Instead of looking back on the year just ending, I thought we’d do something different and look forward – 100 years forward in fact – with the help of the Samsung “Smart Things Future Living Report”.
The future is something that beguiles us all. In my own lifetime science fiction fantasy has become fact in so many realms, from communications to the way we do the laundry!
It’s exciting then, to follow the reasoning of scientists and academics who use facts and statistics to predict how we humans will be living, working and playing a century from now.
The Future Living Report is the product of a collaboration by Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock (one of the UK’s leading space scientists whom you probably recognise from TV’s “The Sky at Night”); academics (University of Westminster) and futurist architects Arthur Mamou-Mani and Toby Burgess; and urbanist pioneers Linda Aitken and Els Leclerq.
So what will life be like in the year 2117? Let’s take a quick tour:
- As space becomes ever more tight,our cities will reach upwards several kilometres into the sky, and down into the depths of the earth. There’ll be no roads as such – sky routes will access “sky ports” on the super-skyscrapers for the drone-like vehicles which we’ll be using to get around.
- Travelling around will actually not be an essential part of life any longer. Work commutes will in most cases be obviated by being able to send your hologram presence to the office and meetings, and you’ll be able to take virtual holidays with all the sights, sounds and smells you’d expect to experience with the real thing.
- In your own “smart” living space, food recipes and furniture will be acquired by 3D printing. You’ll be growing your own “five a day” hydroponically in your living “pod”, which will have systems to recycle and generate everything you need for the process. You’ll be able to configure your home with “smart walls”, allowing you to change their positions according to your needs. If you decide to move to another location, you’ll be able to disengage your living pod and have it flown by “drone mule” to your new destination.
- Underwater cities, built in bubbles, will exist that will be essentially self sufficient, and moves should be well advanced for colonising the Moon and Mars. It goes without saying that commercial space flight will be the norm. If you want to get away from it all you can head off to an orbiting space hotel.
- There will likely be a single global currency (and perhaps a global government), with traditional boundaries between countries and cultures blurred into extinction.
It’s all a bit frightening – but there are some aspects that make me wish I could be around to see it. For instance we won’t need cleaning products any longer because everything in the home will be self-cleaning and self-repairing.
Pie in the sky? You may think so … but then, what would your ancestors 100 years ago have said if confronted with the idea of personal mobile devices being used by all citizens to interact with each other at will, with instant information on tap about anything and everything.
The authors of this rather mind-blowing report have based most of their predictions on technology that already exists, and in most cases is already being used.