Pa/rent & Hombe
by Carina Lim Yu Shan
Outsourcing everyday tasks to technology to make our lives easier has become a common occurrence. As tech gets more life-like and smart, exciting new tools like VR make it easier for us to empathise with others. However, should we always rely on technology to make our lives easier?
This project aims to explore the intersection between this phenomenon and the intimacy between people — in particular, parent-child relationships. If parent-child bonding can be outsourced to technology, should we use such services? And as outsourcing tasks become more accessible and convenient, what exactly is the limit?
Pa/rent enables children to play and interact with the virtual clone of their parents through VR technology. Children would be able to get parent-child bonding time while parents would be able to engage in other activities like work. Using artificial intelligence and big data, pa/rent observes and studies the most meaningful interactions for families and uses it to nurture the child.
Hombe is a multi-functional home device: it can be used as a side table, as well as an artificial womb. It has uterus-like conditions to nurture human offspring, and a passport protected lock to ensure that the baby is only be released when it is safe and fully developed. A gentle touch on the table surface reveals the offspring’s vital information, such as months to term, temperature, and heart rate.