IMATION is a project set in the year 2052 of the future, where data is everywhere and an all-time present. While people have long adapted to a life style of nearly constant data producing and collecting, many worry about what actually happens to their data. IMATION is a try on protecting and preserving user data without wanting to take away the benefits of sharing them. It is a physical, completely offline device to mobilize and carry data much like an USB stick of the future.
At the beginning of this speculative design project we tried to figure out what subject we wanted to work on. It became clear relatively early that we wanted to get informed and work on subjects related to data, big data and privacy and - considering events in the real world - how this would play out in the not too far away future. We assume that exponential growth in data will likely continue to happen, therefore one of our criteria was to create a product that is positive and will try to take the fear of that future off the people.
The IMATION system possesses a variety of functions. One segment of this is organizing and mobilizing data, giving the user the possibility to carry their data around like a physical object. The other segment is about using data for a different cause: to have the environment adapt on the user. This would for example include public spaces, cars from sharing services or workspaces. The unit would be placed on the designated surface and preset settings (temperature, mirrors, seat height, … ) would adapt accordingly.
The units are the mobile part of the product. They are small enough to be carried around and provide information abou their status via LEDs. Units are meant to be individualized with the home system, by being put into the inductive bowl on its back, where it will automatically connect to the system. If it is required for the user to take data with them, they will simply interact with the home system and take the designated unit with them.
The Home System
The IMATION home system is meant to be the organizer for the units and the sensitive data. Like the unit it is completely offline and any information (for example for a calendar) needs to be brought in externally. It is used by touch or voice and like the unit will temporarily lock onto a user.