From design fiction to design fact : Developing future user experiences with proto-tools
Envision a future where the physical and digital become seamlessly intertwined producing unbounded possibilities from interactions with autonomous cars to the advent of smart cities. Tools and methods to explore the design and development of such emergent hybrid spaces will need to be highly inclusive involving engineers, social scientists, up to citizens. Such methods and tools might support the so-called fictitious scenarios in form of digitally augmented physical prototypes set in a near-future reality. In this paper, we introduce the concept of “proto-tool”: multi-purpose digitally augmented artefacts with no constraints and seemingly limitless uses (e.g. virtual and augmented reality devices, digitally augmented surfaces and objects, etc.) that will be modeled on current and fictitious scenarios able to interact both with physical and digital spaces de facto enabling rapid prototyping of Cyber-Physical Interactions.