Perfect Quarantine Shelter With MR

This article was originally published on my personal website.

I and my wife, who is an architect and interior designer, quite often discuss ideas, concepts and our ongoing projects. We were constantly coming back to the idea of how interior design might adapt to mixed reality (MR) technology and how new technologies can change our homes in general.

Another time during a morning coffee, we thought that it would be cool to make a series of concepts about an ideal shelter for quarantine, obviously including mixed reality and other hot technologies.

Our main goal was to identify how technologies of the future can change the way we interact with our environment.

It was interesting to observe how the interior changed. Some areas look just the same, and some have a subtle difference. For example, as with MR glasses, any surface can become a screen; you don’t need to have the whole living room planned around the TV. The home office, which is a must-have for the quarantine time, had some drastic changes.

To make our iterations faster and concepts cleaner, we decided to use a simple, minimalistic style. For the interior, we used natural materials and basic shapes. UI is made mostly out of content without many decorations.

Making flawless interactions with a whole house is quite challenging. We decided to use a balanced combination of voice commands, visual UI and hand interactions. To focus on the idea, we don’t show hands on the video. Only visual clues give understanding about interactions.

We decided not to show people, even as a silhouette, at first, to avoid the uncanny valley but also to allow anyone to imagine themselves in this dream home.

Designing a perfect quarantine shelter is not an easy task. We had to leverage all basic principles of architecture, interior design, materials and new technologies. But only by placing the house into an imaginative ideal natural environment made the concept fully complete.

Our concept is based on a combination of six factors:

1. Nature

The environment isn’t something that you have to separate with barriers from the safe internal space. Spacious views allow the eye and mind to rest.

2. Architecture

Clever planning of the house has nice open areas for the whole family to gather. At the same time, there are plenty of cozy corners where you can hide and relax in silence. Most internal spaces connected to nature blur the border between internal and external. The continuous surface of the ocean and ancient mountains become an extension of your living area.

3. Interior

Simple and minimalistic style made of natural materials supports the main concept. The second role of the interior isn’t so evident at first glance. Everything is designed to hide sensors and to show augmented information for the person who is wearing mixed-reality glasses.

4. IoT

House is filled with sensors to make life easier. No matter if it’s sophisticated medical equipment built into the regular-looking chair, a symptom-tracking system or a simple weather tracker, the house is ready to support and comfort its habitats in any situation.

5. AI

Machine learning algorithms are used to extract value from all data that comes from the inside of the house and the outside world. One of the ways to communicate with the house is a natural-voice assistant.

6. MR

Voice assistant is the only supporting system that gives short updates and starts interactions. Mixed-reality technology is used for most of the cases. It is ready to show you the latest updates from the outside world, to help make choices and deliver the work station from the future.

Each piece of the puzzle is mandatory to design the perfect experience. After spending quarantine in such a house, you will never want to come back to the office. 😉

It looks like a simple meditation room that was made with sound-absorbing materials, featuring a gorgeous seaside view, but with MR technology, the home office is getting into another level of private space.

The introduction of MR to the home office has created the most drastic changes; without needing the screen, the whole room becomes a desktop.

It becomes a multifunctional room for online communication, games, movies, news and health checks.

Health tracking systems are always on, ensuring the health of the habitats.

The house is like a living organism. Using network of sensors that track environmental changes and the physical states of the habitats adjusts everything to match activities in real-time for each small zone.

At the same time, a combination of mixed reality goggles and perfect hand tracking allows everything to be controlled on demand.

The whole house is adapted, delivering information in the best possible manner. It might be delivering the morning news while it is making coffee for you.

It might provide a detailed analysis of the world’s, or a neighboring area’s health situation with personalized details and recommendations.

MR makes the whole interior an interactive object.

House is always ready to help you with any possible tasks.

It always cares about you. It’ll recommend the best time to get groceries and plan the perfect portions with optimal nutritional value.

Living on the outskirts gives you a chance to go out more and enjoy nature. Such a sophisticated system can also be used for some fun. The power of AI can help you choose between surfing and kiteboarding. 😉

By designing this house, we had to close our eyes to some of the technical limitations. But it allowed us to have a glimpse into the possible future that fueled our day-to-day work.

Regarding architecture and interior, you can find more in the full case study by Inna Sparrow on Behance.

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Volodymyr Kurbatov

Volodymyr Kurbatov

Product Designer (AI, VR, AR). Creator of Inborn Experience.