A two-day design sprint hosted by the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation at UC Berkeley, in partnership with headless CMS Storyblok, produced some audacious and potentially game-changing concepts about how “the future of web” might develop.
The contestants were UC Berkeley students from various disciplines (plus one or two alumna) and the awards were made by a panel of judges. According to Kuan-Ju Wu, a professor at the Jacobs Institute, the team were encouraged to look at current technology — “at signals from the space” — and then imagine what the future might be like.
Why we care. No, none of this needs to be in your marketing budget for 2024. One thing to understand, though, is that this contest got underway before everyone was talking about generative AI and ChatGPT. Which goes to show that there are many other concepts out there that could significantly change the internet and our relationship with it. Imagine how some of these concepts could play into marketing strategies…one day. “In this society, it’s really hard to determine how fast those ideas could become (reality),” he told us.
According to the winning team, the future of the internet is about “creating systems where end-users get closer to the design process. Websites are no longer a form of presenting but also a tool for us to personalize our digital world and experience.”
As Wu described it: “Everyone has their building blocks to create their digital version of their own realm. In this future, it is all connected; they can share, they can transform data. It’s a combination of the new web and Minecraft. They use Minecraft a lot as an analogy.”
Two teams won awards based around brain computer interface (see the fifth award below) — probably, thought Wu, because there had been a recent conference on the topic. This involves a developing, real world technology aimed at using signals from the brain directly to engage with computers or other external devices.
Wu admits this project was “pretty wild” and one of the most speculative in the contest. “What interests me is that they touch on some ethical elements in this idea, because when you’re sharing your thoughts with other people, you have to build up a trust relationship. You’re enabling people to read your mind.”