We all know that life is short and every day counts. We are told things like not to go to bed angry at our significant other and not to rush into marriage too young. But as our life expectancies are increasing, will couples in the future still want to be married 'til death do them part, or will they be counting down the days to divorce?
Taiwan studio Alice Wang Design revealed a new project that may change the way we look at marriages. She tackled typical marital challenges by developing technologies that she hopes will change the way we approach the union.
"Is our society ready for this," asks Wang. "Are we still doing four years of college? Are we still going to retire at the same age? And are we still going to be married to one partner until death do us part?"
The studio proposed three products as part of "The Future Marriage" project that aims for couples to have a healthier relationship. The first design is a ring.
"In the future, rather than being married for life, can couples decide how long they want to be married for?" Wang asks. "Can the marriage certificate be more like a love contract where terms are pre-agreed?"
Sans diamond, the ring features a digital display that shows the number of days the couple decided they will be married for. They would sign a document that would make the marriage legal and the ring would start to count down the number of days left in the marriage. When the last day is done, the couple has the option of renewing their contract or call it quits.
Not only might there be no bling in the future of marriage, but couples will also be encouraged to think about divorce before they even tie the knot.
"Instead of using negative phrases such as 'divorced' or 'separated', can marriages end more peacefully and happily? If so, perhaps the number on the ring would be far more important than how big the diamond is!," Wang states.
While this idea may seem to take a pessimistic angle from the start, Wang's second idea is much more optimistic. In an attempt to get couples off their smartphones and engage in more face-to-face communication, the second design features a table that would block Wi-Fi.
"As we're more and more reliant on our mobile phones, we are no longer able to have a quiet and focused meal with our loved ones," says Wang.
Wang designed a phone-free zone in the form of a dinner table. The center of the table is a dead-zone, so that when couples sit to eat facing each other they won't be distracted by technology. "We're closer without signal," Wang says.
The last design, a computer mouse, serves as a reminder that you are married when chatting online. "Flirting in cyber space has always been a grey area, whether it counts or not has been highly debatable," Wang says.
To keep you from creeping, simply slip your fourth finger into the ring that is attached to the mouse. The ring heats up to remind the user they are married when on social media sites. We can't decide if this is super practical or some creepy, utilitarian device.
Overall, the designs suggest that couples may suffer from serious commitment issues in the future and that technology can help change the way we approach marriage and its challenges.