Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2014, 84, C, 101.
Science fiction prototyping, Consumer technology, 3D printing, Digital fabrication, Entrepreneurship, and Radical innovation
Fabcreating, a highly sophisticated form of 3D printing, has become ubiquitous by 2033. We outline how digital fabrication might evolve in a science fiction prototype (SFP) and provide a 2033 use case in which consumers produce their own highly customized consumer electronics at home. It shows how consumers virtually select, customize and print mobile phones and highlights how digital fabrication impacts society at large. Our technology outlook is backed by expert interviews. Our story vignette forms a showcase to address the role of technology, creativity and context in SFP. We address the anatomy of SFP and argue that context is important in order to promote opportunity recognition and to envisage game changing technologies and their societal impact. We develop a SFP typology based on a technology prototype and context prototype perspective.