Thursday, April 23, 2009

User Experience in 2050

A story I posted for our company Newsletter

When I stumbled upon a circular object while walking on a street one day, I had no idea it would have such an impact on me. It was the FutureDial, a dial that lets one select any year in the future and live in it as long as one wishes. Of course, I had no idea this was the case until I positioned the dial at 2050. I was instantly transported to a whole new place, time and environment. An experience that's etched in me for posterity.

It was a pleasant morning in Bangalore, the IT capital of the world. It was green everywhere and the air was clean. The "Go Green" campaign started for environment protection in the later part of the 20th Century had borne fruit. There was now clean water for everyone, clean air to breathe. Nature had returned to its Majestic best.

I was amazed, puzzled, intrigued. I decided to make the most of this. First thing I needed was a camera, to capture these sights, but didnot know how or where to find a store. I leaned on a tree lost in thought about what to do next when a laser screen projected in front of me instructing me to select what I was looking for. I couldnot make out what was happening. When I turned around, I realized that the tree was called a "Help Tree". During my stay, I noticed several of these "Help Trees" that were actually a guide to visitors about what they can find where.

I found a store. As soon as I selected the store, the path to it was illuminated, helping me reach there with no difficulty. I bought a camera the size of my palm.  The camera was quite something in itself. It allowed for scaling the LCD Screen. And on further using the camera, I noted that it prompted me when there were interesting sights around.

All this stunned me and left me gaping with wonder. It was unbelievable. I decided its best to go with the flow and enjoy it rather than stay stunned at the experience and probably miss out on any of these lovely surprises.

Now I needed a hotel to stay in, so I used the Help Tree to locate one. On reaching it, I requested for a room. A paper form was given to me. On filling my name, it auto filled my entire details on the LCD Screen located on the desk. In the signing area, I had to provide my finger print. Finger Print? This day and age? I was surprised but nevertheless, did give it and asked for the keys. The pleasant doorman informed me that the door to my room would open up when I am in front of it. I wouldnot need keys. And yes, it did. But how? The finger print actually didnot record my finger print but my DNA. The DNA sensor at the door matched both and opened the door when I was in front of it. Fantastic.

Now I had a place to stay, I decided explore this wonder world further. I walked into a "Transport Store" as it was called but it was nothing but a Shoe Store. When I enquired, I was told politely that the Shoes fuelled by Solar energy worked as individual vehicles, with the needed controls in them. It gained speed as you walked and with a bit of training, you could go up to speeds you desire. Incredible, yet true!

Here people spoke in a strange voice. I learnt that it was a digitized version of human speech - so encoded that the ones intended to hear it would be the only ones to hear it and understand it - no matter how far they are. And when one wanted to send a large parcel to a distant land, it was put in what looked like a Shredder. The screen above allowed the sender to put in the address. Once done, it shredded the large parcel into minute particles, only to be re -assembled at the destination automatically.

Further, I saw a child talking to its grandfather who was in a different city, both connected through the internet. What was so amazing about this? The child held his grandfather's hand while they spoke.

All this was incomprehensible, like I was in a magic land. With fairies and their wands working their magic all through.

And then I saw the unbelievable, the greatest magic of them all. I happened to switch on the Television and there I saw Tulsi in Kyunki Saas bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. With not a single strand of white hair on her head. 


  1. Hi, a good peace of imagination, but technologically possible. May be the next generation would truly experience this and many more.


  2. Anonymous3:13 PM

    hey,nice one.truly,Usability at its best!

    ...Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought - Jonathan Swift

    Shri Shri Shrivathsa :)


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