One of six visual and technical studies for the series Everyday Experiments by IKEA research lab SPACE10 – exploring how new technologies will redefine how we live at home.
A Digital Twin for every Object in my Home
What if every object in our homes was registered on the blockchain with all details about its production history, material composition, and its carbon footprint – and we could access it easily and playfully in AR?
Chain of Traceability explores how spatial computing can help consumers make better decisions – and the vision of a circular economy.
If we combined a powerful object-recognition AI with a search engine like Google Lens, we could create a digital twin of everyday object in our homes – and visualise product knowledge to a new depth.
What if we could see in AR where an object comes from, what it is made of, and what it can be repurposed for when it’s primary use wears out – scrolling through an object’s history like a product signature; connecting physical objects with an augmented timeline of their lifespan.
Revealing how big an impact a tiny detail can have
The MULA toy crane with blocks is only made from 2 materials: solid beech wood (stained and covered in clear lacquer), and a neodymium magnet. Wooden toys give us a good feeling, but the smallest component, the magnet, has the highest energy cost due to its multi-step production process.
Seeing inside a product’s composition
Revealing how many different materials, some environmentally problematic, are enclosed in a seemingly minimal, humble object.
And the fact that of its full-lifespan carbon footprint a third is caused by users at home: simply through usage, but also through throwing things away prematurely.
Highlighting the journey of an IKEA product – making supply chains and the carbon impact of transportation tangible.
MAMMUT stool is made from a single material: polypropylene plastic; a type of bio-based plastic which IKEA has invested in producing at commercial scale. The origin of the plastic is sustainable vegetable oil, produced in China, and processed in Europe. Injection molding takes the material to India, and then to IKEA distribution centers worldwide; accumulating a carbon footprint along the way that the eco-friendly material wouldn’t suggest.
Trust is built when I’ve got the feeling: if I want deeper information, I know it’s there, and where to find it.
Humans, naturally, prefer the easy way – we don’t dig through databases to research what exactly we’re about to buy. But if it the same info was easily accessible – would we make better decisions?