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A mirror to look at yourself 20 years later?
Addressing the challenges of the commercialization of "Moira Mirror!"

Ms. Zhang Yiwen / Ms. Xu Ziyan

How different will society be in 20 years? What will happen to the future in 20 years?

The "Mirai Design Award 2030" sponsored by one of the largest advertisement agencies is a contest to solicit ideas assuming the state of society in 2030 and making it better for university and graduate school students. From the many applications, the award was won by an idea of three international students studying information design at our graduate school.

Their idea is to automatically collect and analyze such individual information as pulse, electrocardiogram, body temperature, breath, momentum, and meals and consequently reflect "myself in the future" on a mirror called, "Moira Mirror." The unique thing about this idea is instead of going to a hospital for a check-up, related information is collected and analyzed in one's daily life, utilizing IT technology. Furthermore, the results of analysis isn't presented as numerical values but as what one will be in 20 years, if one continues to lead the current lifestyle through Moira Mirror, and thereby strengthens one's awareness of health.

Zhang Qixiang. Now back in Taiwan.

On the day of the presentation for the "MIRAI DESIGN AWARD 2030." They all looked smart in a suit.

For this contest, not only Xu and Zhang but also Zhang Qixiang who is now back in Taiwan addressed the challenge.

"The three of us are good friends, so when we saw the invitation for the 'Mirai Design Award 2030,' we decided to do it together," Zhang says. "Currently, many young people lead irregular lives, and lifestyle-related illnesses start at a younger age. We are also concerned about the fact that drinks to suppress sleepiness that are prohibited in Europe are sold at convenience stores and anyone can buy them. That's the reason we came up with the idea."

With a very strong sense of the problem, you applied. "To tell the truth, not really in the beginning (laughing). We all love visual things like video and design, and we raised our spirits to make a fun video. But when we got cool-headed, we realized it wouldn't be a proposal." They thus decided to set a theme of "information design on health."

Ms. Zhang Yiwen (left) / Ms. Xu Ziyan (right)

In creating the idea, the three of them had 'different roles.' "Qixiang has a rich pool of ideas and always says something funny to cheer us up, so he is like an actor. I tackled the same theme for my Master's Thesis, so I was in a position like a director. However, Qixiang and I often had different opinions and often excitedly argued (laughing). Zhang soothed us, playing a mediation role," said Xu, exchanging smiles with Zhang. In spite of everything, they made a good team.

In preparing the proposal, it was necessary to collect samples about the reality of lifestyles of youth, and they asked for cooperation from friends. Xu and Zhang shared responsibility for the actual preparation of the proposal. "As Japanese is not our mother tongue, it was very tough writing the formal document," Zhang says. On the day before submission, Xu worked overnight. "While writing about leading a healthy life, I took completely different action (laughing)."

Going forward, they will hold workshops with the sponsor of the "Mirai Design Award 2030" and a manufacturer to commercialize the idea. "The key to commercialization is how to collect information of biological data and how to promote actions by showing the results of their analysis in an interesting manner. The manufacturer assume the responsibility for the former, and we will think about the latter," Zhang says. "I want to continue to think about the design of communication to warmly connect people and people and machines." Xu says. In 2030, their ideas will surely have created a new future.

Moira Mirror concept

The concept of the system is to automatically read out a comprehensive range of information. It analyzes not only simple physical conditions but also diet and life styles.

When you look at the mirror,what you will be 20 years later is displayed. It's also a good idea that the mirror gives advice.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)

Ms. Zhang Yiwen (left)

Born in Zhanghua, Taiwan, in 1981. Graduated from National Chengchi University. 2nd year, Graduate School of Global Information and Telecommunication Studies. Has experience in web designing. Her interests are watching movies and traveling. "My favorite movie is 'Hana & Alice' by Shunji Iwai. I've been to many places like Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara and Okinawa." After graduation, she will work as a web designer, taking advantage of what she will have learned.

Ms. Xu Ziyan (right)

Born in Xian, China, in 1986. Graduated from Xian Jiaotong University. 2nd year, Graduate School of Global Information and Telecommunication Studies. Her comprehensive interests include not only production of fanzines and participation in design events but also singing on the Nico Nico Douga. "I want to sufficiently learn programming before getting job. I also want to travel around Japan."

Mr. Zhang Qixiang

Born in Taichong in 1982. Graduated from Tunghai University, Taiwan. 2nd year, Graduate School of Global Information and Telecommunication Studies. Has worked as an advertisement salesperson. He loves creative things and has a healthy curiosity. "I want to create a fantastic future with my idea some day!"