Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design & Toyota Motor Europe/Kansei Design
Window to the World
Toyota Motor Europe
Window to the World
The world of interactive technology is exploding. This concept showcases new ways of interacting with the digital world. No doubt it deserves the first place. – Irina Kharseeva
A strong, well-realized piece of mainstream corporate design fiction from Toyota. A lot of virality built-in here. I like it that it’s poetic rather than looking like some upsell feature from a car company. – Bruce Sterling
I love Window because it demonstrates speculative flexibility on these counts: it treats the problem really locally, through the eyes of a child, which makes it specific and powerful. It gives her the ability to act on her world, and not simply be acted upon. She is able to do this effectively through many modalities, and really, once you get started through her story the possibilities feel endless. You can imagine really subversive uses. She can be critical as well as an objective transcriber. She can create a kind of dialogue at the interface which is powerful. I love it and I think it’s really smart. My clear winner is Window to the World. – Maria Bezaitis
Sturgeon’s Law applied itself automatically. – Bernardo Fernandez
Window to the World
The concept re-defines the relationship between passengers in a vehicle and the world around it by transforming the vehicle’s windows into an interactive interface. Using augmented reality, what used to be a pane of glass begins to provide passengers with information about landmarks and other objects they travel past. The window can also be used as a canvas for drawings, which then interacts with the passing environment. The concepts generated aimed to re-define human-nature relationship in the context of near future mobility, expose Europeans to Japanese values and culture and use this experience to trigger emotions.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
The objective of the collaboration between Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design and TME/Kansei Design was to develop a concept in line with Japanese values and in particular with the “cherishing transitions” aspect of the Japanese originality philosophy studied by Toyota in Japan. This project is directly linked with advance research on emotional user experience creation, one of Kansei Design’s main roles at Toyota’s European Research and Development centre. Starting from the baseline idea, the two complementary design teams exchanged their knowledge about interactive design, car interior design and affective (a.k.a. “kansei”) design. The project also included a workshop with engineers working in the automotive field for the creative part of the concept generation stage.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
The focus was not solely about creating concepts that were strong in terms of visual aesthetics but rather about creating beautiful intangible experiences that were addressing specific needs and desires that would bring genuine value within the context of the conceptual idea brief.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
The CIID working process combined with the synergies that appeared with the Kansei Design team was very exciting. A combination of incremental and systemic thinking manifested itself in the work that was produced and prototyped. The project used an iterative, zoom in zoom out approach, where each stage of the process played an important role for the project. The inspiration gathered played a significant role throughout the ideation and concept generation process, igniting ideas and giving depth to the solutions. The concept generation phase facilitated collaboration not only between CIID and Kansei Design, but with other designers and engineers from TME, meaning that the concepts generated were diverse in nature due to the cross-discipline perspective of the people involved. Finally the rapid and iterative prototyping was essential to validate and test the ideas in order to develop them in to the final outcome.
In the initial phase of the project, desk research was inspired by the book “Of Place and Wind” by Tetsuya Kaida, General Manager at Toyota Motor Corporation and centred on Japanese philosophy and on the concept of transitions. Contextual interviews were conducted to gather input from Europeans about their experience with, and perception of Japan while living there. During this research phase, emphasis was given to understanding the logic and motivations to people’s reactions rather than a “yes” or “no” to a series of questions. The insights that were derived from these discussions were by no means used as a single opinion driver but used to create a larger pool of knowledge. The knowledge gathered gave awareness of people’s perceptions of the topics and also acted as a framework to decide on what to focus on during the concept generation phase of the project.
The concept generation phase used the design areas and challenges previously identified and contained “bodystorming”, brainstorming and concept building sessions with a large number of participants including engineers from Toyota. The large amount of data collected were then processed, clustered and organised in order to define potential concepts to develop further. By using scenarios as a tool combined with inspiration from our previous research and brainstorming sessions we were able to build the basis for “Window to the World”. Finally, by rapidly prototyping and iterating the concept we were able to develop them to the final outcome. For the communication of the project a vision video was produced and a working prototype was crafted by creating a software application on touch screen displays. In addition, technological research and discussion with experts were done in order to prepare the future steps of this visionary concept.
Eight interactions were developed and four of them are also visible in the video as well as in the prototype: Drawing in motion, zooming into captured moments, translating the world in local languages and augmented distances (see attached pictures and video).
The “Window to the World” project presents a platform for simple, poetic, emotional and playful experiences. It enhances discovery and learning through sharing and communication between people, as well as people and the environment.
It puts focus on the rear passenger windows and proposes a positive innovation in a location largely forgotten by the car manufacturers by re-defining the relationship between passengers and the world around them.