These projects – SKIN; Tattoo and Off the Grid; Sustainable Habitat 2020 – take a provocative and stimulating look at subjects that could have a profound effect on the way we live 15 years from now. In doing so, they also help improve the chances of innovation success.
The Philips Design Probes program is a unique foresighting initiative which tracks emerging developments in five main areas – politics, economics, environment, technology and culture. The outcomes of this ‘far-future’ research are used to identify systemic shifts that could affect business in years to come and that could lead to new areas in which to develop intellectual property. The main objective of this program is to stimulate the discussion and register the feedback of our stakeholders.
A tattoo that changes
The SKIN; Tattoo project investigates the use of ‘electronic’ ink that would allow people to have dynamic tattoos with an infinite number of display options. In much the same way as make-up is put on and taken off to suit the occasion, a tattoo could alter whenever desired. The tattoos could even change in response to gestures or emotions, which opens up novel ways of communicating and interacting with others.
The Off the Grid; Sustainable Habitat 2020 Probe looks at scenarios in which the built environment becomes active; the walls, roofs and floors have much more than just a structural function. Outer shells of buildings may be made to trap rainwater so it can be purified on-site for drinking. Sunlight is captured to provide electricity and water heating, while the wind outside could conceivably be harnessed and channeled into the building for air-conditioning.