Observing Possible Micro-futures

Play Lab_August 30, 2016

TEXTING BLINDNESS 
Have you found yourself bumping into random objects or people while you’re walking? Do you find it difficult to walk in a straight line? Well you might be suffering from cellphone unawareness syndrome.

Someone’s going to crash.

You might be familiar with the typical millennial walking down the street or sidewalk staring straight down into their phone, barely taking the time to look where they are going. Despite aids like “voice to text” and “Siri” people continue to stare deeply into their screens unaware of anything that’s happening around them while they are walking.

Can you imagine a future like this?

Humans are smart, and if you look closely every once in a while you will see someone texting while holding their phone up in front of their eyes rather than down by their waste. By doing so, they are able to rely on their peripheral vision to warn them about incoming obstacles before it’s too late.

Holding the phone a bit higher really helps!

Imagine a future where human’s can still text, check the weather, and email without risking their lives at the same time. Google glass attempted it but failed. What possible future can come out of this?

THE PATH LESS TRAVELED BY
If you spend enough time in a public park or on a school campus, you might notice that despite there being flat and paved sidewalks, people still cut through the grass to get to where they want. Even at the risk of getting their new white shoes dirty, this person feels the need to take the path less traveled by. In fact on rare occasion, so many people choose to cut though a certain area of grass that it leads to the creation of a permanent mud path.

Muddy path created by people’s feet.

People choose to modify their environment for them but often times with negative results (killing grass, muddy shoes etc.). Solutions such as fake grass turf exist, but are only adopted for sports fields and not public areas. This could be because it does not feel or resemble grass closely enough.

Current state of fake grass. Not so appealing.

The way we use grass currently barely impacts our environment and only exists for aesthetic appeal. What if there was a way to create a synthetic grass and ground that doesn’t get muddy, stays dry, feels nice on your bare feet, and never gets destroyed? Can you imagine a future where we have zero maintenance, environmentally friendly, grass? It exists! But why isn’t it more widespread?

Check out this link for synthetic turf grass: http://www.heavenlygreens.com/blog/topic/fake-grass

THE COOL VELCRO SHOE 
Most of us are taught how to tie our shoe laces at a very young age, yet many of us continue to keep our shoes tied and slip our feet in and out. Even I am sometimes guilty of this. Why is it that we are that lazy to tie them? Snug shoes feel much better anyways.

We were all there.

We have all the technology in the world and yet we have had no success in making laceless shoes cool and stylish to wear. From a young age we are all guilty of keeping our shoe laces tied and sliding our feet in and out and/or double knoting the laces so they do not untie. In fact sliding your foot inside a tied shoe over and over stretches it out, ruins the fit, and makes it more likely for you to injure your foot.

Companies like Nike have already began developing self tying shoes and have started to market them to the public. But why has it taken this long?

http://www.newsweek.com/nike-unveils-first-mass-market-self-tying-shoes-437880

Why are velcro shoes not cool? Why does it seem to take millions of dollars and years of research to make self tying shoe? Can you image all the time you would save in your life if you didn’t have to untie and tie your shoes each time? A future where we slip into our shoes and take less than a few seconds to tighten them up sounds pretty nice.