12 things that’ll seem ludicrous in our lifetime / news.com.au, daily telegraph, courier mail, sunshine coast daily, Hong Kong Radio 3, ABC Far North

We so often look forward to what we might have in the future, that its fun to stop for a minute and think about what we won’t have in the future, and this week News.com.au’s Gary Nunn reached out to ask exactly that…

WITHIN our own lifetime, people will scoff at the thought of sitting on a flight for 22+ hours across the world.

It’s one of many things that’ll rapidly seem unfeasible to the upcoming generation.

Elon Musk recently revealed plans for a next-generation spacecraft that could fly to “most places on earth in under 30 minutes and anywhere in under 60 — with the cost per seat the same as a current full economy fare.”

What else will become ludicrously outdated? I spoke to some futurists whose predictions show that some disruptive innovations may be coming sooner than you think. Here’s a list of what could become a quaint thing of the past before you’ve even begun withdrawing your pension:

IN THE COMMUNITY

1) Schools being used just once a day

“As population density increases in urban areas, infrastructure like schools will double down on their resources” says James Fogelberg, former ‘Head of What’s Next’ at Adshel. “Schools will be used twice in one day. They’ll offer parents the option of sending kids to either morning or afternoon and even evening school.”

2) Leaving your house to vote

The blockchain will create the security and opportunity to vote digitally in elections. It’s already happening — overseas Australians were able to vote online in the postal survey on same-sex marriage.

Futurist Dave Yeates says: “The blockchain works with currencies like Bitcoin right now, but it’ll change how we digitally certify both ourselves and our ballot papers. That’s right: no more awkward queues at school voting booths.” Shame about the traditional democracy sausage then (more on meat later).

3) Stopping at traffic lights

Business futurist Morris Miselowski says: “Forget traffic lights, speed limits and roundabouts. In a world where vehicles, roads, and infrastructure are constantly chatting to each other, we’ll soon be able to figure out how to dynamically adjust the traffic lights, road conditions and available parking to best suit the traffic it’s trying to cope with at that moment.”

 

IN THE HOME

4) Paying for your own Wi-Fi

“In the sharing economy, wificoin and other blockchain technologies will mean sharing Wi-Fi with your neighbours will become common, leading to you paying four times less than you currently do” says Matt Hoggett, co-founder of Prezzee. “It’ll also enable you to earn money via micro-payments. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

5) Using a mobile phone

Futurist Bachir El Khoury says you can say goodbye to your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy: “In five to ten years, people will look back at smartphones as we look back at the Nokia brick phone. It only took ten years to have the iPhone, and now only ten years after having the revolutionary touch screen, we speak to them! Phones will be replaced by smarter sensors and devices, such as glasses (Microsoft Hololens) and in particular virtual retinal display technology.”

6) Typing and reading

Brain machine interfaces will mean you can plug your brain straight into external technology devices, says Morris Miselowski. “Within a couple of decades, we’ll not only be able to get information out of our brain and into technology, but we’ll also reverse it and input information into our brain. Turn on lights, open doors, command a wheelchair, learn a new language, see a new sight, or if there’s too much going on in your head, maybe download some of your thinking into offsite storage.”

You can forget about being attached to your smart phone. In a couple of decades we might be able to plug our brains directly into technology, or at least wear it in a much more convenient way.

7) Doing your own tax return

“Don’t worry about telling the tax department what you spent last year, they already know. All your transactions have been collected, audited and analysed by artificial intelligence. All your deductions, refunds and obligations have been worked out by your robo financial adviser” says Morris Miselowski.

 

MEDICAL

8) Human surgeons

Within the next thirty years, it’s likely that a robot will perform your triple heart bypass, according to futurist Sankar Gopinath. “The development of minimally invasive, smarter, automated, precise, and effective medical technologies means that nano-robots could be used for complex operations where a surgery is deemed critical but dangerous. This tiny equipment can help doctors diagnose the problems with much less blood spillage.”

9) Human doctors

Instead of visiting doctors, we’ll swallow them, according to Morris Miselowski: “These tiny hair-width nanobot doctors, ingested or inserted, are your own on-board specialist team of medical researchers, diagnosticians and physicians. Programmed to deliver tailor-made medicine to just the right cell, or perhaps take a good look at your colon or bowel and send real time information back to your doctor; they’ll even perform minor internal procedures.”

10) Single use toilets

“We’ll look back at our toilets and be amazed they were only used to transport waste.” Danielle Storey from the Eastern Innovation Centre is developing a system whereby toilets “become diagnostic tools for early disease. We’ll self-manage our health rather than awaiting a doctor’s opinion.”

 

FOOD

11) Eating meat

Author Richard Dawkins predicts that we’ll “look back on the way we treated animals today as something like we today look back on the way our forefathers treated slaves.”

12) Awkward bill splitting in restaurants

“We’ll read the menu on our phone while we’re there (often seeing video or chef comments, or a cooking demonstration), order in an app and pay for it all digitally often without speaking to a waiter. In China this is already the norm and mostly done through WeChat” says Morris Miselowski.

Podcasts:

Hong Kong Radio 3, Phil Whelan, Tuesday 31st October 2017, (15 mins 35 secs)


Kier Shorey ABC Far North, Monday 6th November 2017 (13 mins 20 secs)

In 30 years of predictions did Bill Gates and I get anything right? / ABC WA Drive, Hong Kong 3

Recently the Sydney Morning Herald published an article on the 15 predictions Microsoft’s Bill Gates made in 1999, a list that predates the internet, the smart phone and even the mass adoption of the PC and this prompted this weeks on-air chats around Australia and Asia, looking at what’s come true and what hasn’t.

I couldn’t resist throwing in a couple of my own predictions, the earliest of which dates back to 1981 and the catalyst for my life long obsession with the Future, and that was my absolute belief that there would come a day when every person on the planet would have their own unique phone number, from birth to death, that would reach them anywhere on the planet and a phone that they would carry around with them everywhere to take the call on – I know it’s ridiculous, it’ll never happen!

Anyway back to Bill, he had a pretty good track record with his predictions, which included:

No. 1: Price-comparison sites

No. 2: Mobile devices

No. 3: Instant payments and financing online, and better healthcare through the web.

No. 4: Personal assistants and the internet of things

No. 5: Online home-monitoring

No. 6: Social media

No. 7: Automated promotional offers

No. 8: Live sports discussion sites

No. 9: Smart advertising

No. 10: Links to sites during live TV

No. 11: Online discussion boards

No. 12: Interest-based online sites

No. 13: Project-management software

No. 14: Online recruiting

No. 15: Business community software

Mine aren’t always as sexy (and often specific to a clients industry) and this blog has my foresight’s, writings and media interviews going back to February 2005, so pick a date and story at random and see how I’ve done, but some of the highlights include:

80’s – rise of the mobile, PC and the internet

90’s  – rise of online shopping, the demise of travel agents and the rise of online travel bookings, the rise of a digital world to rival the physical

00’s – rise of online community hubs, the move from bricks and mortar to omni-channel retail

10’s – rise of digital concierges (DC’s), machine thinking, objects coming to life, move from health to wellness, connected worlds, driverless cars, less cash economies

20’s – well, that’s a story for next week….

So take a listen now and then let me know your predictions for the next 10 years…

ABC WA Regional Drive – Barry Nicholls – 17th July 2017 (6 mins 32 secs)

Hong Kong Radio 3 – Phil Whelan – 18th July 2017 (12 mins 56 secs).

The Pace of Change / ABC Mornings with Jon Faine

We’ve just discovered a new piece of tech, a new app, a new fad, a new business proposition, a new idea or a new gadget and we think we’ve come to terms with it, when out of left field another new something comes along and blows us out of the water.

This was the starting point for a conversation with ABC Melbourne’s Morning presenter  Jon Faine as we explored all things future, including my belief that the rate of change has not increased just the amount of parallel technologies that we have to tame simultaneously have and that we are all now Homo Cyborg’s irrevocably tied to technology through things we carry on us, have around us and increasingly inside of us.

A fascinating conversation, well worth a listen (9 minutes 16 secs)

Morris on Sky News Business

me_and_switzer_8_April_14 The Future is an incredible space, it allows us to wonder and imagine, to invent and to innovate and to take the best of what we are and have done and mix it with the possibilities of what we might yet become.

In this Sky News Business TV segment Peter Switzer and I chat about what a Futurist is and does, explore some of the key future business impacts including 3D printing, crowdsourcing and a world where most businesses are still missing out on their innovation possibilities because they still think in silos when it comes to their physical and digital business.

Watch this segment now and then share what innovation lies ahead for your business.

Unlearn the Future – Morris Live at TEDx Melbourne

To have the TEDx stage for 18 minutes is a privilege and an honor. To use this global platform to tell the story of my family’s past, to introduce my ancestors who have not been spoken of or seen in over 70 years to a worldwide audience that they could never have imagined and to combine all of this with my love of the infinite possibilities of the future and what we must each do to allow these opportunities into our lives is a gift that I will cherish forever – thank you!!

I would love you to watch it, like it and leave a comment to let me know what you see ahead and what excess baggage you’re leaving behind to make room for the future and an enormous thank you to the 1,000+ people that watched it within the first 24 hours of it being put up on YouTube.

Everything old is futuristic again

recordsVinyl record sales are up 70% this year and this prompted Belinda King of Radio ABC Tasmania and I to take a nostalgic look at the future to explore what other past trends are making a comeback.

Nostalgia and authenticity are two of my 13 trends for 2013 and they usually are a response to tougher economic times as we harken back to the romantic periods in our life and try and herald their return by surrounding ourselves with modern twists on their physical manifestations.

Current clothing trends fit into this with much of today’s fashion styling being influenced by 1920’s Gatsby era and the 1950’s / 1960’s. Vintage clothes stores are on the rise. Modern twists on the good old hamburgers, milkshakes and fries as well as “honest” cooking and cooking at home are all rising big in the world of food and restaurants.

These trends will be with us for the next year or so and behind it is a softening of technology envy, for most of us we’re over the gadget being the most important thing, as evidenced by the recent more sedate hysteria around the iPhone 5C and 5S launch, and instead we are looking for “hyperpersonalised” experiences these devices can offer us.

Have a listen to this segment and let me know what nostalgic period you would like to bring back and why.

13 trends for 2013

Tablet PC computer with 2013 New Year counterIn 2013 we will see an Australian election that is bound to slow business down and the economy for a couple of months. We will see Europe and America continue to build a new normal around their economy’s and future as they continue to grapple with the legacies of the past.

We will see a year where innovation will become the buzz-word as we move out of a relatively deep cycle of global negativity and doom and gloom to one where we see possibility and renewed hope.

2013 is only days away and it’s already set to be crammed with innovation, gadgets, new thinking and challenges..

This week Nicole Dyer of ABC Radio Gold Coast and I chatted about my 13 trends for 2013 which include:

1. Big Data – The answers we seek have got to be hidden somewhere amongst all this data that’s we’re drowning in. Internal records, online information, social media chatter, third-party providers, and the list of information sources go on. We know all this stuff is out of there and most probably could be useful, but how do you begin to make sense of it all. Welcome to the next frontier and the next set of tech billionaires. The rush is on for data gold and we will see a slew of one stop digital solutions that offer to make sense of all of your fractured information and turns it into one screen profitable wisdom.

2. Mobile everything – this may sound old and ordinary, but the first mass used smart phone was only 5 years ago and the shift to this becoming our default personal assistant and digital best friend has been quick and taken for granted. As we continue to take great big gulps of digital oxygen from our devices, our addiction will only continue. In this post iPhone era, where our desire for mobile gadgets will be far less brand dependent and more about features and cool and Apple, as cool as it is and was, will start to lose its’ cool.

3. Appy Days – an industry that hardly existed 5 years ago is now mainstream, a viable career choice set to turn over $12 billion next year. It has quickly moved beyond from just being about angry birds and games, to having a serious business side, with these little digital front doors keys poised to be the death knell of traditional websites.

4. Bring It All Together – we want everything now and in one place and that’s exactly what we’re going to get. Much of next year’s innovation will take lots of seemingly disconnected bits and pieces from lots of different places and put them together into one easy to use and purposeful space. The travel app that gives you a true door to door experience, booking you a taxi from home; let’s you know if the plane is on time; checks you in; informs the hotel how far away you are and checks you into the hotel, and guides you to your room when you get there and opens the door for you.

5. NFC – Near Field Communication, or a technical thingy that casts a virtual net from your mobile device to digitally connect you to your surroundings. This one has been in the wings for quite a while and we came close to a launch in 2012, but 2013 is make or break time for it.

6. It’s not rude to point / I know that face – mouse and keyboard – they’re so last century. 2013 is the year of the gesture, face recognition and voice. Every great sci-fi movie has this as a basic staple and now it’s going to become common in an office and living room near you. Mobile devices, ATM’s, cars, homes, TV’s and even fridges will know your face and let you in. Want to change channels on the TV, don’t reach for the remote, just swipe your hand in mid-air.

7. Goggles – 2013 will see the start of a new evolution in personal viewing displays built-in to ordinary looking spectacles. Google and other developers all have versions of the heads up displays buried in glasses due for release in 2013 and although it will take a while for them to come down in price and become mainstream they will find a market.

8. Co Creation – stop doing it on your own. There has been a fundamental shift in management style and business separations in the last decade. One where collaboration and co creation have overtaken control. Business of all sizes are synergistically coming together to achieve common goals and ambitions, sharing resources and talents, but also disbanding and moving on, or having multiple co creative experiences.

9. Chameleon Computers – BYOD aka Bring Your Own Device – one screen multiple uses in multiple places. It’s a work computer by day, a play computer by night and a friend in your handbag when you’re out and about. No it’s not 3 separate devices, it’s just the one device you carry with you everywhere you go and this is newest fad in businesses providing computer hardware to their employees.

10. 3D Printers – need a replacement part for your tractor, but can’t get it delivered for two weeks. No problem, print one out of your very own 3D printer. This love child of Star trek’s “Beam me up scotty” and your old fax machine, is the next big industry and will bring with it a fundamental shift in the way we manufacture, buy, deliver and innovate.

11. Head in the clouds – Our insatiable hunger for 24/7 access to all of our information regardless of where and when we are, has now found a new savior in the heavens. Cloud servers are becoming our preferred and trusted digital storage locker as we move from just storing our emails there to trusting it with our digital lives.

12. Out with the new and in with the old (in a new way) – everything old is new again. In this world of ever-changing “things” we are turning to the past, with a great big dollop of nostalgia, to reinvent what we’ve already had. Expect social media to become ordinary. For Facebook, Twitter and other conversations to become less “full on” and for us to become terribly blasé about all of this. New digital possibilities, apps and businesses will rise to refresh and update traditional offerings. Fashion, food and fun will also receive new twists on old themes as they make their comeback, yet again.

13. IP and Patents are becoming obsolete – First person to market advantage has never been more important than it will become. With the world-changing so quickly and innovative ideas abounding the timing involved in legally locking down ideas, innovations and inventions is becoming less practical and advise from top legal minds seems to be protect your innovation as much as possible, but don’t let it stop you being first to market.

Have a listen now to this month’s FutureTech segment and let me know what you think will be the innovation highlights of 2013

What’s trending in 2013

As 2012 meanders its way to a close, it’s a perfect time to future-gaze, take stock of the trends and inklings behind us and ponder which will find their place in 2013 and beyond and this is what Adelaine Ng of Radio Australia and I did this week in our FutureTech segment as we explored the rise and rise of the mobile phone and mobile computing; cloud computing; pictures will increasingly say more than a 1,000 words as we continue to disengage with the word and reengage with visuals leading to the continued rise of YouTube, Pinterest and other picture based sites and apps; and generally how might be thinking, behaving, buying and feeling in 2013.

Lot’s to cover and lot’s to think about, so have a listen now and then share with us your thoughts on what will rise and fall in 2013.

Which devices is sold more every day, than there are babies born?

What else could it be, but the iPhone.

In its 2012 1st quarter sales figures, Apple sold 37.04 million iPhone’s across the planet accounting for 53% of all of its revenue.

More people across the planet now take home new iPhone’s every day (402,000 units per day), than take home human babies (300,000 human births per day).

The figure needs to be seasonally adjusted as it includes Christmas sales, but nevertheless the numbers are huge and the implications for consumer preferences for their tech and connectivity needs even bigger.

In this weeks FutureTech segment Jason Jordan of Perth’s 6PR and I chat about what this means; what technological road we’re going down and where to from here for mobile technology.

Listen now:

and listen live each week at around 5:05 p.m. (AWST).