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Cautionary Visions

Karten Design Concept

Consumer: Defining What’s Next

Disturbing concepts beg the question, just because we can, does it mean we should?

At Karten Design, we are frequently commercializing new technologies for widespread consumer use. We believe it’s important for us as designers to step back and think about the impact that our products can have. This concept project is a reflection on the responsibilities of designers in a world of rapid technological evolution. Analyzing current trends in technology and popular culture, from cell engineering to the increasingly blurred boundaries between natural and artificial, we imagined the dark alleys down which these trends could take us and presented a series of “Cautionary Visions.”

EPIDERMITS
In a world where the value of life decreases daily, where boundaries between real and artificial are increasingly blurred, comes the toy that will truly confuse kids and rob them of any remaining sense of the natural. Epidermits are fully functioning organisms, resulting from advanced tissue engineering and the latest fuel cell and electronics technology. They don’t feel pain – or think – but follow a complex set of algorithms. They require minimal maintenance, can be stored in a state of forced hibernation in a standard refrigerator, and are customizable with different body, skin and hair selections and through tanning, tattooing and piercing.

ASSISTED LIVING CONTACT LENSES
Introducing the full-time, inescapable, never-leave-your-side personal assistant. No more getting lost with the GPS enable map overlay. Never be late again with the ever-present clock overlay. Forgetting to take your pills will be a thing of the past with the personal assistant there to remind you. Watching your cholesterol? Customizable diet filters help you track your fat intake and offer helpful reminders to keep you on track. Need? Desire? Intrusion? You decide.

PERSONAL VIEWING SYSTEM
Tired of missing your favorite reality show, newscast, or sports event? Never again will a tiresome family picnic or boring commute interfere with your “screen-time,” with this wearable Personal Viewing System. Holographic projection meets wireless audio capability for full entertainment enjoyment, while eliminating troublesome external distractions. The flexible form is portable, lightweight, and comfortable, and especially beneficial in easing stress in congested urban environments.

SPIT & HANDSHAKE DIGITAL SECURITY SYSTEM
We’re making friends with the information age. The best insurance that an exchange of information is secure lies in an age-old tradition of face-to-face encounters. Bringing an old-fashioned sense of security to the digital age, Spit & Handshake uses thumbprint and DNA identification to insure that information is safe and shared only between those for whom it’s intended. The past is here.

FULL-BABY PACIFIER
This system delivers full-baby pacification with content that nurtures and educates your baby. Age-specific, content-rich programs will introduce your infant to material that has been selected especially for pre-lingual learning: proven intelligence-enhancing music, seminal artworks, and scientific concepts illustrated in baby-friendly terms. Imagine your child developing a foundational knowledge in literature, music, art and science – while you lead the life you deserve.

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