Hitachi engages in a wide range of research activities and is developing and incredible range of life-changing technologies. The questions we asked in this project is, how will those technologies be realized in products and services, what is the user experience, and how will Hitachi have to adapt to a changing world?

To explore solutions to these critical questions, we first engaged in futurecasting sessions employing a methodology called Causal Layered Analysis or CLA. Some of the benefits of CLA are:

  • Expanding the range and richness of scenario planning
  • The inclusion of different perspectives and ways of knowing
  • Moves discussions beyond superficial to deeper understanding
  • Allows for a range of transformative design solutions
CLA (Causal Layered Analysis)



Identify major technological changes to society by 2030 with direct implications to Hitachi


  • Interactivism: Futurecasting & Design
  • Idean: Creative Direction, Film Production
  • Cave: Visual FX

Key findings

  • Concepts of ownership shift from owning products to subscribing to services
  • Less hardware, fewer personal devices
  • AI-driven cloud services with personal AI assistants
  • Migration to blockchain and VeinScan for personal identification
  • Convergence of data and energy
  • Smart Grids and 5G Mesh Networks
  • Transportation operates more like a SaaS network
  • Increase in remote work
  • Most medical services delivered remotely
  • Interfaces shift from GUIs to NUIs (touch, gesture, voice, & neural)
  • UIs move away from buttons and menus to Interactive Data-Objects


The outcome of this project was a short narrative film. This medium allowed us to explore design concepts in the context of human interaction, and to visualize those designs in high fidelity using cinematic visual effects.

The story centers on Anna, an Algorithm Ethics Supervisor in the mid 2030’s. Anna’s companion is an AI personal assistant named Nicolai. Smartphones are a thing of the past. Instead, Anna logs into a smart surface (a café table) via VeinScan and Blockchain.

With the help of Nicolai, Anna prototypes a new algorithm using a visual algorithmic authoring tool.

As Anna walks outside, embedded sensors in the city identify her location. Nicolai knows Anna’s schedule and has already ordered an autonomous car to pick her up. The car knows to arrive at the precise time that Anna is exiting the café.

As the autonomous car navigates the city streets, it is constantly scanning it’s environment.

At an autonomous vehicle fleet command center, engineers examine incoming data streamed from every car, working in tandem with AI to continuously improve safety and efficiency.

When one vehicle learns how to negotiate a new safety hazard, the shared data enables the entire fleet to learn and improve in realtime.

At a smart grid command center, an operator observes a power anomaly. To assign a maintenance task, the operator drags the anomaly data-object to a remote maintenance worker.

Remote work is becoming more and more common in the 2030’s, enabling an aging workforce to remain productive and leveraging their expertise. In this case, the remote operator uses a home smart surface (smart coffee table) with mixed reality and remote drone operation to diagnose and complete maintenance operations.

As Anna continues her ride through the city, the autonomous car is wirelessly linked to a combination power and data grid, exchanging electricity and information with the streets and surrounding structures.

The smart grid creates a new cloud-based marketplace where home and vehicle AI’s trade both electricity and data. This could become an important source of passive income for people.

Various technologies have precipitated the migration of medical care from the clinic to the home. Only the most serious medical problems would require a trip to a clinic or hospital.

After detecting a health risk, Nicolai recommends that Anna take a smart pill, a disposable ingestible medical device that wirelessly sends health data to her doctor.

Anna’s doctor receives the health scan and identifies the health risk using mixed reality. Most minor health issues will be treated using nanotech embedded directly in the smart pill.

In this future, 5G mesh networks and embedded sensors will make technology more ambient and less visible. Through thoughtful UX design, technology could be more helpful, more inclusive, while simultaneously less intrusive in our daily lives.

Are you ready to take your product to the next level?

Get in touch