This is not the future we were promised

In many ways, this is a pretty disappointing 2018. There are no flying cars, no robot servants at home, not even an affordable mass-produced VR world.

Photo by Giu Vicente on Unsplash

It would be a complete let down if we lived in a sci-fi movie, but less so much if we consider all the incredible ways in which the world has changed for the better in recent times.

To help put things in perspective, we have gathered a list of surprisingly ordinary-yet-innovative changes happening today, so we can value them according to the way they will define our lives tomorrow.

 

What’s changing: Thursday, September 13th, 2018

  • One of the most ordinary objects in our lives, the mirror, has recently become the focus of developers and venture capitalists. Here are two ideas coming soon to a wall near you: 3D body scanner for the home, and Mirror, boutique workouts. (3 min read, 4 min read)
  • We really don’t need the middleman. The future of retail is direct to consumer. (5 min read)
  • Why do we buy the things we buy? There is a constant in human behavior which probably won’t change anytime soon. (5 min read)
  • What if happiness was the metric of the future? If it was, it would make many people unhappy. (6 min read)
  • Looking for good, original and innovative ideas? You need to move to the edge. (8 min read)
  • Can you build a complete new mega city in today’s world? Yes, but don’t try to name it. (5 min read)
  • There is one college major with the highest average salary. Go ahead and try to guess which one. (3 min read) Then, see here if you want to know what it means.
  • The office desk of the future is here. And we love it. (4 min read)
  • Meet the first robot designed to help kids with schoolwork. (4 min read)

This week’s energizer and food come in twos

 

Mental energizer(s)

“Bezos’s letter to Amazon’s shareholders on April 18, 2018, praised the company’s customers for being “divinely discontent,” unfailingly raising their expectations beyond whatever standard a company sets for them. In the letter, Bezos likens this force to nothing less than evolution — “We didn’t ascend from our hunter-gatherer days by being satisfied” — and goes on to describe the “customer empowerment phenomenon” that informs Amazon’s approach: Consumers’ access to product reviews, price comparisons, and shipping timelines has created a space where they and not retailers call the shots. To succeed in this landscape, Bezos suggests, companies must respond to their customers’ ever-increasing power by treating them like the linchpins that they are; whoever does this best will rightfully dominate its market.”

– From The Constant Consumer by Dew Austin in Real Life Magazine

 

“I’m concerned that such a focus on comfort and instant gratification will reduce us all to those characters in Wall-E, bound to their recliners, Big Gulps in hand, interacting with the world exclusively through their remotes. Too many well-funded entrepreneurial efforts turn out to promise more than they can deliver (i.e., Theranos’ finger-prick blood test) or read as parody (but, sadly, are not — such as the $99 “vessel” that monitors your water intake and tells you when you should drink more water). When everything is characterized as ‘world-changing,’ is anything?”

– From Solving All the Wrong Problems by Allison Arieff on The New York Times

 

Food(s) for thought

Tab-sundoku

This Japanese word refers to the act of opening tabs and letting them pile up unread. This article might help you deal/cope with this habit.

Chairdrobe

All the clothes people leave over the bedroom’s chair. And Unilever is hoping to make millions off of it.

 

 

This week’s exploration of possible futures was curated with curiosity by Iñaki Escudero, Future Activist.

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