His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, opened the Museum of the Future of Government Services at the UAE Government Summit, 10th – 12th of February.
The Museum of the Future of Government Services, a three day exhibition, attempts to look at what the future of government services could be within the next ten to fifteen years. This exhibit, the first of its kind in the world, applies today’s technology to tomorrow’s challenges in order to imagine how services might change for the better in the coming years. It brings together the world’s most advanced futurists, researchers and designers to paint a positive picture of how ambitious governments could use these tools to provide better services for their people.
The Museum is built around a number of core themes; the future of international travel, healthcare and education, the smart city, and digital public services.
For example, in order to remove the at times impersonal nature of international travel, the border control of the future scans visitors for dangerous and illegal substances before they even arrive at their destination. Big data, intelligent sensors and better coordination will make metal detectors, immigration queues, and visas a thing of the past. This will allow for a more welcoming, warm and humane travel experience.
In this exhibit, visitors walk through the border control of the future, having their data scanned passively and unobtrusively as they walk through a specially designed corridor of light and sound. Hosts and hostesses welcome them at the beginning and end, adding a personal touch for an improved experience of travel and security.
The future of home healthcare exhibit, shows how instead of having to go to the clinic or doctor, healthcare and wellness could be integrated right into our daily meals and activities. Visitors stand in front of simulated bathroom mirrors which uses data your diet, physical activity and social experience to provide personal, private feedback on minor ailments and conditions before they occur. The system provides advice about your healthcare, nutrition and physical activity, then integrates supplements directly into your daily meals or social activities.
As a core government service, education is given a window into the future at the Museum. Visitors first experience and interactive sandbox, which shows weather is made, how water flows, and nature works. By moving your hand through the sand, visitors receive direct feedback on the laws of nature through experience and interaction. In the second exhibit, students design plants through virtual genetic engineering, then them against each other in an ecology-inspired virtual competition. This helps them learn about complex systems, ecology and genetics through hands on experience. These approaches make abstract textbooks and rote memorization obsolete in favour of more interactive, exciting and social experiences.
Finally, in a dramatic experience, visitors are taken up a simulated lift to the 300th floor of the world’s new tallest building; the Burj Al Emirat. They are greeted with floor-to-ceiling of the city of Dubai in the future, operating as an advanced smart city. Augmented reality highlights various smart city improvements, including as self-driving cars, drone delivery services, and integrated, intelligent city services.
The Museum has been built in collaboration with nearly 100 designers, researchers and technologists from over 18 countries. Over 80 exhibition ideas were developed before narrowing down to the final six, taking less than 6 months from concept to final production and launch at the Government Summit. The Museum uses a range of custom software and hardware to engage the visitor and is the world’s largest ever use of “design fiction”, the practice of using design to explore future possibilities through creative and engaging ways.
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