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When a Product Is Still Fictional: Anticipating and Speculating Futures through Concept Videos


This paper explores corporate concept videos as a type of design fiction that embed a vision about the future of computing – including how computing should be done, for whom, and the norms that might exist – and allow for a discourse to explore and contest these claims. We introduce a method for critiquing and analyzing concept videos. Through an analysis of Google Glass’ and Microsoft HoloLens’ concept videos and a discourse analysis of media articles during the time period after the products were announced but before they were available to the public, we introduce a method of analysis that lets us surface values and critique the narratives presented in technology concept videos and in early media reactions. We also introduce the language of “anticipatory” and “speculative" orientations toward the future to better describe how people imagine sociotechnical futures.

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