Persona: Shihan Wang
Born in: China
Marital status: Single
Work: AI Lead Developer
Likes: Sports / cooking / new tech
Shihan Wang lives by herself in a middle-class mixed-use high-rise building. She works as a lead AI developer for a major real estate company, the same that built the apartment she lives in. Her main task is to design and supervise domestic AI systems that create a seamless, almost “magical” experience for each resident.
Her daily work is done mostly through VR at home or in her building’s co-working space. Her very demanding job doesn’t leave her a lot of energy for cooking during the week, so she mostly relies on online orders or quick meals prepared by her food processor.
In order to take a break from the extremely virtual nature of her work, she loves to get back to basics on weekends by experimenting with new recipes, preparing them in the traditional way and inviting her closest friends to try these out.
AR and VR Devices
Any transparent surface can easily be enhanced to support augmented reality, from windows to glasses and contact lenses. Lightweight virtual reality glasses are present in every home, becoming a key working and leisure tool.
Nanotechnology is embedded in the majority of the commercial products of the future, giving them superior features and connectivity.
Centralized Home AI
Connectivity and smart behavior is extended to every home appliance and to the house itself. To make sense of the huge amount of data generated outside and inside, every house comes with its own AI, which coordinates the behavior of third-party appliances and the utilization of robots.
Voice control is the preferred way of communicating with devices and applications and – thanks to natural language processing – this can almost no longer be distinguished from communication between humans.
All homes have small projectors and cameras in every room. Any surface can become a screen or touch interface with extremely high definition. Most home decorations such as wallpaper, aquariums and art are now entirely digital.
Nearly every home uses robots for a variety of purposes, such as cleaning, tele-presence or just for companionship. Their level of movement, thought and understanding is comparable to that of humans – even superior.
Claytronics stations conquer the home and make storerooms and repair tools superfluous, growing everything you need from amorphous programmable matter.
Fully Self-Sufficient Buildings
Most people live in tall, self-sufficient skyscrapers that can generate their own energy, harvest atmospheric water and produce food in vertical farms.
Xiaojing Huang's work always has two sides. On the one hand, she is trying to optimize virtual or augmented reality. On the other hand, her main interest is to improve real life. Even now, she says "our life has become more virtual. These kinds of technologies have become great assistants in our lives." And this will be increasingly important in the future.
Xiaojing Huang, who is a specialist in user experience and thus always trying to adjust technology to its users, envisions, for example, implants that can replace actual technologies like Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa. These, as Xiaojing Huang foresees it, will be an everyday technology that will become intensively connected to our body. "It will be almost an accessory, an extension of our hands or our eyes", she says.
Technology as Xiaojing Huang envisions it will be a great help. "In the future, people will be very conscious about how much resources, energy and space they are consuming. Thanks to technology, we will spare a lot of water and we can monitor our spending of energy. We will be able to print things like chairs and dining ware and food. That's very helpful because we don't need them every week and they can be recycled. So people don't need to buy so many things; we can print things or borrow them from others."
And here the other side of the medal turns up: "We feel there is a strong pursuit of reality which means that people want to come back to their real lives. Technologies give us more time for cooking, socializing, or entertainment. The virtual world and real life help each other", Xiaojing Huang believes. "Consumers will become much more stimulated to do social things such as inviting friends to their homes and doing things together that are eco-friendly. Cooking is perfect for socializing. Why not come to my home tonight, have dinner and see the new chair I designed – that's also a status thing."
Technology gives us more free time that we can use to be more human. We can use it for interacting with real people or people that are far away from our home." It's not only a Chinese phenomenon that parents live far abroad leading to bigger problems: "The emptiness phenomenon is getting more and more serious in China. With the background of population change – older people and fewer children – people will become increasingly lonely. With virtual reality we will be able – as Xiaojing Huang's protagonist Shihan – to call or visit our parents virtually, without taking a long, expensive flight."
Xiaojing Huang is a visionary – a renowned expert on user experience and trends, and herself a trendsetter in the field of design strategy. She studied in Guangzhou and Berlin, and has a rich experience of product strategy, service design, brand DNA and research into users and trends. As the strategy director of Yang Design, the most forward-looking design consultancy in China, Xiaojing Huang has been leading the strategic team to build the UX Lab, CMF Lab and Service Design Lab, defining design strategy to realize business value for companies in different development stages. At Yang Design, the goal is always to create perfect user experiences that deliver innovative business value for local and international brands.
Photo credits in animation
06:29, 06:35, 06:40, 08:15 (left, middle), 08:30, 10:30 (right), 17:30 ©Shotshop; 06:30, 07:30, 08:00 (2), 08:15 (right), 10:30 (left), 11:00 (1), 11:00 (2), 16:00, 16:15, 17:00, 18:00, 20:00 ©Shutterstock; 08:00 (1) ©Nebia Inc.; 09:15, 10:30, 16:20, 17:35, 18:05 ©iStockphoto; 09:45 ©Stocksy; 19:30 ©Siemens; 17:35 ©Bosch