OMNI — Adopting Future

Nikolaj Dam Roadley-Battin & Idil Tunga

Chapter 1 — First Sight

Twenty years from now, adoption services are held by private companies that are approved by the government. And the corporates are replacing social workers job with devices. But this is not the only reason. Companies wants constant monitoring devices at home. This devices not only gather data about the user, how they behave, but also push information through the connected home. Omni adoption service has shaddy term of conditions but people don’t seem to mind. Since they have already giving and spreading so much information, they are less resistant to data privacy. At least the ones who has to go through this service can only be part if they accept without asking questions. Take it or leave it.

Today is the day. I am going to visit the Adoption Centre. I don’t feel so ready, but it is now or never if I want to adopt. I better be not overthink this. When he heads to the adoption centre downtown, he thought he never liked government offices but it is what it is he said to himself…

There he is, waiting for the first meeting. He is relieved that he doesn’t have to meet anyone in person. But the couple just left the booth seemed so unhappy, apparently they were denied he thought. “Oh snap! This is not helping.” When he entered the booth he was more nervous than ever…

Chapter 2 — The motivation

After he set up the device at home, Anton feels motivated. “I am gonna do this right” he said to himself. I am ready to be a parent, I will do whatever it takes. With the motivation and new setup at home, he is now more careful and cautious of his actions. He tries to eat healthy, and watch videos about how to take care of children. Well it is not something he can escape anyhow with the new device at home, all the tv commercials turn into baby products even tv is changing channels by itself. Anton is not complaining he is still super motivated. He try to his best to cook healthy and behave. It is not easy to live with an object constantly watches you and rates you. And the wearable is not that comfy, but it is worth it.

Chapter 3 — Unexpected Surprise

Omni is constantly observing the participant, listens to the word he says, knows what he watches, what he eats, his sleep cycles and even his stress levels. According to all this data, Anton is constantly rated. And this is communicated through the product. It is almost the silent stalker in his home. Couple of months later in this process Anton starts to get annoyed by it more than he is motivated.

“Oh that night when Omni woke me up in the middle of the night, I was so surprised in the beginning. Couldn’t really understand what is going on in the beginning. It didn’t stop crying. Didn’t know what to do. When I finally get it silent again, I was so pissed. But in the end my rating went high, so I guess I did good…”

Chapter 4 — Who is the boss

It has been several months now, Anton is highly annoyed by the presence of Omni at his home. He is tense and he needs a break now. But he doesn’t want to give in. One night when he watching a show on how to change a diapers he fall asleep in front of the TV. When he woke up in the middle of the night, he figured out that his rating went up. It gives him an idea. He did a little search online, and read about stories: how to hack your Omni! Why didnt he thought about that before. It turned Omni was not smart after all!

“Oh what a busy day, I really need a break!. Can not take Omni crap today.” Anton turns on the TV baby channel, tunes into the Happy Baby podcast, turns the empty oven on. Finally he was in his couch ready to put on his VR set to play his favorite game. “I am shutting myself down for a bit, Omni can’t catch me here…”

Future Domestic Landscape

Design Fictions from the MFA Interaction Design programme, Umeå Institute of Design, 2015–2017.

Nikolaj Dam Roadley-Battin

Written by

Future Domestic Landscape

Design Fictions from the MFA Interaction Design programme, Umeå Institute of Design, 2015–2017.

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