When thinking about the future, there are some useful thought experiments to get you started. One is to ask what might happen if an emerging technology becomes inexpensive and available to everybody. Another way is to look at trends in human behaviour and combine things that are unrelated today but might merge in the future.
Nimway asked us to help create a vision of a future office. Together, we thought of ways in which their advanced smart office system could enable new types of services for professionals. We ended up making a video inspired by emerging tech such as automation and voice assistants, combined with broader trends such as the gig economy and the move from products to services. Here are some of the ideas we explored:
Working from anywhere
In a growing gig economy, we think that more people want flexibility in where they work. Just like freelancers, employees at large organisations might want to shop around for different co-working spaces depending on their current location and the project they are currently involved in.
We can imagine ourselves using self-driving taxis and we think automation will spread to many domains. If facilities become automated services, they might be able to promote themselves with very little involvement from humans.
Connected devices can be annoying if they compete for our attention. We think smart office systems can make the Internet of Things more well-behaved. For example, if a screen, coffee machine or robotic chair knows who is nearby and where that person’s attention is, it can better know when and how to introduce itself.
Easy access and customisation
Offices are controlled environments where people can use digital identifiers for easy access to rooms and equipment. A smart office service can follow you as you travel and remember everything from your last workspace setup to your taste in coffee and preferred chair adjustment.
Bringing it all together
We think these kinds of position-aware office services should combine visuals and sounds that span and link all interconnected devices. When all devices in an office know their positions, they can combine their visual and auditory output to better guide visitors through the building.
Get in touch if you want to think about the future of your industry together with us! We can’t promise that we’ll bring our robotic chairs and transparent mobiles, but we’ll help you quickly generate and visualise some great ideas.