Speculative design tries to imagine what it would be like to design without the current limitations of technology, culture, and politics in mind.
According to Dunne and Raby, designers shouldn’t just address issues of today, but also take a look into the future and ask, “How can we address future challenges with design?”
Where typical design takes a look at small issues, speculative design broadens the scope and tries to tackle the biggest issues in society. It seeks to answer questions like:
- How should design impact the entire world?
- How can we design for a healthier ecosystem?
- What can we do to influence future cultures?
- How can future technologies impact our products and services—and vice versa?
- What don’t we want to see from the future?
Different ways to approach speculative design
- Using it in a slightly different context, but for the same purpose
- Applying it in a different scenario and usage
- Developing the form and functions of the device
- Increasing the scale to environment/system
- Decreasing scale to micro level
Chosen DOW for speculative design: Portal, Telemedicine Headset
Portal is a wearable home telemedicine system that assists remote online communication with a doctor by providing basic body vital data. Data is collected via a detachable camera and stethoscope. The device is a headset that provides functional familiarity and audio privacy.There are a lot of perks to having such a device, maybe especially in our current times.
- For minor consultations, we can reduce time and travel expenses
- Easy access to medical consultations
- For rural/remote places
- For home-bound/disabled, etc
- Reduced risk of exposure and spreading of diseases via medical staff or fellow patients
- Like for now, during covid period having this device would be good. Everyone can easily consult a doctor to monitor themselves, or if they should go to the clinic/hospital to test for covid. Instead of having some symptoms but not covid, but getting exposed to it during their medical visit…..
- Consultation from the comforts and privacy of your own home, might help patients who suffer from illnesses like anxiety
- Multi-modal in the sense that you could have a consult from home while keeping watch of things there (ie. can’t leave young kids or elderly home alone)
- Algorithm to collect and analyse data from the device could be programmed
In my post, I actually had points of extension for this device. One would be for governments to utilize the headsets, not just citizen households. I felt that the device could have increased opportunities for doctors to provide assistance for consultations, regardless of time and place. Governments throughout the world can use this as local or even overseas disaster relief aids/ humanitarian services.
The Portal headset could be designed into the helmets of soldiers/medics. Instead of using the sensors on themselves, the sensors could be detachable so as to be used on the people they rescue. This data can then be relayed to doctors across the world. The microphone and earpiece should still be for the user wearing the headset, for ease of relay of information. The headset could also have additional medical equipment that are necessities such as an AED device.
In my original post, I speculated adding additional sensors to collect even more data for a more in depth l of consultation and diagnosis. This can be taken to a whole new level by incorporating the rest of the medical process into the headset. Instead of just stopping at consultations, what if this device could diagnose uncommon/more complicated illnesses, then be able to carry out treatment for whatever was diagnosed?
This idea of having a medical headset can be further speculated by expanding the functional capabilities of the headset, or by developing this device into a whole system that is integrated into our daily lives.
What if this device could be implemented into our basic housing units? Like a system whereby each house has a common room- similar to how HDBs currently have a bomb shelter.
Or what if the form of this device was not a headset, but something that would allow for body scans like a full-body scanner that can be found in airports. Or instead of something bigger, we can take this to a micro level and have micro devices injected into our blood stream to monitor our health.
In the article, they mentioned that “Head-worn computers (or headsets) are the future.” I think its interesting that things like VR are commonly used for gaming, but are now advancing into other fields like medicine to put it to full potential.
I think a field that has not really explored yet is education? Especially in our current covid situation, could VR/digital headsets replace online teaching and laptops? A computer on everybody’s head, will we need our phones in the future? From a device on our heads, surely it will evolve to a device in our heads?
- Some things that you need physicality/3d space to really learn
- ie. Most adm studio mods:”D