What if your house was the interface to your family?
Created for the Interaction Concept/Faceless Interactions course at the UID Interaction Design programme, The Home Network is future envision of how might we contact and keep in touch with people we care about, even living apart from them.
The course had a focus on the home environment. There we should use design fiction to envision a world where our concept should live. After formulating a world, we were encouraged to research and develop a concept that didn't use screen based interactions or traditional control inputs (inter faceless interaction).
On 2035 small single-houses are very common. With a very active elderly population, reduction of youth's presence in the market and a high qualified workforce, economic migration is a positive decision, even encouraged. As a result, families became social entities spread around the world. This network of people moving from place to place in order to pursue careers made a house something very lonely and isolating.
TURNING YOUR HOUSE INTO A HOME
The Home Network is a service composed by two parts: the tokens - objects relevant for two people that can be personalised by order or printed at home - and the The Network Hub - a machine that displays how much you have been communicating with your network by knitting a smart thread. Traditional crafts were used as inspiration due to the feeling of handmade and the potential to remove the distractions of contemporary devices, and give us new output streams that enable data visualisation.
The Home Network offer potential to unify all smart home technologies and is working to develop the backbone that allows family members to communicate seamlessly with each other. While traditional companies like Google, Samsung and Apple have made strides along these lines, overcoming this hurdle will create a green field of opportunities for the new home of 2035.
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The tokens act like connection keys between people and their homes, changing the material opacity when someone is at home, displaying mental health status using ambient lights and asynchronous voice messages. Traditional features such as real-time calls are also available if you own a MediaReader.
Researchers believe that the future of housing will be centred around families, maybe even establishing a new standard to what should be called one.
Material opacity is the main channel to communicate when someone is back at home and awake. A completely transparent token means the person is away, while a translucent means the person is idle or asleep.
The copper bottom part of every token acts as a medium to conduct information about both parts to the Home Network. Through the tokens, asynchronous sound messages can be sent and received. The mental and emotional state of every person is communicated by the house environment: brightness and colour of lights.
The Home Network communicates how much have you been reaching to a specific person. By threading all communication together, every cycle represents a week. This way, one can be stimulated to keep a balanced amount of time with each one on their network.
ATTENTION: by cutting the thread, all communication between tokens will be lost.