SERENDIPITY: here together now
Serendipity is a digital platform intended to help suburban commuters better connect, both with the world around them and with each other.
It works by making a map of the users' physical world (where they live, work, and travel) and weaving it together with their social world (their friends, family, and acquaintances). Serendipity uses this information to provide opportunities for connection through enhanced mobility throughout the day.
Serendipity was created through a rigorous process that included the creation of fictitious proto-personas. In the personas pictured here, we see a woman working in an office park with a taste for high culture and a long commute. We also see a 14 year old boy with his own very different set of needs and desires. Both will have their lives transformed by self-driving cars.
Serendipity was designed to identify opportunities for connection spesific to both cases.
The design and functionality of the Serendipity app was developed through rigorous lo-fi user testing, like the pictured paper cutouts. Test users were invited to arrange different elements of information and images within the app and discuss in what use cases Serendipity would be valuable to them.
The Serendipity app is just one of multiple channels by which the Serendipity platform pushes opportunities for connection. Serendipity Home is a device intended to be mounted on the wall near the front door in a future world where car suburban ownership car is optional.
The device has an embedded screen that constantly suggests new places to go and people to meet. For example, if a user's high school friends are congregating at a local diner, Serendipity can alert that user, who, with the push of a button can hail a vehicle and join them.
Information like this used to be common knowledge, part of the cadence of daily life in a town. With suburbanization, as households have atomized and communities have faded, forming relations with neighbors has become a highly mediated process. Serendipity uses autonomous vehicle technology to make it effortless to form these bonds once more.
The Serendipity AR screen superimposes an autonomous car passenger's social map onto the windshield of their vehicle. This way, the passenger can keep tabs on their friends on the road, the social events in their community, and other opportunities for connection at all times.
We don't want future passengers on autonomous vehicles to stare at their phones on their commutes. The Serendipity Augment Windshield helps them better engage with the outside world and their communities.
Lassor built a works-like prototype of the Serendipity Augment Screen using a transparent OLED screen which was made-to-order from a boutique factory in China. The technology today is too cumbersome to mount as a real window in an autonomous car, but Lassor's concept illustrated the potential for autonomous car manufacturers to be a lead industry in augmented reality applications.