Future of Home – Togetherness

Human connection and sense of togetherness will be enhanced, not only via technology, but also a possible new definition of family beyond a biological restriction.

Future of Home – Togetherness

This Story is part of a series.

  • Joyce Moore
    Joyce Moore Design Researcher, designaffairs
  • Mattawan Sutjaritthanarak
    Mattawan Sutjaritthanarak Design Researcher, designaffairs
  • Antonia Meißner
    Antonia Meißner Design Researcher, designaffairs

Shrinking resources whether they are financial, environmental, or a declining population does not always mean more separation and competition among people. Rather, we believe this will result in a new definition of togetherness, where care is not limited to biological relatives.

As the household is being redefined, a sense of family has expanded beyond conventional interpretation. Co-living among like-minded people is becoming a popular choice that reduces their financial spending while feeling less lonely.

Furthermore child-caring and raising are not limited to biological parents, allowing others like friends, adopters, midwives, or the community to take an active role. In this future physical presence is not a requirement for caring or supporting since people around the globe are permanently connected in a virtual world. The concept of sharing has entered a new era; it is being done with more attention to the hygiene and health aspect. As we build a system that can create a sense of togetherness by bringing people together, physically or virtually, we also ensure that there is an option for individual physical and mental space, as well as hygiene.

Future of Home: Connected childcare – The story of Martha

In a fast-moving world, where changes happen rapidly and feelings of uncertainty occur frequently, people will naturally seek help through social exchanges to care for their health and the health of their children or loved ones. How could we support caregivers remotely in raising their children? How could we create a virtual network of moms, dads, non-biological caregivers, and health workers to support people who are on their own?

Imagine 32-year old Martha, who has just given birth to her baby girl Emma. Martha is a first-time mum and a single mother, so she is very unsure about how to care for her baby’s health, how to recognize unusual events, and how to proceed if Emma is sick. Martha wants to give her baby the perfect start in life. This includes providing the best health conditions possible to avoid serious incidents such as sudden child death. Therefore, Martha decides to get support from the AI-powered and cloud-based eco-system called “Lumino”. Lumino consists of a monitoring device, a companion app, and several other smart accessories, such as the baby cradle, buggy, and diaper. This way Martha always stays informed about Emma’s state of health and can quickly identify discrepancies.

Lumino is a cloud-based eco-system that supports Martha in understanding her baby’s state of health.

Lumino helps to keep track of Emma’s nutritional state by analyzing her diaper phases. Based on this the app makes dietary recommendations for her growth. Furthermore, as milk preparation is automated by a smart kitchen device, the milk formula can be adjusted with the necessary vitamins to meet the baby’s needs. In this instance the Lumino app informs Martha that Emma is lacking Vitamin D and suggests this addition for the next 6 weeks.

Lumino helps to keep track of Baby Emma’s nutrition and gives additional suggestions on a balanced amount of nutrients.

The other day Emma was crying constantly even though Martha had tried everything without much success – Martha was concerned that something might be seriously wrong with her child. Luckily, the companion app had already analyzed Emma’s voice pattern. After an automated double-check with the family doctor, the algorithm concluded it was colic. Lumino additionally made several suggestions on how the colic could be lessened. Having been suggested a belly rub Martha is amazed that after a few short minutes Emma stops crying and is smiling again.

By voice recognition, the companion app Lumino is able to analyze and give more detailed information about her well-being.

Even with the support of the local government systems Martha often feels overwhelmed being a single mum and raising her child on her own. She feels the need for a network of support. To reach out to such a network, Martha uses Lumino to chat and exchanges tips other caregivers and benefitting from their years of experiences. Martha is happy that Lumino offers a virtual network of people located directly in her community as well as others around the world. If Martha is unsure about Lumino’s suggestions, she can look for similar experiences within the network or contact someone for virtual support via the video or the AR-glasses.  Furthermore, she agreed to share Emma’s health data directly with her doctor and midwife so they can monitor Emma’s health and offer on the spot care regarding any abnormalities. With Lumino, Martha feels less alone and more supported in the care of her child.

Join us in part 4 as we dive deeper into the future of mobility and its ubiquity.

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