurred by it.
In a follow-up phone interview with FierceMobileHealthcare, WellDoc President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Anand Iyer, whose company showed off its DiabetesManager service–which would work in correlation with the automaker’s voice-activated in-care connectivity system SYNC via the cloud–said he believes that the demonstration is the beginning of a new trend.
Though the sample size is small, the researchers dug deep into participants’ reactions. The results could have a dramatic effect on public transportation planning, and certainly will catch the attention of planners and programmers alike. By encouraging the development of apps that make commuting easier, transit agencies can drastically, and at little cost, improve the ridership experience and make riding mass transit more attractive.
“For each OEM, the basic decision about infotainment is this: whether to “embed” most of the enabling hardware and software for wireless communications into the infrastructure of the vehicle, essentially creating their own mobile devices — or to minimize such integration and concentrate on producing the best possible interfaces with cell phones, smart phones and other devices consumers already are using and bringing into the vehicle.
Ford sits more or less at one end of the spectrum with Sync, whose strength on a practical and marketing basis seems to be that the system makes it easy to use already-favorite wireless devices and programs in Ford’s cars. [...]
On the other end of the scale is GM, which committed itself mainly to an embedded strategy nearly two decades ago with OnStar, building the service into its vehicles — and basically has stuck with that approach since then.”
In setting its strategy, Viscnic says, each OEM is wrestling with the following realities:
- The demographics of the customer: Unanimously, OEMs see interest in heavily embedded devices and systems being stronger with older people and higher in luxury segments.
- The rate of change: Automakers have long had difficulty keeping up with the incredibly fast pace of change in digital technology compared with the relatively slow speed at which new systems and technologies take root in vehicles and with the overall product cycle of cars. But now the tension is getting worse.
- The ubiquity of mobile devices: Seventy percent of mobile-phone use occurs inside vehicles, so “a responsible OEM” must consider how consumers interact with handsets and other peripherals in the vehicle. Yet smart phones at this point comprise only about 20 percent of the mobile-phone market.
- The tyranny of apps: Consumers increasingly expect to be able to use all their favorite websites and apps on their smart phones in the vehicle even if it isn’t safe for them to do so while driving.
- The issue of redundancy: One of the big advantages of a tethered system is it doesn’t require users of onboard infotainment services to subscribe to another wireless service, such as OnStar or Safety Connect.
- The robustness of onboard systems: For what safety services promote and offer, they really can’t depend on brought-in mobile devices.
- The role of safety: The issue of how infotainment affects driver and passenger safety is on everyone’s lips.
The project, which was presented last week in Istanbul, Turkey (and only got covered, it seems, by the Turkish press), also includes a book and downloadable pdf (315 pages).
The Future Agenda programme brought together informed people from around the world to analyse the crucial themes of the next ten years. Fifty workshops in twenty-five locations took place and resulted in a unique view of the next ten years. The website reports on the key conclusions.
In the opening section, Vodafone details what it sees as the four macro-scale certainties for the next decade – the things that, unless there is an unexpected, massive and fundamental global shift, will most definitely occur and so are the certitudes upon which everything else is built. These certainties are 1) a continued imbalance in population growth, 2) more key resource constraints, 3) an accelerating eastward shift of economic power to Asia, and 4) pervasive global connectivity.
The second section explores some of the key insights gained into how the world and our lives will probably change over the next decade. These are the key changes that will occur in many different areas, some influenced by just one of the four certainties, others by two or more. These changes are detailed by providing both the signals from today that give evidence to support the direction of change and the future implications over the next ten years. They are grouped into six clusters – health, wealth, happiness, mobility, security and locality – which seem to encompass all the issues highlighted. Each change that is depicted in this section is variously linked to a number of others.
The Future Agenda team invited students of the the Innovation Design Engineering Department (IDE) of the Royal College of Arts to create some solutions to the challenges we face. IDE focuses on using cutting edge product design experimentation and systems thinking to tackle important real world issues with advanced technical design (and) within social parameters. Short videos show the results of this RCA project.
The Forum for the Future report devotes a lot of attention to new types of user-centred mobility solutions, as reported by The Guardian:
“Moving away from car ownership, using real-time traffic information to help plan journeys and having more virtual meetings will be vital to prevent the megacities of the future from becoming dysfunctional and unpleasant places to live, according to a study by the environmental think tank Forum for the Future. [...]
One issue is to integrate different modes of transport: citizens will want to walk, cycle, access public transport, drive personal vehicles or a mixture of all modes in one journey. “Information technology is going to be incredibly important in all of this, in terms of better integrating and connecting physical modes of transport,” said [Ivana] Gazibara [, senior strategic adviser at Forum for the Future and an author of the report]. “But we’re also going to see lots more user-centred ICT [information and communication technology] so it makes it easier for us to access things virtually.”
Of particular interest too are the four scenarios for urban mobility in 2040, which paint vivid pictures of four possible worlds in 2040. Scenario animations bring each world to life, as they follow a day in the life of an ordinary woman, examining the mobility challenges and solutions in each world:
In a world of fossil fuels and expensive energy, the only solution is tightly planned and controlled urban transport.
The city is dominated by fossil fuel-powered cars.The elite still gets around, but most urban dwellers face poor transport infrastructure.
The world has turned to alternative energy and high-tech, clean, well-planned transport helps everyone get around.
The world has turned to alternative energy, and transport is highly personalised with a huge variety of transport modes competing for road space.
The article highlights the innovative role of Fiat, which has been compiling data from the Blue&Me navigation systems installed on many of its cars over a six-month period – the largest such data harvest done by a major carmaker.
“It is not hard to see a future where the on-board computers get ever more sophisticated – such as personal profiles for a car, so the car’s settings are individualised for each family member.
The computer would adjust the seats, music, the suspension between sports and comfort mode, depending on which family member was using the car.
All while telling each one how to be a better – and more fuel-efficient – driver. [...]
Increased data collection also tells us a lot about different drivers and how they use the cars. [...]
Carmakers are bracing for a world where not only are cars collecting data about you, but they are sharing it with each other.”
The ASSIST project, in collaboration with Enthoven Associates, is focused on improving mobility and communications for people with motor disabilities, whereas the EVENT project (conducted with FutureProofed) supports Kortrijk Xpo in becoming the most sustainable trade fair and congress complex in Belgium and one of the top five most sustainable fair complexes in Europe by 2020.
With these applied research projects, Flanders InShape aims to augment the efficiency and effectiveness of product development in Flanders and to improve the competitive position of Flemish companies through the development of products with higher added value for the customer.
ASSIST – Improving mobility and communications for people with motor disabilities
The Assist project, which Experientia conducts in collaboration with acclaimed Belgian design consultancy Enthoven Associates and care organisations Centrum voor Zorgtechnologie and In-HAM, aims to develop new concept ideas for assistive technologies for people with motor disabilities, using a people-centred design process. Although aimed at a Flemish context, the project focuses on international technological and design projects.
In the first phase of the project, Experientia has conducted a comprehensive benchmarking of current assistive device solutions for people with walking difficulties. The benchmark explores both on-body assistive devices, which are always in contact with motor disabled people, such as wheelchairs, rollators and standers; and assistive environments, including public transportation, mobile applications and accessibility.
Experientia will also contribute to the creation of scenarios for use during contextual observation to validate the design opportunities found in the benchmark. Enthoven Associates is currently conducting the user research and jointly the partners will then take the insights further, supported by a creative workshop to generate ideas, into design concepts.
EVENT – Sustainable event management project
The Event project sees Experientia team up with Futureproofed, a sustainable design consultancy, and Kortrijk Xpo, a conference and trade fair venue in Kortrijk, Belgium, to explore ways to make events more sustainable. The ambitious goal of this project is to make Kortrijk Xpo the most sustainable trade fair and congress complex in Belgium and one of the top five most sustainable fair complexes in Europe by 2020.
Trade fairs, congresses and events are key areas of concern for sustainability, because they involve a large number of diverse players both directly and indirectly (e.g. stand builders, lighting installers, textile manufacturers, etc.) and because time criteria often become more important during assembly, disassembly and transport, than any concern for sustainability.
This project will explore how impact can be best achieved, though good planning, preparation and usage of the right materials and products.
Futureproofed will carry out a carbon footprint analysis of Kortrijk Xpo, whereas Experientia will benchmark international best practice on sustainability for trade shows, expositions, and major public events. Together with Futureproofed, we will build a behavioural change framework, and conduct participatory workshops and concept development for more sustainable practices.
This exciting project builds on the themes that Experientia is currently exploring in our Low2No project in Helsinki, and is in keeping with our overall company commitment to sustainability.
“Ford’s goal in establishing a set of design principles for automotive interfaces that would be consistently applied to all models was to improve what it called the cabin experience. The program was given the internal code name HAL. [...]
The guidelines that resulted from the program, a sort of universal logic for all the cars’ switches and systems, helped shape the dashboard controls in the redesigned Ford Edge and Explorer. The standards will apply to future Ford models around the world.”
Some articles are clearly more inspired (and less technology and US-centered) than others. Many scenarios are far too optimistic, and I miss some broader socio-economic and environmental analysis. What could be the real consequences of privacy concerns, crime, cultural differences, war, climate change, overpopulation or poverty in all this?
Here is for instance a quote from one of the scenarios (about social networking in 2020) that, when thinking about it, would open up a huge range of privacy and security problems, none of which are acknowledged or addressed:
“The virtual display could be used to illustrate relationships between a group of people. A husband and wife might be linked by a thin glowing tether. Flowchart arrows could indicate if one person is another’s boss. Even former friends–people who were once connected but severed ties–could be identified with broken chains or angry lightning bolts.”
This lack of broader contextualisation makes the whole exercise somewhat naive and superficial. That said, here are my preferred pieces (with Steve McCallion’s one – addressing some of the issues mentioned above – my personal number one):
Your life in 2020
by John Maeda, president of RISD
In 2020 we might just regain some of the humanity that was lost in 2010.
“So, what will take technology’s place? It begins with art, design and you: Products and culture that are made by many individuals, made by hand, made well, made by people we trust, and made to capture some of the nuances and imperfections that we treasure in the physical world. It may just feel like we’ve regained some of what we’ve lost in 2010.”
Your computer in 2020
by Mark Rolston, chief creative officer at Frog Design
Traditional computers are disappearing; human beings themselves are becoming information augmented
“When computing becomes deeply integrated into our knowing, our thinking, our decision processes, our bodies and even our consciousness, we are forever changed. We are becoming augmented. Our first and second lives will be forever entwined.”
Transportation in 2020
by Steve McCallion, executive creative director at Ziba Design
In 10 years, your commute will be short, cheap and, dare we say, fun.
“In 2020 a new generation will emerge from a period of frugality into one of resourcefulness and resilience. Americans will start searching for transportation solutions that are smarter, healthier, slower and more social.”
The classroom in 2020
by George Kembel, cofounder and executive director of Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design
The next decade will bring an end to school as we know it.
“In 2020 we will see an end to the classroom as we know it. The lone professor will be replaced by a team of coaches from vastly different fields. Tidy lectures will be supplanted by messy real-world challenges. Instead of parking themselves in a lecture hall for hours, students will work in collaborative spaces, where future doctors, lawyers, business leaders, engineers, journalists and artists learn to integrate their different approaches to problem solving and innovate together.”
Reputation in 2020
by David Ewait, Fortune Magazine
Social networks change the way we look at the world and introduce new economic incentives.
“Web-based social networks are cutting-edge technology in 2010. By the year 2020 they’ll be so commonplace–and so deeply embedded in our lives–that we’ll navigate them in the real world, in real time, using displays that splash details over our own field of vision. We’ll even use the social capital that results from these networks as a form of currency.”
But if you understand French, it is useful to compare these insights with the five videos broadcast on the France 5 channel: vivre en 2040.
“In fact, for the past year I’ve been pushing the theory that the Age of Tablets will give print media one last bite at the apple — and publishing companies that are able to make the transition could one day thrive again. I’m so convinced that it will happen that I’ve been working with other folks here at Time Inc. (Fortune’s publisher) to create prototypes of digital magazines that will soon be delivered to tablets and smartphones. So consider this my apologia.
This isn’t a case of excessive introspection on the part of a media insider: The future of publishing is fast becoming topic A in business circles. Financiers who make trades based on access to reliable information fret about the fate of outlets like the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times. Urban planners worry about what happens to communities if digital books make libraries obsolete. “
Read also what these ten ‘sages’ think.
“The concept aims to capture the essence of magazine reading, which people have been enjoying for decades: an engaging and unique reading experience in which high-quality writing and stunning imagery build up immersive stories.
The concept uses the power of digital media to create a rich and meaningful experience, while maintaining the relaxed and curated features of printed magazines. It has been designed for a world in which interactivity, abundant information and unlimited options could be perceived as intrusive and overwhelming.”
1. Mobile Playfulness
Video about how to incorporate playfulness into the UI of phones. We think that people naturally play and fiddle with things and that we can incorporate that into the UI naturally and passively rather than as active lay like games.
2. Staying Connected
People treat their phones as disposable. How can we make people have a more emotional connection with their phone so that they value it more, and therefore make a brand more desirable and less throw-away or disposable.
3. Little World (featured in Fast Company)
Mobile phones are very task based. They focus on what we want to do, not who we want to contact. What would happen if you put people at the centre of an interface? Here we explored such an interface and see how concepts like grouping, messaging and adding friends might work.
“Though many computer applications and operating systems make use of real-world metaphors like the desktop, most software interface design has little to do with how we actually experience the real world. In lots of cases, there are great reasons not to directly mimic reality. Not doing so allows us to create interfaces that enable people to be more productive, communicate in new ways, or manage an increasing amount of information. In other words, to do things we can’t otherwise do in real life.
But sometimes, it makes sense to think of the real world as an interface. To design user interactions that make use of how people actually see the world -to take advantage of first person user interfaces.
First person user interfaces can be a good fit for applications that allow people to navigate the real world, “augment” their immediate surroundings with relevant information, and interact with objects or people directly around them.”
(via Bruce Sterling)
“Some 39% of Americans have positive and improving attitudes about their mobile communication devices, which in turn draws them further into engagement with digital resources – on both wireless and wireline platforms.
Mobile connectivity is now a powerful differentiator among technology users. Those who plug into the information and communications world while on-the-go are notably more active in many facets of digital life than those who use wires to jack into the internet and the 14% of Americans who are off the grid entirely.
- Digital collaborators: 8% of adults use information gadgets to collaborate with others and share their creativity with the world
- Ambivalent networkers: 7% of adults actively use mobile devices to connect with others and entertain themselves, yet are ambivalent about all the connectivity
- 8% of Americans find mobility lighting their information pathways, but have comparatively few tech assets at home
- 16% of adults are active conduits of content and information for either fun or for personal productivity
- 61% are anchored to stationary media; though many have broadband and cell phones, coping with access is often too much for them”
A more journalistic reflection on the study can be found on the site of the Christian Science Monitor.