viltr. is the name of a fictional company whose product and service offerings enable people to change their vision through the use of various visual filters. The hypothetical digital and physical products represent design proposals for objects in another world and are part of a vision of the future that could be imagined in about seven to ten years' time.
To explore these questions and give shape to the immense benefits that personalized vision could bring to our lives, our work, and society as a whole, we developed the speculative design project called "viltr."
We are at the beginning of a vision revolution. In the coming decade, we will most likely live in a world where visible computers have increasingly disappeared and are closer to our bodies - and even in our eyes. It is already becoming apparent that AR and VR technology is moving more and more in the direction of "invisible computing" and advancing further into our everyday lives [Q1].
This trend opens up entirely new possibilities for vision and could lead to our perception becoming even more individualized. In our opinion, personalized vision is the next logical step in the evolution of vision. We also see it as having the potential to use the language of design to speculate about possible impacts on our lives and to encourage thinking about a desirable future.
The scenario is both believable and comprehensible due to its chronological location close to the present, and the high level of detail of the artifacts makes it seem as if they could already exist. Nevertheless, the future scenario leaves enough room for own interpretations.
In order to use the filters and thus enjoy the full viltr.experience, two hardware products are primarily required. The viltr.lenses (AR contact lenses) project the filters directly onto the retina of the eye using the integrated AR technology, while the viltr.controller (smart ring) enables control of the filters. The filters themselves can be purchased via the viltr.store (web store) and applied directly with the lenses. To be ready for use at any time, the contact lenses and the ring are inductively charged at night via the viltr.station (charging station). To prevent the lenses from drying out in the process and to keep them hygienic, they can be cleaned with the viltr.cleaner (cleaning solution) and stored and charged in the viltr.case (charging case), which has its own place on the viltr.station.
All product purchases can be made and the customer's own viltr.account accessed via the web store, - the viltr.store. On the store's filter page, there is an overview of well-known categories such as fitness or lifestyle. Depending on the account option, an unlimited number of filters are freely available or individual filters can be booked. In addition, it is possible to individually set in the account settings whether or which specific filters are to be activated based on location or time.
Through viltr.community, it would be possible for users to submit their own suggestions and to vote for previous suggestions. In order to be able to offer customers as wide a range of visual filters as possible, the viltr.lab should also be able to create filters for others and offer them in the viltr.store. A review process should precede the approval of filters by external developers in the viltr.store.
In order to also highlight the use of the products as critical and to stimulate a discourse, we transformed the well-known warning notice from pharmaceutical advertising. It now includes possible effects of using the products and refers to possible dangers.
For a good UX we also had to think about how the filter would be applied to our vision. The viltr.controller (ring) is operated with simple gesture control. The interface is projected centered on the user's field of view and can be shown or hidden by touching the ring. The vision user interface should be as intuitive as possible and as less invasive and disruptive in the field of view as necessary.
The overall goal of our project is to provoke a debate about what would happen if personalized vision becomes the norm and filter bubbles from the digital space expand into real life, so to speak. At the same time, we want our design approach to help increase the likelihood of a desirable future.
Although the project was a speculative project concept of the future, it was all the more important to test the idea around visual filters, at least on a low level. For this we modified glasses and used colored foils. From here, our goal was to present the use cases as close to real life as possible with the help of the video. The company viltr. should feel tangible through branding, store fronts, product presentation and other additional services.
Before the viltr. concept could be developed, the future scenarios had to be worked out first. For this we worked with different futuring and scenario building methods. Based on this, we formulated use cases and built the viltr. product world.