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  • 1. Open.CompanyOpen.BrandOpen.ProductOpen.RetailOpen.InformationOpen.SystemOpen.ObjectAn exploration into how future technology scenarios mightcultivate increased transparency of product information,particularly in retail environments; empoweringconsumers to make more sustainable product choices. Jessi Baker Solo Project Report Innovation Design Engineering 6th June 2011
  • 2. Executive Summary Barbara Kruger, 1987This experimental project aims to encourage reflection, research, andcomparison of products’ sustainability and ethics criteria, whilst raising thedebate on brands’ rights in an Augmented Reality and the potential for futuretechnology to foster ethical and democratic ‘choice architecture’.A process of research and experimentation was conducted looking atthree main topics: Radical transparency of product information, Pervasivecomputing and, eventually, Augmented Reality supporting new models forconsumerism. I designed and experimented in the negative space betweenthe user and the product, using a series of interventions designed for currentand future physical urban retail environments. I am primarily looking at thefashion and beauty industry, but also food and consumer goods industries,as part of my research and experimentation.My final experiment is a prototype of a system to aid better selection ofproducts; two experimental interventions in the form of an installation thatenables Augmented Reality and information ‘curation’ to change the ‘choicearchitecture’ of consumer shopping scenarios in order to empower moresustainable choices. I am designing using technologies that are available now,but still in their infancy, with a view to further development of technologiessuch as Pervasive Computing and Augmented Reality. “ Beyond the Age of Information is the Age of Choices ” - Eames 3
  • 3. ContentsStatement of originality 7Project Context 9Glossary 11Sustainability Positioning 13Research Summary 15Radical Transparency of Product Information 15Transparency of Information and Pervasive 17ComputingAugmented Reality and alternative models for 18consumptionHypothesis 21Project Plan: Summary of Key dates 22Design and Research Process 23Experimentation 25One shopping list, one street, 27 countries 25Where is it from? 27Scenario presentation 27Provenance AR/web interface design 28Collective shopping basket 31User journey mapping 31Evolving choice architecture 33Changing choice architecture with AR and object 34recognitionProjection of information around objects 36Final show experimentsOpen.Object 39Interface design 41Technology Description 43Conclusions 45Bibliography 47Appendices 50 5
  • 4. Statement of OriginalityExcept where indicated in the text, all work in this report is my own originalwork. The technologies pervasive computing and augmented reality arenot my own invention, but the system, control and application of thesetechnologies are my own work. 7
  • 5. Do you know what you are buying into?
  • 6. Project Context “ We propose a reversal of priorities in favour of more useful, lasting and democratic forms of communication – a mindshift away from product marketing and toward the exploration and production of a new kind of meaning. The scope of debate is shrinking; it must expand. Consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part, ” through the visual languages and resources of design. - First Things First Manifesto, 1964The world’s environmental and social problems are evident to many ofus as citizens; however, as consumers we are lacking truthful and timelyinformation to guide our purchasing decision making to truly change them.Worse, we are often misled. “Without understanding the impacts of goodsand services, we buy into systems that deplete natural resources, worsenenvironmental and social problems and endanger humans and ecosystems”(Bonanni, 2009). Our choices in the market place successfully decide whichgoods and therefore which companies thrive and grow above others.“Every transaction in the scheme of things is small, incremental, seeminglyinconsequential, but each moment has the potential to create real change”(Hawken, 1993).So “we know that a dollar paid is a vote cast for the kind of world we want”(WorldChanging) yet there still appears to be a branded smokescreenbetween the product in front of us and the impactful system, effecting manyenvironments and communities, behind it. The good news is that consumerchoices also represent “daily opportunities to support alternatives that arebetter for our health and for the environment” (WWG Good Stuff Guide).There is an increasing volume and management of available information viathe internet, but it is currently not fully utilised to empower consumers toinvest in products that are genuinely better for society and the environment.As consumers our freedom of comparison and decision is a programmedfreedom ; “we can only chose from that which we are presented” (Flusser,1999), but through technology we could be presented with more, better,filtered choices. What if our choice architectures reflected our choices as asociety not only as an individual? 9
  • 7. Product Provenance Referring to the origins of products including their supply chains; encompassing many places, communities, processes and materials. Transparency I define transparency of a particular product as the accessibility to truthful information on the product itself, its life-cycle and its supply chain, whether it is economic, environmental or social. This can be applied to the point of view of any stakeholder in the product’s direct use, life-cycle or supply chain. Information Curation The sifting through, selecting and visualizing of information with the aim of adding value and ease of use. Choice Architecture Describes the way in which decisions are influenced by how the choices are presented (in order to influence the outcome) (Nudge Blog, 2011). Ubiquitous Computing (Also referred to as pervasive computing and ambient intelligence) is a post-desktop model of human-computer interaction in which information processing has been thoroughly integrated into everyday objects and activities (Wikipedia, 2011). Augmented Reality Also referred to as AR. A special case of the wider concept of ‘Mediated Reality’, which refers to the ability to add to, subtract information from, or otherwise manipulate one’s perception of reality through the use of a wearable computer or hand-held device such as a smart phone . Augmented Reality can enhance our situational knowledge by providing visual information that supplements what we naturally perceive. Sustainability Defined by the United Nations as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future generations to meet their own needs.” Sustainability encompasses environmental, economic and social preservation and welfare.Key Concepts 11
  • 8. Sustainability PositioningEnvironmental Sustainability Ethical/Social Sustainability Economic SustainabilityKey environmental sustainability Finite as well as qualitatative The essence of this project iscriteria are brought to the measures of social sustainability about financially supportingforefront of consumer decision are highlighted in my system. the ‘fittest’ businesses in termsmaking with my system. I created the system with the of sustainability criteria rather premise to pave the way for than just profit (or return onI have chosen to focus on three qualitative representation of investment).measures of environmental social issues.sustainability: Carbon Footprint, A key part of my project isToxic Materials and Water Usage. I chosen to focus on two issues the idea of an ‘augmentedMy final experiment will consist related to social sustainability: alternative’, where whenof a matrix of products where Animal Welfare and the measure viewing the products througheach product has stored data of Living Wage. Information on a filter based on your interests,on these measures, depending these issue will, again, be visible, if required, an alternativeon whether the consumer to varying degrees, depending presented is manifested virtuallyis interested, comparative on the consumer’s interest. for the consumer based on theinformation about these information consulted. Thismeasures will become visible in allows consumers to choosethe product environment. things that are not presented to them, but better suit their criteriaI am using a selection of 7 for choice. to the selection ofindependent bodies to provide products.information on the products(including Ethiscore and There is proof of an expansionGoodGuide). of marketplace for more ethical goods, yet ‘greenwash’ is strongly hindering its productive development. Seamless access to independent information ‘curated’ by you as you shop could allow consumers to economically support the kind of corporations and products that match their values. 13
  • 9. Structural HoleIndonesian workers Shareholders Subcontractor Subcontractor Store Customers Subcontractor SubcontractorChinese workers New York Times 60mins FLAIndonesian workers Shareholders Subcontractor Subcontractor Store Customers Subcontractor SubcontractorChinese workers The Structural Hole and The Structural Hole Filled, reinterpreted from ‘Ethics and Network Organizations’ by Robert A. Phillips, 2009
  • 10. Project Research: Summary of Findings “ The question now is how to enable rational and ethical behaviour in a world too complex for applied rationality, how to make our ignorance an opportunity ” for continual learning and adjustment. -New Scientist 14/05/11 Radical Transparency of Product InformationWhen people encounter the word transparency, they often think of glass.Transparency is a material property of glass; light passes directly throughit and you can see clearly what’s behind it. There is another context for theterm transparency and that is “transparency can mean conveying the truth.”(Henriques, 2007). Transparency can be a trait of candid openness denotingaccessibly of information, be it in a person, a product or system. For a productthis implies accessibility to timely and understandable information relatingto the products’ supply chain details, provenance and life-cycle impact, inorder to facilitate open choice.Radical transparency of product informationhas been a rising issue for over a decade,provoked by books such as No Logo (Klien),independent media exposes and the internet.However, transparency has been an issueperhaps since production of our products leftour communities, for example with reporterssuch as Upton Sinclair depicting the lives of “thetargets of unseen enemies” (Sinclair, 1906) in theChicago meatpacking industry in1906.Independent media, governments and NGOshave all attempted to aid transparency ofproduct information, closing the ‘structural Ethical trading marks, various sourceshole’ that has emerged largely due to thefast globalization of business, between theproduct supply chains and the consumer facing ‘Brandscapes’ (Koolhass).There have been some amazing leaps forward, from the Fair Trade mark,compulsory ingredients listing on all food, to Smart Phone applications suchas the GoodGuide. However, the plethora of factors and the enormity andcomplexity of the issue mean the issue is far from ‘tackled’ and will need newdynamic platforms as a new age of ubiquitous technology approaches.“Brands will soon be forced to be more transparent, they will realiseconsumers are more aware of the environment and that it costs less to gogreen.” (Beyond Branding, 2006). Through researching the issues surroundingand the successes in transparency of product information, it became clearthat it is not the quantity of the information that is import, but that the rightstakeholders getting the right information (from the right source) at the righttime (i.e. in line with an action, such as product purchase). 15
  • 11. Transparency of product information has “traditionally been championed by watchdog organisations and government agencies” (HSIM, 2010), such as Global Witness and Transparency International. Relatively few are directly consumer - or designer - facing; they are more focused on governmental level legislation and regulation as this is most certainly the most proven mannerAir Freighted’ sticker for immediate change. A notable success being The Kimberly Process which(2009) by Tesco. came about after “Global Witness, a small London based non‐governmentalFood that has been organisation (NGO), published a report on A rough trade” (NCCR Paper on thetransported by air Kimberley Process) in 1998. Government regulation and global governanceand is marked. are currently essential in the fight against injustice in sustainable development and human rights, but consumer - and designer - facing transparency can only aid in the eradication of the need for regulation at all, a much longer term ideal. “The need for regulation is a sign of design failure, [it’s often just] a license to harm at an ‘acceptable rate’.” (Braungart and McDonough, 2002). During my research I formulated a Manifesto for Designers for Transparency, which is included in the appendices of this report. Independent data integration onto product packaging has been led by the food industry through clear labeling of ingredients and also ‘food miles’ as a quick aid to carbon footprint comparisons between products. There are manyFarm Number by Dole: Organic logos and marks of approval from various independentbananas are labelled with a number organisations that can be marked on packaging and products.indicating a banana farm location. The From ‘Fair Trade’ certified to ‘Forest Stewardship Councilcode can be entered into the website (FSC)’ approved, the independent seal has risen as a clearonline to reveal images of the farm way to replace branding as a mark of trust, providing clueslocation and conditions to the company’s good treatment of at least one aspect of environment and society. However, the aesthetics of ethical shopping marks and guides are still crude, unemotional and having been developed for the food and commodities industries and are not translating well into the more complex clothing and consumer goods markets, such as the fashion and beauty industry. Media and tools which develop Product Supply Chain Transparency capability have existed in many forms for some time, although it is only since the widespread use of the internet that truly radical transparency has been able to grow and give rise to online open source collective approaches to reveal the truth behind products,GoodGuide(2007) by Dara O’Rourke: Website like phone it’s these platforms, for exampleaplication providing information about the health, Sourcemap ( that needenvironmental and social performance of products and to be integrated into information aboutcompanies products at the point of sale. 16
  • 12. Transparency of Information and Pervasive ComputingGlobalization has increased overall complexity of the production of ourproducts but the internet enhanced out global interconnectivity (Lawson,2009). The ‘Internet of Things’ or Pervasive computing, will enhanceour interconnectivity still further. In the near future all objects will have “intelligence and the ability tocommunicate. Indeed we are seeing The future will see a new kind of object,this ‘third wave’ of computing come we have the primitive forms of theminto play already. “We’ve moved now in our pockets and briefcases: User-from a desktop internet to mobile alterable, baroquely multi-featured, andphones and mobile internet - the programmable, that will be sustainable, ”next step is buildings and objects,enabling us to communicate with enhanceable, and uniquely identifiable.them directly or enabling them toeven bypass people entirely andcommunicate directly with each -Bruce Sterling, 2005other.” (BBC News, 2011) Socialobjects open up opportunities for brands to connect with their customers,brands will also have to be prepared for consumers’ experiences around socialobjects to overshadow the objects themselves. Services like ‘Stickybits’ enableusers to attach digital content (videos, links, audio, text) to physical objects,and we’ll see virtual communities formaround these real-world items (, however, we are in a stateof a multitude of relatively ‘dumb’objects; although we are equippedwith smart devices. The proportion ofpeople who access the Internet onlythrough mobile devices will “grow from14 million in 2010 to 788 million by2015. Meanwhile, the number of smartphones will rise from about 500 milliontoday to 2.5 billion.” (Fast Company,2011) This means we can recognizeobjects around us, pinpoint locationand integrate a search for information A smart wine rack - every bottle has a RFID tag, and thevia search engines of various types. rack is connected to the internet to let the owner knowIf objects become more intelligent when a bottle has been removed.and start to carry digital information,either self generated or appended to itvia some kind of tagging system, then it becomes an important issue as tohow the information associated with that object is controlled, aggregated,presented and in what form and hierarchy and, most importantly, by who? Data Object 17
  • 13. Augmented Reality and Alternative models for consumption Augmented Reality (AR) enhances our awareness of the interconnected world around us; it can vastly increase our situational knowledge by providing visual information that supplements what we naturally perceive. It is a tool for ‘seeing’ (or experiencing) digital information appended to objects. Just as eco-labels strive to accelerate sustainable behavior, AR could be an important vehicle for communicating sustainability achievements and benchmarking the products in front of you. “Augmented reality is the best chance we have to speed crucial information about our world to the people living in it. Better Choices through Technology” (Good magazine, 2011). AR could become the most crucial platform to mediate choice. Augmented Reality is relatively its infancy in terms of possible development, current uses include branding, marketing offers, and computer games and media gimmicks. AR has great potential to encourage “reflection, research, inquisition and comparison” (Slow Lab, 2011) of products. Part of the research phase for this project included taking part in ‘6 Billion Ways’ (5th March 2011) a workshop on alternative6 Billion Ways Conference, 2011 models for our consumer society, I got the chance to investigate what kinds of information people are interested in knowing about products and also discuss the philosophic potential for AR. Later I interviewed the philosopher Kate Soper (29th April 2011), this allowed me to discuss how some of her ideas about alternative models for ‘consumer society’, could become integrated into the new world of AR. AR has the potential to facilitate a increasingly democratic consumer environment encouraging dematerisation and even an ‘alternative hedonism’ contesting blind consumption. This lead to investigation into legislation surrounding pervasive computing and Augmented reality. Brands currently do not have Augmented Reality provides you with information that depends on what channel you look through. Through what glasses do you want to view your surroundings? 18
  • 14. y om How do other websites rate this? i st th ? d hand ng lli se Cong let secon t ou lo ? air mera il is ta e? ap r buy th he re et On ted ra ? st row ar ion se lin es at clo bor yl Can I er W st tings oc e ho t l th r evi nI ila ra en is ew Ca Bl sim te rr re ? o er me s st cu he g fit fe th hi W d Wa at to ran s? ur tch es ha is b aY ouT W ai r/th What ub sp ’s a m ore tra eH au ll t hi ? nspare l Wi ring them nt co mpan li ke wea y look altern ative will I ? What What’s a more ethical alternative? Affiliated brands, events and sponsorship try/buy it? ? Adve ands rtisin es/br g ima d s/styl ges an ar bran d video are simil ? Ce leb What ad riti dh es /b ran we d uct g? W he ari ng p ro tin re t h is t his po r ca h as re n Ca ss Ib nt lit s pre uy bi er de n y? at na th Ig n th Fa Wh pe in? is ai o de et vou i st ith Whic n What’ cha in a What’s the carbon footprint of this product? a su e w by di sa rit sc l e? ply d on par h e je te ou s the ra of my n sup m t ts an i co is om s nd the ow lifecyc in eh frien ra H ow my at’s /b ? ct ds w soc le of du Wh ro al i sp ear th this p ne i th tw es ork is rodu do bran s? ow ct? H ?d Research map of a selection of the possble information you could digitally append an object using ARprotections over the use of their logos in AR (specifically as the marker tolaunch an AR experience). Currently anyone has the right to use trademarksas AR markers, and can append any information they like to them.Some notable alternative consumption approaches include ‘Anti-consumption’ shown by downshifters such as the Compactt Collective, wholived off only essential goods for a year, using services not buying productse.g. community rental schemes, green/sustainable products, organicconsumption and ethical consumption, which is focused slightly more onhuman rights. In AR these concepts could get a voice right in our currentconsumer environments, when we are about to buy an item. This will requirethe most popular AR exploration platforms to be open and democratic.Currently AR is only operating in discrete channels that you have to selectand then they facilitate your ‘view’, like choosing a pair of glasses to see theworld through. Indeed with the development of AR contact lenses it may beexactly like that. 19
  • 15. Initial key words for my project
  • 16. HypothesisProject hypothesisIf technology can cultivate transparency of informationabout products then consumers can make more sustainableproduct choices.Research QuestionCan future technology scenarios cultivate increasedtransparency of information about products, particularlyin retail environments; empowering consumers to makemore sustainable product choices? 21
  • 17. Feburary Meta theme ofTransparency of Information Research & Inspiration visits GenY consumer Interviews March Small business Consumer interviews 6 Billion ways journey event mapping Product Provenance Experiements Series Identify and brainstorm ideas and intervensions Interviewed Kate Soper Choice Archtiecture Experiments Research into AR Experimented with shopping via GPS in Collaborative ‘brand Processing story ‘ wiki design and model Design a website to April shop by Provenance Data visulation experiments Idea generation on Shopping with aesthetics of AR AR ideas Data vis & AR May Projection mapping Design experiments with informative AR AR experiment control Developing AR in Layers Projection mapping choice architectures Controlling video with dials using processing Developing AR in Make final experimental set Layers ups June Testing of AR choice architectures with usersKey Steps in my Process 22
  • 18. Design and Research Process PRODUCT SELECTION JOURNEYS Understanding PROVENANCE AUDIT the problem LIMITS TO PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE experiments INTERVENTIONS NETWORKSINFOMRATION VISUALISATION FinalUBIQUITOUS COMPUTING/AR Research Experiments ANALOUE-DIGITAL CONSUMPTION MOCK UP SCENARIOS Design PROTOTYPE SOFTWARE Experiments EXPERIENCE CREATION UX/UI EXPERIMENTATION My process was based on a cycle/spiral of research and two different types of experimentation styles, eventually leading to a final set of experiments experiment. 23
  • 19. The Shopping List WholefoodsTomatoes from Portugal Marks & Spencer Mange vs. tomatoes from a Tout from Guatamala, hothouse in Kent vs. Mange Tout from Serbia Tesco Oranges from I made a custom googleSouth Africa, vs. oranges map of the shops I from Sevile visited Carbon potential saved Sourcemap of different through choosing the shops lowest carbon option of the same food stuff inevery store vs the highest 5.4kg CO2Photographs from the different supermarkets and screenshots
  • 20. Experimentation Connecting food with points on a map1 Understanding the problem: One shopping list, one street, 27 countries I made a shopping list and went out to High Street Kensington to shop for it in several different supermarkets and then compared the carbon footprints of the offering of each supermarket using the Sourcemap interface. The potential difference in carbon footprint between combinations of products is a staggering 5.4 kg CO2, which is roughly the equivalent to a half a gallon of petrol fuel consumed (, 2011). Insight gained: If I had had access to this independant comparitive information whilst shopping you could potentially save 5.4 kg of CO2. 25
  • 21. Brainstorm
  • 22. 2 Understanding: Where is it from? How much do people know and care about where commonly bought products come from? How does brand effect this knowledge or perception? I asked 40 people to mark where an array of different branded products were made on a world map.3 Understanding: Scenario presentation Looking at choice architecture with users to identify intervention points and opportunities for change with post-its. What questions would you want to ask in these scenarios if you could? 27
  • 23. “ Data visualization could ” become the interface. -Insight from user research using esty interface design 4 Designing: Provenance AR/web interface design Information curation and data visualisation in the form of infographics have enlightened many to the world of data present on the web. How can I incorporate an infographic style into augmented or curated product selection? Currently the choice architectures of the high streets, department stores and internet shopping sites are largely dictated to us by corporations, as is the branded world we live in, can Augmented Reality and other new technology platforms provide different perspectives and methods of curating our own choice architectures? What could future technology scenarios present in terms of potential to challenge our current ‘consumer society’, offering perhaps increasingly intangible consumerism and the fostering of ‘better’ purchasing decisions? I researched data visualization for e-commerce and Etsy (see the above photograph) is by far the best, if only, example I have found of a company pushing the boundaries of traditional search capability and product filtering on its site, I think this will be a large future trend for e-commerce and could aid ethical shopping enormously with the right filters and cross brand personal e-commerce curation. As data becomes more abundant we don’t want to make more noise, but a better, cross verified, sound for things. Key Questions raised: Are information filters the biggest brands of the future? How can we curate the information we see in AR? 28
  • 24. Mock up of a website and AR visualisation that allows the user to PROVENANCEshop for products by provenance. Browsing ‘fruit’...What if ‘Provenance’ was a company; an online department storefor products that have transparent supply chains? You couldbuy local, compare on ethics easily and on CO2 etc whilst stillconsidering price and brand. Here are some mocked up screenshots.The idea is you use the ring to decide on the provenance, here theexample shows a very small map area, therefore the indicators Ashford house community garden Apples trees, PYO £1/kgare only showing local producers. PROVENANCE Map view Browsing ‘wooden double bed frames’... Sort by PRICE WIDTH COLOUR Sort by relevant ethical criteria CO2 PROVENANCE Browsing ‘wooden double bed frames’... Grid view Sort by relevant ethical criteria CO2
  • 25. ACCESSORIES HOME OD Foot pump £39 Hardware store Newspaper holder £15 Cooking pot Light £90 Olive O The Or FO Wate Bag We Su rmelo of C agami eta il £3.65 Ba shi Shop bix na Ice hee £10 App Icec stau n £2 . £59 Online na -c Ch £1. Lamp £ t os rea food s & 1.80 3 Re .80 Corner ine W 75 ES 55/g Bo m in s e 99 99p Jap £1. am nt e IC ttl Sup entr esco £ £6 A e RV 10 Hab les an Lidl ro o . Sup rket om f c shop erm e SE £2 Fli id C gh in er erm a tt a 25 Mo o G ho £2. re itat v ie oa use 50 arke T £2 Tic .9 £4 £5 M& va ra ket ES s fo 9 iTu 60 S 00 S t n Prin rR n T A /m TH ting .Ke es Lo flye lly nd CLO Jea r& £2 on ns £ bus 08 19.9 ine Suit 9 (in sse £420 the Savi sale s card Boots lle R ) GA s £ ow ACCESSORIES £125 P 125 Shop Headpho nes £15 Selfridge Headphones £49.99 s Currys Novel £45 Book shop n k £3.49 Amazo Non-fiction boo ots op s £6 Bo ike sh Condom 1.20 B t l £4 Wh e e ne inter Black s Bicycle £270 0 ne £9 opho ack Micr Ba ck p p on lling Sho ond ENT Tr ave 2 50 0 L rp £ ,00 oha 49 Aut £2 PM e! o us Ah UI EQA collaborative Shopping Basket
  • 26. 5 Understanding the problem: Collective shopping basket Simple experiment/research asking people to draw and price their last non- essential ‘significant’ purchase, what products are fuelling our unsustainable consumption habits? Interviews and discussion on non-essential consumerism and the Compact Collective. The image opposite shows the results of our collective shopping basket.6 User insights: Shopping journeys Photos from one of my ‘journey mappings’ of the shopping habits of one of my 14 year old users; the future of shopping in the UK. She is savvy with technology, but highly influenced by brand, price, her friends and, although claims to be interested in ethical fashion, has no contact with any ethical fashion alternatives and no ways to compare brands, ask questions or find out more. 31
  • 27. Changing choice architecture
  • 28. “ If we have a certain amount of participation, the information you might get when you take a picture [or purchase] a product will be information about how healthy it is, how healthy it is for the environment, how much people were paid to make the product, whether there were labor issues involved, all those things. But if we don’t have the participation and the literacy to make that happen, instead we’ll have just a barrage of advertising, which is obviously biased towards selling the product. That’s the problem. We need people with human interests and not market interests participating. That means people need to participate in their spare time and not when they’re on the clock for some company. The hopeful vision is that we have enough literacy and participation to become a ” smarter planet, but that’s going to require a push. - Michael Wesch, 20117 Physically evolving choice architecture Would you rather oranges from Spain, California, Argentina or ‘don’t care? I hosted an evening of conversation about provenance and consumption habits: Is provenance important and why? How could provenance become integrated into your shopping habits. This is an experiment looking into choice architecture and provenance, the oranges form a dynamic bar chart (a sort of live infographic) as people select them from the ‘bars’ based on provenance information (with and without price), the number of oranges in each bar affected people’s choice, the first of which was chosen by place of origin. Understanding how users participate in creating information, in however a subtle way, is central to my project. 33
  • 29. AR Channel Tests
  • 30. “ Sustainability is about living well but consuming much less; it is a social learning process and will involve moving from a ‘product-based well-being’ to thinking about products, dematerializing products, services and enabling solutions ” to satisfy our needs. - Manzini & Jegou , 20038 Changing choice architecture with AR and object recognition Experimenting with Augmented reality, I started by using the traditional marker system stuck onto products, appending information to these markers. I also investigated using QR codes on products and then appending data to a wiki-like website which would be customized to your information preferences. At the time of conducting this experiment, very few examples of ‘markerless’ AR existed. This lead me to the idea of making brand logos markers in themselves, as they are sufficiently differentiated from each other and have high definition, contrast and colour consistency by design. I then experimented using object recognition technology to recognize brand logos. I also investigated how I might append data to these logos. I created AR channels that recognized brand logos and, then later, product shapes and called information depending on your preferences. I created the term ‘Augmented Alternatives’ and experimented with how we can evolve choice architecture by adding things, that aren’t presented in real life, in AR that are relevant to firstly what you are looking at and secondly your preferences. See the appendices for the coding for this experiment. 35
  • 31. 9 Projection of information around objects Experimenting with how to present data in augmented reality around objects using several projectors and MaxMSP (VPT), controlled via an HTML website via Processing. For the code written for this experiment please see the appendices. Here I experimented with my concept of ‘Information Volume’ in AR. 36
  • 32. Projections create a different media for AR
  • 33. ‘Dumb’ objects can Objects are Objects are Objects can talk to Objects are Smart devices be identified with identified with a identified with a each other and react identified with a object recognition or unique code they unique coUnique and show their unique code they bar code scanning have linked NFID, objects can be information have linked and you can look up information placed with GPS. shadows when information information about shadows on the net Objects have smart desired shadows on the net the product on the information net using your smart shadows linked to device the object. de they have linked information shadows on the net increasing uniqueness, smartness and connectivity An Evolution of Objects uniqueness, intelligence and connectivityWork in Progress...
  • 34. Final experimentInterface design processProjection cabinet made for the showOpen.ObjectAn experimental prototype for the design of a new digital scenario.The Open.Object system allows the user to curate the kind and amount ofinformation they wish to see when looking at a product in Augments Reality.Open.Object acts as a buffer, between, you and your personal preferences,products you might buy and the cloud where all the data is stored. You havecontrol over an ‘ambient app’ on your phone to change your preferences. Theproduct in front of you has a sea of data appended to it and you can controlwhat you see from the product. You only interact with the Open.Objectinterface when you want to change your settings, otherwise it just keeps onusing your settings and evolving with your interaction with the AR data.I am looking at objects about to go through the first step of their evolutionfrom ‘dump’ objects to smarter, more unique objects, see the image oppositefor a possible evolution (although all objects have thresholds to how smartthey need to become).Aditional ‘Design Enterprise’ FlavourThere is a strong Design Enterprise aspect to the experiment. As Jan KeesVis, Unilever’s global director of sustainable sourcing, says “Companies andbrands are struggling with the question how to mobilise consumers togive preference to products and brands that have the potential to deliverpositive social and environmental outcomes.” The design of my finalexperiment focuses on the beauty and fashion industry, facilitating selectionin a department store stsyle environment incorporating the design for thebusiness operation into the experiment. 39
  • 35. 40
  • 36. Final experiment: Interface DesignSearch bar to find product information feeds. Information feedsmight be anything from twitter to NGO reportsYour ‘active’ information feeds. i.e. the ones you are using due tothe buttons you have pushedThe interface customisable area for curating your informationControl panel for the retail environment only. Specificallydeveloped for Open.Object used in the retail environment.Can allow you to see alternative products that are preferred byyour information feeds (referred to as Augmented Alternatives).It allows you to search for ‘dematerised’ product options, i.e.renting. It can also show you alternatives to buying products toencourage a less material lifestyleINFORMATION VOLUMEHow much information do you want to see in AugmentedReality? Here you can decide the level of transparency ofinformation.Low volume shows just an indicator for the product on displaythat is most positively rated by your feeds.High volume allows you to see information from your all yourfeeds regarding all products you are choosing between.These buttons are createdautomatically when you importinformation feedsClick here to add morecustomised buttonsLines show the link between BUTTONSthe information feeds and your Used to turn differentpersonal map of buttons catagories of information on and offThese buttons are created bythe user to suit their individualinformation interests - theymove higher depending on howoften you use themThese information feeds are searched INFORMATION FEEDSfor and selected by the user and theirchosen information providers 41
  • 37. Cloud dataVarious information feeds from NFP,independant ratings, corporations,civic media, press, crowd verifiedsources etc. Data appended toobjects that can be viewed via AR - everywheremany sources. Also stored in the cloud is your ‘state’ according to your preferences on Open.Retail (or Open.Object), so no matter what device you are carrying Choice Architecture your preferences are always ‘on you’Opensource platform inside the retail Shopping street environmental branded bag Augmented Reality Enlightening AR aestheics - dictated by the feeds? dictated by you? opensource? must be customisable to suit your needs Communication Information Curation HTML5 No need to download an app, as the interface is web based, no need to interact with Open.Retail unless you want to change your settings Open.Retail/Open.Object interface for filtering and curating augmented reality information feeds. Web-based ‘Ambient App’
  • 38. Final experiment: Technology System DescriptionThe presentation layerAn ‘ambient app’ interface on the smart phone/tablet to allow the user tocustomise their information preferences for different scenarios. I developeda simple, genderless, visual language to allow acces¬sibility of manyinformation feeds from cloud based data sources and then the ‘curation’ ofthat data/information under self selected categories on a smart device, withaccompanied ‘Information Volume’. The information in AR is presented usingthe same visual language, but with evolving content depending on yourpreferences.The task layerThe application operates by allowing you to add information feeds (similarto RSS information feeds) via a search function, these feeds can come fromvarious sources (such as the press, social media or independent productratings. Some sources are open and allow you to contribute to them yourself,either by tagging products with data created by you or by allowing you torate information created by others. Once your feeds are selected and youhave selected you current information preferences the application willlatently control your Augmented Reality.The infrastructure layerFor the final experiment AR is shown using a browser on a smart device andalso by adaptive projection on a mocked up retail ‘choice architecture’.Battery powered smart phones and tablet computers support the interface,eventually Near Field Communication (NFC) and/or RFID in phone andproducts recognise you are close to certain products, but for my currentexperiment I am using an object recognition technology to identify objects.All data feeds and user’s ‘states’ stored in the cloud and called by your phoneand filtered by your preferences and appended to the relevant products infront of you. HTML5 interface, purposely not an app, as my system needs tobe native to everything and not require download. However to support theAR, a AR browser, such as Junaio will need to be downloaded on the smartdevice.Your ‘curated’ preferences are data and are also stored in the cloud, whichmeans regardless of what device you use or are carrying (phone, tablet,maybe just your credit card) your current state of preferences are stillappended to you allowing ‘just in time’ interaction.Technology Design Details of the final experiment ‘prototypes’In the show the user will be presented with a matrix of nine branded products(3 examples of 3 types of fashion and beauty products) displayed within anintelligent environment, controlled with an interface.The interface function is programmed in HTML5 and can manipulate boththe AR browser and also an ‘intelligent’ projector. I customized a standardprojector to make it ‘intelligent’ linking it to the interface and the informationfeeds using MAX MSP and ‘Processing’. The AR channels were created by meusing the Junaio developer API and php/HTML coding, drawing on an objectrecognition database as the search function and adding files (md2 modelswith texture). 43
  • 39. ConclusionThe final experiment for this project is a platform to connect the physicaland digital worlds and allow manipulation and filtration of information viaan evolving interface when the digital is revealed to the user in AugmentedReality (AR) though a browser or interactive environment.I have used two methods to show the information in AR: An intelligentprojector set-up and also several channels in an AR smart phone browser.Although there is still a lot of room for development in the functionality,considering the level of potential complexity of the technology, I think I havesucceeded in answering my research question, and provided a means inwhich to test my hypothesis sufficiently.The final show will be a chance to test my installation further with variouspeople and document the effect of different kinds of information on thechoice of products. I think it is a provocative experiment that somewhat stepsoutside the world of current real-world economics, however I think it doesrepresent sustainability communication in a context of one future sceanriofor technology and branding.If this project was to be continued I would be interested to further developthe search and information capacbilities to allow real time data feeds tobe appended to the objects, using Pachube or similar, so the informationchanges and updates depending on real time activity relating to the product.I would also like to develop the evolving capabilties of the interface to allowit to learn about your preferences and change to reflect things you may beinterested in. 45
  • 40. BibliographyDesigners, Visionaries and Other Stories : A Collection of Sustainable DesignEssays. Edited by Jonathan Chapman andNick Gant. London: Earthscan,2007.The Right to Know : Transparency for an Open World. Initiative for PolicyDialogue at Columbia. Edited by Ann Florini. New York ; Chichester:Columbia University Press, 2007.Worldchanging : A User’s Guide for the 21st Century. Edited by Alex Steffen.New York, N.Y.: Abrams, 2006.Beyond Branding : How the New Values of Transparency and Integrity areChanging the World of Brands. Edited by Nicholas Ind. London: Kogan Page,2003.Braungart, M. and W. McDonough. Cradle to Cradle : Remaking the Way wemake Things. Updated ed. London: Jonathan Cape, 2008.Flusser, Vilem. The Shape of Things : A Philosophy of Design. London:Reaktion, 1999.Hawken, Paul. The Ecology of Commerce : How Business can Save thePlanet. London: Weidenfeld and Nicoolson, 1993.Henriques, Adrian. Corporate Truth : The Limits to Transparency. London:Earthscan, 2007.Klein, Naomi. No Logo : No Space, no Choice, no Jobs. 10th anniversary ed.London: Fourth Estate, 2010.Lawson, Neal. All Consuming. London: Penguin, 2009.Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle. Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition. London:Penguin, 2006.Thackara, John. In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex World. Cambridge,Mass.: MIT Press, 2005.Thaler, Richard H. Nudge : Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth andHappiness. London: Penguin Books, 2009.World Commission on Environment and Development. Our CommonFuture. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987.“Gap, Next and M&S in New Sweatshop Scandal.” The Observer2010.Bonanni, Leonardo. “Beyond Transparency: Collective Engagement inSustainable Design.” PhD Thesis, MIT, 2010.Giridharadas, Anand. “Boycotts Minus the Pain.” New York Times, October10th 2009, 2009.Koolhaas, Rem. “Junkspace.” October (2002): 175-90. 47
  • 41. Phillips, R. A. “Ethics and Network Organizations.” Presidential Address, Soci-ety for Business and Ethics, August, Chicago, IL (2009).Stirling, B. “Shaping Things.” (2005).Author Interview with Leonardo Bonnani, Sourcemap. 2010.Author Interview with Kate Soper, 2011.“BBC Business.” (accessed05/6/2011)“Congo’s Conflict Minerals: Clean them Up.” The Economist. (accessed 19/5/2011).“Food Miles Infographic.” (accessed 19/5/2011).“Good Magazine” (accessed 28/5/2011).“How Stuff is made (HSIM).” (accessed 19/5/2011).“NCCR Paper on the Kimberley Process.” paper_Kimberley Process.pdf (accessed17/5/2011).“Peter Eigen: How to Expose the Corrupt: Video on TED.Com.” (accessed9/5/2011).“SlowLab > Slow Design.” (ac-cessed 4/6/2010, 2011).“Sourcemap - Open Supply Chains & Carbon Footprint.” (accessed 26/5/2011).Manzini & Jegou Article. (2003)Mintel. (accessed 1/6/2011).“Carbon Footprint Calculation.” (accessed 04/04/11) 49
  • 42. AppendicesProcessing code to connect the HTML/php interface with num=2; println(“peoplecool”);MaxMSP } else if (command.equals(“CO2”)) {import oscP5.*; num=3;import netP5.*; println(“co2cool”);import controlP5.*; }else if (command.equals(“Toxic”)) {import*; num=4; println(“toxiccool”);OscP5 oscP5; }else if (command.equals(“Water”)) {NetAddress vptControllerAddress; num=5;OscMessage myMessage = new OscMessage(“”); println(“watercool”);ControlP5 controlP5; }else if (command.equals(“Animalwelfare”)) { num=6;int num; println(“animalwelfarecool”);int theValue; }else if (command.equals(“livingwage”)) {int timeForNextRequest = 10000; num=7; println(“livingwagecool”);String data = “”; }else if (command.equals(“Brand”)) {Client c = null; num=8; println(“brandcool”);void setup() { } sendOSC(); size(10,10); } smooth(); frameRate(25); //processing the data from the internet vptControllerAddress = new NetAddress(“”, void processData() {6666); println(data); oscP5 = new OscP5(this, 10000); String [] parts = data.split(“###”); background(0); if (parts.length==3) { smooth(); String [] commands = parts[1].split(“n”);} for (int i = 0; i < commands.length; i++) { processCommand(commands[i]);void draw() { } try { } if(timeForNextRequest<millis()) { c = null; data = “”; } } if(c==null) { //getting data from internet makeRequest(); } void makeRequest() { c = new Client(this, “”, if (c.available() > 0) { // If there’s incoming 80); // Connect to server on port 80data from the client... c.write(“GET /html/buttonsOut.php HTTP/1.1n”); // data = c.readString(); Use the HTTP “GET” command to ask for a Web page } else if(data.length()>0) { c.write(“Host: informationcuration.comnn”); // processData(); Be polite and say who we are timeForNextRequest = millis() + 2000; } } } catch(Exception e) { println(“there was an error!: “+e.toString()); //sending a OSC message to VPT... } void sendMsg(String address, float value)} { myMessage.clear(); //void processCommand(String command) { clear the message println(“received command “+command); myMessage.setAddrPattern(address); // set the address (ex: “/layer1/fade” if (command.equals(“Environmental”)) { myMessage.add(value); // num=1; add an argument to the address println(“environmentalcool”); println(address + “ “ + value); } oscP5.send( myMessage, vptControllerAddress ); // else if (command.equals(“People”)) { send the message
  • 43. } case 6: sendMsg(“/layer1/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer2/fade”, 0.0);void sendOSC() { sendMsg(“/layer3/fade”, 0.0); switch(num){ sendMsg(“/layer4/fade”, 1.0); sendMsg(“/layer5/fade”, 0.0);//Environmental button pressed sendMsg(“/layer6/fade”, 0.0); case 1: sendMsg(“/layer7/fade”, 1.0); sendMsg(“/layer1/fade”, 1.0); sendMsg(“/layer8/fade”, 1.0); sendMsg(“/layer2/fade”, 1.0); break; sendMsg(“/layer3/fade”, 1.0); sendMsg(“/layer4/fade”, 0.0); // Living wage button pressed sendMsg(“/layer5/fade”, 0.0); case 7: sendMsg(“/layer1/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer6/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer2/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer7/fade”, 1.0); sendMsg(“/layer3/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer8/fade”, 1.0); sendMsg(“/layer4/fade”, 0.0); break; sendMsg(“/layer5/fade”, 1.0); sendMsg(“/layer6/fade”, 0.0);//People (general) button pressed sendMsg(“/layer7/fade”, 1.0); case 2: sendMsg(“/layer8/fade”, 1.0); sendMsg(“/layer1/fade”, 0.0); break; sendMsg(“/layer2/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer3/fade”, 0.0); // Brand or off/reset button pressed sendMsg(“/layer4/fade”, 1.0); case 8: sendMsg(“/layer1/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer5/fade”, 1.0); sendMsg(“/layer2/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer6/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer3/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer7/fade”, 1.0); sendMsg(“/layer4/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer8/fade”, 1.0); sendMsg(“/layer5/fade”, 0.0); break; sendMsg(“/layer6/fade”, 1.0); sendMsg(“/layer7/fade”, 1.0);//CO2 button pressed sendMsg(“/layer8/fade”, 1.0); case 3: break; sendMsg(“/layer1/fade”, 1.0); } sendMsg(“/layer2/fade”, 0.0); } sendMsg(“/layer3/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer4/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer5/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer6/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer7/fade”, 1.0); sendMsg(“/layer8/fade”, 1.0); break;// toxic materials button pressed case 4: sendMsg(“/layer1/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer2/fade”, 1.0); sendMsg(“/layer3/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer4/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer5/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer6/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer7/fade”, 1.0); sendMsg(“/layer8/fade”, 1.0); break;// water usage button pressed case 5: sendMsg(“/layer1/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer2/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer3/fade”, 1.0); sendMsg(“/layer4/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer5/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer6/fade”, 0.0); sendMsg(“/layer7/fade”, 1.0); sendMsg(“/layer8/fade”, 1.0); break;// animal welfare button pressed
  • 44. Example of my AR Code (using php Junaio AR browser) - This <thumbnail>http://www.repeated with images changed for each channel. The AR code mostly written by the Junaio pragrammers, I have only origins.jpg</thumbnail>included where I have made changes as a developer <icon> html/resources/origins.jpg</icon><?php <route>false</route> <force3d>true</force3d>echo <s>1</s>“<?xml version=”1.0” <customizations/>encoding=”UTF-8”?> <resources><resource>http://www.<results trackingurl=”http://www. arhalo.png</resource></resources>tracking.xml_enc”> <display_tag>none</display_tag><poi id=”1” cosid=”1” interactionfeedb </poi>ack=”none”><name><![CDATA[starbucks]]></ <poi id=”3” cosid=”3” interactionfeedname> back=”none”><name><![CDATA[x]]></name><author><![CDATA[starbucks]]></author> <author><![CDATA[x]]></author><l>0.0,90.0,0.0</l> <l>60.0,60.0,0.0</l><translation>120.0,90.0,90.0</translation> <translation>0.0,0.0,0.0</translation><o>1.57,0,1.57</o> <o>1.57,0,1.57</o><minaccuracy>2</minaccuracy> <minaccuracy>2</minaccuracy><maxdistance>100000</maxdistance> <maxdistance>100000</maxdistance><mime-type>model/md2</mime-type> <mime-type>model/obj</mime-type><mainresource><![CDATA[http://www. <mainresource>]]></mainresource></mainresource><thumbnail>http://www.informationcuration. <thumbnail></> chloe.jpg</thumbnail><icon> <icon></icon> html/resources/chloe.jpg</icon><route>false</route> <route>false</route><force3d>true</force3d> <force3d>true</force3d><s>1</s> <s>1</s><customizations/> <customizations/><resources><resource>http://www. <resources><resource></resource></resources> diatext.png</resource></resources><display_tag>none</display_tag> <display_tag>none</display_tag></poi> </poi><poi id=”2” cosid=”2” interactionfeedb </results>”;ack=”none”><name><![CDATA[x]]></name> ?><author><![CDATA[x]]></author><l>60.0,60.0,0.0</l><translation>0.0,0.0,0.0</translation><o>1.57,0,1.57</o><minaccuracy>2</minaccuracy><maxdistance>100000</maxdistance><mime-type>model/md2</mime-type><mainresource><![CDATA[]]></mainresource>
  • 45. Manifesto ‘Product Design for Transparency’Design must be not only for the final user but with proportionally equalregard for all stakeholders involved.Honesty of design must be a key component – any ‘greenwash’ aesthetic isand will be the enemy.Be true to materials and processes.All and any problems in the supply chain or life-cycle must be open; admitthe problems, the reality. Mistakes are being made and these must be open– companies must and will not be expected to be perfect, but admittingmistakes must be encouraged and solutions shared.The entire detailed supply chain (including the full bill of materials) mustbe known and accessible easily (via a non-profit independent open sourceApplication Programming Interface like ‘Sourcemap’) for all stakeholders tosee, including consumers before purchase.Even if the design process is on a co-operative basis all parties must fronttheir name to the product - however passing their involvement - and all areresponsible for ensuring full transparency of the product.All true external costs must be integrated into an available price for theproduct i.e. fair wages, costs of replacing felled trees etc, in effort for peopleto pay the true cost of a product and understand the true price of things.The market must reflect the true costs both environmentally and socially(Hawken, 1993).Branding should be defined by individuals and communities, not onlycorporations. Social currency must be integral. Real places and people musttake the place of made up stories: the branding for your product should bedictated from the bottom – the users and makers of your product shouldtell your brand story, (Beyond Branding, 2006) and provide inspiration andfulfillment to consumers.
  • 46. Packaging design - for the style ‘Packaged Philoshopy’Justification for product selection used in final experimentI have selected three products commonly found in department stores.“Over 19 million adults visit department stores regularly (at least once every3 months) and 79% of those go on to buy regularly too. Precious metaljewellery, remains the largest product sector in terms of value, accountingfor around 67% of the overall market. More than a third of consumers (c.18million adults) like the convenience of shopping for different brands andproducts under one roof and the AB socio-economic bias here perhapsreflects their cash rich time poor status. High street jewellery chains such asErnest Jones, H.Samuel and Goldsmiths remain the most popular outlets forbuying jewellery, with nearly a third of consumers (32%) who have boughtjewellery using these retailers.” (All research from Mintel, accessed 2011).