Dystopia Now: Office-Oriented “Blinkers” Serve as Horse Blinders for Humans

As workers become increasingly packed in modern, open-plan offices and coworking spaces, designers keep working on high-tech solutions to allow employees to focus, often with the unintended effect of highlighting office layout shortcomings.

The latest of these gadget-based solutions is a set of “blinkers” from Panasonic’s “Future Life Factory,” designed to block out sights and sounds from the wearer’s sides so they can hone in on what’s in front of them.

These Wear Space units, they believe, will help keep work environments distraction-free. They were created in collaboration with Japanese fashion designer Kunihiko Morinaga. Somehow, though, the photographs just reinforce a sense of dread, with humans arrayed in front of small screens like captured cattle. But who knows: maybe they will prove useful barring other spatial redesigns.

“As open offices and digital nomads are on the rise, workers are finding it ever more important to have personal space where they can focus,” said the company. “Wear Space instantly creates this kind of personal space – it’s as simple as putting on an article of clothing.” The user can then adjust their field of view and reduce peripheral vision to desired levels. This is coupled with noise-cancelling technology for audio isolation. Of course, no such potentially dystopian, present-day design would be complete without a crowdfunding campaign, currently scheduled for late 2018.