Research and design lab SPACE10 and Inter IKEA Systems, the worldwide IKEA franchisor, have published the results of their latest digital experiments on their evolving experimentation platform, EverydayExperiments.com.
A series of digital experiments, Everyday Experiments aims to explore the role of technology in the home and take the everyday and make it extraordinary. Reflecting on people’s time confined indoors, collaborators explored both ways to escape and solve problems at home to make the everyday a little bit better. The results include an AI (articifial intelligence)-powered recipe generator and a meditative walking application.
“It is the ambition of IKEA to inspire and enable many more of the many people to live a better everyday life within the limits of the planet,” said Fredrik Axén, Digital Manager at Inter IKEA Systems. “Spatial computing enables new ways to sense, understand, connect, and communicate with each other at home. With that, how can technology be used in new ways, individually and collectively, to improve not only how we live at home, but also how we use technology as a means of escaping the physical restrictions of our four walls without needing to leave it?”
Here’s a rundown of the latest round of experiments…
Virtual Oasis by Field Systems
Virtual Oasis uses augmented reality (AR) and spatial audio to take the user on a guided meditation journey, extending the boundaries of their home into a digital paradise. The mixed reality experience explores an ancient technique through modern technology to provide a space for meditation and restoration. Using ambient sounds, Virtual Oasis guides the user into a meditative state, building on listening practices such as sound baths in which participants simply let the experience wash over them as a form of relaxation and stress relief.
Algorithmic Chef by Osk
The Algorithmic Chef uses object detection and artificial intelligence (AI) to create unique recipes from ingredients that may have otherwise gone to waste. Using object detection, the application first visually identifies each of the individual ingredients and then uses a Natural Language Processing system that is trained on a wide array of recipes to write an original recipe, complete with a title, description and ingredients. The result would be a personalised meal that uses only the ingredients the user already has and encourages a creative and more sustainable approach in the kitchen.
Mood Blossom by Osk
Mood Blossom uses AI to generate responsive floral avatars that reflect the user’s sense of well-being. This application would provide an intuitive indication of how someone is feeling by using nature as its foundation, offering a balance to more statistical understandings. It would lead the user through an interactive experience designed to grasp a sense of their overall well-being, presenting them with a series of prompts to respond to. Then, rather than through language or numerical data, Mood Blossom would use a generative adversarial network (GAN) to produce a personalised flower that represents the user’s current state of well-being.
Forever Meadow by Pitch Studios
Forever Meadow is a meditative walking application, one which would invite the user on a journey where their moving feet trigger the creation of an endless garden around them. Whilst it might not always be physically possible, many people crave a closer connection to the natural world or simply yearn for the outdoors. Forever Meadow proposes augmented reality as a tool to experience the benefits of meditative walking (a technique used to calm the mind while out and about) from within the home.
Kaleidoscopic Home by Tin & Ed
Kaleidoscopic Home is an AR application that would enrich the user’s life at home through playful spatial interventions to improve physical and mental well-being. The application explores how a user can digitally augment their physical space to encourage a more active, creative and playful mode of living.
Convolution Reverb by Yuri Suzuki
Convolution Reverb uses spatial audio to allow the user to experience new shapes, sizes and materialities to the rooms in their home. Using smart speakers, the application would sonically morph the dimensions of the room, freely modifying the position, size, shape and material of walls and ceilings into changed surroundings. Users could even shift between customized and real-world locations to experience an entirely new sonic landscape.