Looking at the idea of customization for the modern city-dweller, one team of designers set out to create what they imagine is the perfect urban mobility solution for Generation Z, which they describe as “the most expressive and outspoken.”
It involves NFTs (non-fungible tokens), phygital art (art that exists both in the real world and the digital one), and, perhaps most shocking of all, turning an electric scooter into a canvas for the display of this type of novel art. It sure beats buying a new sticker, that’s certain!
This is the Omni, an electric scooter whose main merit right now is that of allowing the Gen-Z rider to express themselves according to mood and location. Put differently, it’s a rolling work of art or, better said, a rolling display of modern art, and it serves the purpose of allowing Gen-Z-ers to express themselves and connect with each other, both in the physical and the digital world.
Because this is Omni’s main (and imagined) goal, there’s no word on what kind of scooter it would be, nor is there of what you’d do with such a two-wheeler in a crowded city environment, where the rate of accidents and theft is high. Realistically speaking, one such Omni would probably be expensive, so you’d be left reeling if it ever got stolen. Which it probably would because it attracts attention.
But let’s not let reality get in the way of dreaming.
Omni is a concept study into the possibility of ultimate personalization, which would enable riders who are individualistic, creative, and YOLO-lites to ride in style. It’s the work of designers Yejin Lee, Junguk Cha, and Haesung Cho, with backing from the BMW Designworks in Munich, Germany, and phygital expert RTFKT.
It’s cute, it’s futuristic, and it’s the most in terms of customization possibilities.
The idea is to turn the electric scooter into a canvas, which means that the entire body, the running board, and even the wheels can project real-time imagery to the outside world. These themes, also called Omni, can be customized on the scooter’s oversized dashboard and deployed in real-time with a single touch of the screen.
Saved to an online mood board and shared with others, these Omni become NFTs whose value increases as they get higher rankings from other users, eventually becoming currency in themselves. The higher ranked an Omni, the more money it can sell for, which, in turn, means more money to buy other Omnis.
The designers believe that joining the NFT market with their own creations would help riders communicate with like-minded riders, becoming a part of the community, and eventually sharing real-life experiences as well. They would indulge their creative urges while putting them to practical use in real life and potentially make money off them. They base this premise on the observation that Gen-Z-ers are perfectly capable of reconciling life in the digital realm with genuine connections in the real world.
Much like in the fashion industry, each season would wrap up with a “private show” where the top-ranked Omni would get an automatic invite. “Seasonal and themes fashion shows can be held, empowering the connection within the Omni community,” the designers write. Based on published renders, we’re to understand that this private show would be like a catwalk show in fashion but with e-scooters.
If you find the idea of displaying NFTs on your scooter somewhat ridiculous, you’re probably not in the age bracket for these digital items. It’s true, NFTs have taken a knocking in recent months after a very solid (and profitable) start, but they’re still very much around and – to proponents, at least – are still held as the future of art.
The Omni takes this novel artistic expression and brings it into everyday life to enrich it in several ways, if only hypothetically. It should be regarded and judged only from this perspective, as a valuable and very unique form of self-expression. Seeing how there’s no chance in hell two-wheeler theft goes down in the big city, no one would risk getting a scooter as expensive as this one as a daily driver, if it ever went into production.