Future Scenario Process
Key drivers of change
The proposal outlines a clear business opportunity, targeting a growing demographic. 74 million Baby Boomers will be age 65 and older in 2030. It's a fact and not an uncertain trend. The product itself recognizes a crucial gap in meeting the needs of the elderly.
Corporate giants like Amazon, FedEx and many more have already introduced autonomous robots that can navigate city landscapes and carry out tasks without getting in the way of humans. A large number of start-ups are introducing products that can follow their users, such as luggage bags and grocery-carrying robots. Alfred uses similar technologies, making a technically feasible product. As research is turned to production-ready technologies, costs would come down to make financially-viable consumer robots that would become part of households in the next decade.
This strategic approach towards this concept gives the venture investment firm an opportunity to develop an informed futuristic product. Funding would support prototyping, user research and building brand value to get a head start in a growing market that would hit its peak by the time the product is fully developed and ready to be launched. They could also strategically invest in supporting technological development for potential IP acquisitions.
Mobility is essential to healthy aging as it satisfies the human need for physical movement and prevents muscle deterioration. The assistive walker, Alfred, offers confidence and independence for its users to freely venture inside and outside their homes to maintain a balanced lifestyle and fulfill social needs that enable mental stimulation. The confluence of a large aging population with rapid advancements in technology opens up opportunities to build sustainable societies and communities for healthy living in retirement years.
Activity restrictions can lead to physical deconditioning and ultimately lower the quality of life. Hence, Alfred not only provides the usability value of assistance, enabling increased physical movement, but also the emotional values of understanding its owner's needs and never leaving their side.
Form language and materials:
Alfred's aesthetics are based on the foundation of timeless design--one that would still be relevant and pleasing a decade from now. It was important that it didn't stand out as a medical product and instead be a highly sophisticated device that the users could subtly flaunt. Hence it has a simple visual form that resonates with its seamless and purposeful experience. The roundness of the body speaks to its reassuring quality as opposed to an intimidating robot. As a device that would be used every day, much like a car or a phone, Alfred's color palette is neutral to blend easily with different surroundings. It is also intended to be emotionally neutral for the user in order to provide a pleasant experience, irrespective of one's mood and shifting aesthetic preferences.
The main exterior shell is designed to be easily injection molded. The parts on the outside are rubberized ABS, for high impact resistance and to be softer to touch. The recessed pattern on the outside creates contrast with the smooth complementary parts on the other side. Alfred is thoughtfully designed to offer high levels of functionality and ease while being a silent and loyal companion that is unobtrusive.