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Plan B

Within our Pitch, we presented ourselves as the Core Design team of Sydney’s leading Biomedical design consultancy ‘Plan B’. Firstly, through our company policy, we made the drivers of change that we had considered clear, this being that Sydney’s health was Post human driven and that owned by private corporations. We state “Within Australia, we are moving forward in the biomedical industry, with growing opportunities … as ‘Plan B’ we will provide you with innovative and diverse biomedical design solutions.”

In this, we studied what it meant to be living in a post human society. In our research, we found varying definitions of what ‘Post humanist’ means, for us however, it referred to a society with an ideology of technology. For our society, it meant that our clients were mostly concerned with biomedical technology, which would enhance the human form in an exterior manner.

Within our pitch we started by clarifying our company policy and business model, before expressing past case studies which were successful. These were intended to express to our audience our diversity as a design team, our clients being hospitals, retirement villages, and sports centres. We then went on to pitch our final stating “We have all been privy to the current social collapse due to the increasing divide between those who can afford to judgement their bodies with prosthetics and those who can’t. With this divide strongly in our minds, we would like to pitch an innovative system that would bridge the gap between the elite and the average consumer, while promoting sustainability as energy consumption only increases.”

As the final website, ‘Hand Me Down’ is used for community health, it allows for people to trade their prosthetic goods and ideas. The grassroots system has the potential to be used as a website or app, promoting collective consumption and sustainability practices. The website also has chat and messaging facilities, enabling users to connect and gain a greater understanding of the parts the are buying.

Collaborative Consumption

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Following my reading of ‘What’s Mine Is Yours : The Rise of Collaborative Consumption’ by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers it was easy to draw links to the service we wish to provide through our design consultancy. In class today, we had difficultly in clarifying what this service would involve, and how we were to form a producer and consumer relationship. Within the reading, there is a discussion of the idea of Collaborative Consumption, a culture in which people realize the benefits of access to products rather than the ownership of them. This enables the consumer to ultimately save money, time and space, whilst making friends and becoming an active citizen. 

Our initial idea was to produce a service that would enable consumers of 2030 to recycle their prosthetics. One would be able to pass on their upgrade, receiving a discounted cost on their new one, and enabling those who couldn’t necessarily afford new prosthetic limbs to recycle some else’s. Within the article, similar ideas are discussed through Botsman and Rogers service Airbnb.

Airbnb is an website that connects users who wish to rent out their home, and those who need a place to stay. Within the article, Rogers talks about the surprising reaction he had from his parents and grandparents, his parents being of the “hotel generation” were confused by this notion. However, it was common for his grandparents to stay in farmhouses and homes in their travels, claiming that “we are not the modern invention, hotels are”. Rogers states “Airbnb is an old idea, being replicated and made relevant again through peer to peer networks and new technologies”.

There is now an unbounded market for peer to peer exchange as the producer and consumer relationship grows. It is this exact notion that we were discussing in class today, as our prosthetic exchange service would include an interactive website where the online technology enables this “collaborative consumption”.
 

REFERENCES 
 

Airbnb. 2013. Find a place to stay. Website. Available at:https://www.airbnb.com (Accessed 08 July 13)
 

BHB Labs . 2009. What Collaborative Consumption Means For Marketers. Website. Available at: http://bbh-labs.com/what-collaborative-consumption-means-for-marketers (Accessed 08 July 13)

Rogers, Botsman, R.R, R.B, 2010. What’s Mine Is Yours : The Rise of Collaborative Consumption. P.ix-xxii. New York: HarperBusiness.

The Future Consumer

As we are currently finalising our design team ‘Plan B’, we are discussing what we aim to provide through the service and who our consumers will be. A fundamental aspect in determining these aspects of our design team is deciding what future trends are relevant. Within the Random Wire blog he creates his own list of future trends, which provide clarity in what the future consumer may want or need. Within tutorials, as we look at clients and users, and the skills these users may value our design firms need has been clarified.

As we have clarified that our design firm will be a biomedical consultation service we place an importance on biomedical innovation, employing specialist designers as well as biomedical technicians. We confirmed in deciding this that in the future as the biomedical industry grows these services will be a necessity. As the technological advancements are rapid and becoming increasingly accessible, biomedical consultation will be an area to address. The blog discusses a number of factors which impact on this growing industry, such as the way in which “technology is humanised” and “man machine distinction blurred”. This particular point is highly relevant to biotechnology as advances such as the exoskeleton will become increasingly integrated into our everyday lives. The blog supports the way in which is distinction between humans and machines lessens, as “Old concepts of pre-net existence will seem foreign to our children who will liken the change to the Age of Enlightenment when mankind made a seismic shift in the way we live and ultimately exist”.

REFERENCE 

Randomwire . 2008. 10 Future Trends . Website. Available at: http://randomwire.com/10-future-trends. (Accessed 07 July 13)

Scenario Explanation

Assessment 2 required me to present a potential scenario for what the world would be like in 2030 with increased biological enhancement (focus on forming a superhuman), and if the ownership and distribution of healthcare was government owned and highly regulated. With this quadrant, we developed our business ‘Plan B’ and discussed what our business strategy may be within each quadrant. As explained in Lecture 2 ‘Business Innovation and Entrprenuralship’, this had us considering the social, political, legal, environmental, economic and technological implications there may be during this period. Within this lecture we looked at what was happening now, and what may happened in the future, determining what could be a certainty and what is an uncertainty.

I divided my quadrant in 2, as I found it easiest to explain through the 2 differencing personas. Within the overall scenario, due to the rate at which the technology is being developed, the government limits the information offered. For this reason, within this particular quadrant, Plan B must contact the government before releasing any information. There is still a population problem, however it is no longer about birth rates but death rates as we can no longer afford to increase the life spans of people. For this reason, the biomedical enhancements are rationed and must be gradually released.

I chose to develop the persona of Emily; illustrating these conditions would have on the average public consumer.

“If Emily suffers any serious injury there is full cover. She was in a serious car accident last year. Losing her arm and has received a fully successful limbry reattachment as advise by Plan B. As he parents both suffer from cancer, Emily wonders why the advanced Chemomotherapy treatments she is studying aren’t accessible yet.”

Emily is a young, female, university student, studying biomedical science as there are jobs continuing to grow within this field of work. Last year when she broke her arm, he Plan B cover enabled her to get a full limbry reattchedment. Her parents are also getting increasingly sick as they suffer from cancer. She is currently studying the advanced chemotherapy treatments that could help her parents but the government does not allow for this medicine to be accessible yet, cancer being a growing contributor to death rates in Australia in 2030.

The second persona I developed was Ben, the militarily consumer. Ben access to biomedical advancements is diverse and extensive, this being due to the growing need for improvements in the Australia military. They attempt to keep up with the advancements of other countries, this being through the creation of transhuman soldiers with genetically modified DNA.
“Ben was to be in the military from birth. It is different to when his dad served 40 years ago. The Plan B consultancy organised Bens Embryonic human transection therapy with his father. He is excited by eventually replicating animal abilities, feeling like a superhero”

Ben is a young, male, who has recently officially joined the military, although this was his inevitable path from birth. In 2030, in order to create the best possible super soliders, embryonic human transaction therapy must be performed before birth. This therapy may allow the solider to eventually replicate animal abilities including, climb walls, resist stress, eat grass and communicate telepathically. For this reason, a solider of 2030 would need to sign a strict disclosure agreement when joining, to avoid the ordinary public consumer being aware of this. Ben would receive injections and several rests a week, eventually reducing stress and pain levels, and being able to survive sleep deprivation and hunger.

The HULC Pitch

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Within the lectures, we begin to discuss how one should successfully and clearly pitch a product. Eythor Bender’s TEDtalk demonstrates the human use of an exoskeleton for both militarily and disabled user, pitching the idea as breakthrough technology with potential use even for the everyday consumer. Although presented 3 years ago, the talk clearly illustrates the practical use of the exoskeleton and the potential it had then and continues to have now. Bender is the CEO of Berkley Bionics, who are the producers of the HULC (Human Universal Load Carrier). The HULC acts as a “wearable robot” enabling the user to have superhuman abilities, or permit disabled users to walk again. Benders innovations with bionic and orthopedic technologies has permitted him to produce FDA approved, sustainable inventions that act as the “the true integration of the man and the machine”.

With our tutorial today, we discussed how one should study closely the clients and users, determining what skills they value. Within this particular TEDtalk, two user examples illustrate clearly how the product is used. Bender describes the potential the technology has for the American soldier, regularly asked to carry 100 pounds worth of equipment on their back. As they are carrying these great weights, and being asked to carry more, 30% of American soldiers suffer from chronic back injuries. The exoskeleton they have designed permits the user to carry up to 200 pounds over varied terrains.

The second user example that Bender presents is Amanda Boxil who is wearing the Elex exoskeleton. Amanda suffered from a spinal cord injury in a somersault accident while skiing at 24 and for 19 years has been in a wheelchair said to never walk again. This is the case for the 68 million wheelchair users worldwide, this being 1% of the total population. Within the presentation, Amanda is able to walk out on stage and illustrate the way in which she is now able to move freely with the machine.

REFERENCES 

TEDtalks. 2011. Eythor Bender demos human exoskeletons. Website. Available at: http://www.ted.com/talks/eythor_bender_demos_human_exoskeletons.html. (Accessed 03 July 13).

TEDtalks. 2011. Speakers Eythor Bender: Berkeley Bionics’ CEO. Website. Available at: http://www.ted.com/speakers/eythor_bender.html. (Accessed 03 July 13).