sony designers use sci-fi prototyping to depict ‘tokyo in 2050’


with ‘2050,’ ‘tokyo,’ and ‘romance’ as keywords that define the overarching theme, sony designers and science fiction writers held workshops to explore life, habitats, senses, and well-being in 2050 — and their creative effort resulted in a series of design prototypes and short science fiction stories. each design prototype presents an idea for a service or product that is relevant to the messaging of each theme. and although many of the proposed ideas (which include an AI therapist, a floating house, a scent mask and a life simulator service) seem very realistic, on its official website, sony makes sure to mention that all information is fiction and has no connection to the brand’s current products and services. 

stories of tokyo in 2050 as envisioned by sony designers and science fiction writers 1
resilience program

all images courtesy of sony


an AI therapist that helps people acquire resilience


in 2050, no matter how much technology may have advanced, it is probably impossible to completely eliminate all factors that create stress in life. helping people acquire the resilience to bounce back from setbacks may therefore enhance their well-being. for this project, the concept is simple: when something happens that disheartens you, an AI therapist that is morphed into a suitable appearance will offer counseling support to help you acquire resilience, using optimal methods tailored to your needs based on your emotional shifts, stress values, and other data.


this design prototype shows how the AI therapist will sense changes in your stress levels and emotion, and what kind of appearance it will take on to relieve stress. an ’emotion capturing sensor’ will monitor your emotional state 24/7 to know when you are faced with a difficult moment or a frustrating setback. the sensor is worn directly on your skin, and it is so unobtrusive that you almost forget that it’s there. it senses blood hormone levels, flow, and components, and it emits heat and light when any unusual state is detected. 





a mobile house that can travel by sea


it is said that in 2050 there will be more ‘climate refugees’ who have lost their homes due to the impact of climate change, as well as emigrants who have been forced to leave their countries due to political problems. there may also come a time in the future when people live in floating mobile houses that drift across the world’s oceans. these groups of people could become like sea nomads, forming a unique ecosystem in which they coexist with the natural environment.


responding to this future scenario, sony designers have come up with the ‘floating habitat’, a mobile house that can float and travel on the sea. it has all the necessary functions packed inside a compact space, and it adapts to changes in the environment due to the weather, ebb and flow of tides, as well as time of the day, by autonomously altering its shape, ensuring a safe and comfortable life at sea. the house propels itself with an engine or by harnessing wind power. its entire roof integrates built-in solar panels to generate electricity, and porous filters installed on the underside of the house ensure there’s clean water for drinking and domestic use.stories of tokyo in 2050 as envisioned by sony designers and science fiction writers 2the floating habitat design prototype

sony designers and science fiction writers envision floating habitats for tokyo in 2050
multiple floating habitats can be connected to form one large structure


a scent mask that brings back memories


the pandemic has brought with it a new mask-wearing culture that may still be alive even in 2050. for this theme, the designers developed a new face mask as a key entertainment item that uses the sense of smell, which is said to be the sense that has the most direct impact on emotion and memory. in this imagined future, smell can be reproduced digitally, and people can share particular scents and enjoy new forms of entertainment.


the ‘scent mask’ prototype investigates the concept of a ‘sensorial entertainment’ service or a tool that can reproduce past scents based on vast amounts of emotional data that have been stored. the scent mask will deliver a scent smelled on a certain day that you couldn’t recall, evoking a nostalgic feeling for a time past, and allowing you to access long-faded memories. the mask frame, made with metallic artificial muscles and biometal fiber materials, features retinal projection and bone conduction technologies that reproduce scents and memories. the combination of smell, vision, and hearing allows you to relive your memory in a highly evocative way.

stories of tokyo in 2050 as envisioned by sony designers and science fiction writers 4
the scent mask proposal


a realistic life simulator to help you reach your full potential


in 2050, a new social security system including a universal basic income may be implemented. in such a society, people may differentiate between ‘jobs’ that are necessary to sustain people’s lives and ‘work’ one does purely to enjoy life. such differentiation may change people’s lifestyles and how they plan their lives. the advancement of complex sensing technologies and sophisticated simulation of one’s own assets (not just financial assets) might enable a new life-planning service to support people looking to take on various challenges in their lives.


with this in mind, the designers of sony developed the concept of a service that allows people to simulate their lives and possibilities with great accuracy. ‘life simulator’ is a service that visualizes different versions of your future by calculating all kinds of possibilities based on complex data from the past and present. it helps you maximize your potential by making an inspiring proposal for how you may live your life, and by encouraging you to actually pursue that life, presenting concrete data to show you that it is achievable. life simulator performs ΑΙ-based simulations by integrating and analyzing not only personal data such as age, sex, occupation, and income, but also biological data including hormone levels and genetic information, as well as past behavioral history, all obtained in advance with consent.



the 'life simulator' proposal
the 'life simulator' proposal
user interface of sensorial entertainment
user interface of sensorial entertainment

project info:


name: one day, 2050 / sci-fi prototyping
designer: creative center, sony group corporation


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom