I find it absolutely fascinating thinking about the future, as technology is rapidly advancing and in 40 years time, who knows what we’ll be able to do with it. Scientists have recently predicted that by 2050 the population of the world will be over ten billion and technology will have advanced so greatly that we will have far more information about all known diseases (and possibly cures), we will all be living in eco houses and will no longer face sky high electricity bills and we may even be able to take a holiday to Mars (erm, I’m not sure I’d quite want to anyway!). So with my curious head on, I decided to take an in-depth look into what ‘people in the know’ predict our lives will be like in 2050. Here goes…
Home Life in 2050
Our daily lives will most definitely be littered with all kinds of new technologies that help us do the things we hate the most in 2012! House Robo’s will be a likely feature in all homes and will help run the family home, take out the rubbish, prepare food and hoover the house from top to bottom. Our kitchen gadgets (such as your fridge, cooker, microwave and dishwasher) will also be ‘robotic’ and will email or text us should they malfunction, or should the fridge need replenishing. There is in fact a fridge already on the market (although no doubt pricey) that emails or texts its users when a food item has gone out of date or has been used up. Similarly, the fridge has a built in camera so that when you are at the supermarket, you can log in to your fridge and check what you need to stock up on. Handy?
Your life may also be organised by a domestic computer, which reminds everyone in the household of their daily appointments, regulates the internal climate of the house and similarly schedules their alarm clocks every day at a time that is best for their body clock and so they can also miss the traffic. It may also control each family member’s food intake and suggest recipes and daily diet plans to suit their health needs, BMI and age. The shower will adjust each morning dependent on who is showering, their height and the temperature outside. Cleaning your teeth manually may be a thing of the past, as scientists predict that a ‘special toothbrush shaped gadget’ (yep, technical word!) will be able to be bitten down upon and will then clean and polish the teeth with hundreds of chemicals to keep them in tip top condition!
Shopping in 2050
High streets and regular shopping trips are already becoming a thing of the past, as so many of us are shopping online. Predications state that by 2050, everyone will be ordering their clothes online and a virtual scanner with a built in hologram will be able to be accessed from the home – and so you can ‘virtually’ try on clothes from thousands of different stores, in the comfort of your own bedroom. Your virtual ‘changing room’ will also suggest clothes dependent on your body shape, height and age.
Food shopping will become pretty much non-existent as our fridges and domestic computers will order anything we need automatically, so you don’t need to think about at all! Magazines and newspapers will become a thing of the past and news will be read online, in an instant. ‘Virtual Books’, which will look a little like a Kindle will hold all of our favourite books, receive our magazine subscriptions and also recommend books we might like.
Flagging down taxi’s when shopping will also be a thing of the past – as smart phone apps will be able to tap in to the nearest automatically controlled carpool and send out an electric car to wherever you are, in an instant. You will be able to make payments for these cars with a quick swipe of a pre-paid card (almost like an oyster card) and away you go.
Health in 2050
Michael Durham predicts that by 2050, we will all have ‘weekly digital health checks’ in our homes, which run sensors over our bodies to check for signs of ill health and any abnormalities. Conditions can instantly be recognised by the ‘virtual doctor’ inside the health machine and treated immediately, and if you need a prescription – it will be ordered and sent out automatically. If the digital health check picks up on a person being overweight, they will send a signal to the domestic house computer to modify their diet and book in for gym sessions (will it give us better willpower too?). Because of all this immediate treatment, people will live far longer and won’t be wiped out by disease or forms of cancer. Medical conditions that are considered rare today, will be far more known about and will be able to be cured quickly and efficiently.
Gadgets in 2050
There are already some amazing gadgets readily available today which help us go about our daily lives (think Smartphone’s, laptops and cars) however in 2050, we will have an array of new, exciting gadgets which will make our lives even easier (and more fun!). One of these ‘exciting’ gadgets is a gaming toilet (yep, you heard it right!). Although these are mainly aimed at men, they bring a whole new world of fun to going to the loo and will probably be featured in the toilets of bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Games like ‘bulls eye’ and ‘zombie shoot’ will be able to be played using well, your pee to play and aim. Your skill, accuracy and ‘PE resistance’ will then be calculated at the end of each game. Sounds fantastic?
Video calls are already extremely popular with people all around the world, as is Skype – as it enables family members to communicate more personally wherever they are, immediately. However, many scientists believe that in 2050, we will communicate with an integrated hologram voice call, where we can see a 3D image of the person we are calling. So, if you are worried about turning up to a party in the same dress as your friend, you can video call them and double check for yourself!
Jobs in 2050
Work will most likely be carried out in the comfort of your own home and office blocks will be a thing of the past, as will commuting. Glamour Magazine recently ran a feature on jobs of the future and came up with five jobs we might be doing in 2050, which are both rather scary and exciting. Ian Pearson (who came up with the jobs for the Glamour feature) suggests that one of the most popular jobs will be a ‘virtual architect’, someone who draws the blueprints of augmented reality situations. He explains that Google’s labs are currently working on developing AR glasses, which will overlay what we see in the real world and enable us to customise everything we can see. You could make a simple shopping centre look like a scene from downtown abbey, or your bedroom look like a red carpet event – and someone (a virtual architect) will need to create the blueprints for these situations. Similarly, ‘body part farmers’ will be employed in the future, as researchers are already developing special gauzes that allow us to grow new human hearts and kidneys (and by 2050, this may develop further). A body part farmer will be needed to grow new body parts, so that we will no longer worry about bits of body wearing out, we can just have a routine operation to have it replaced.
Although I am extremely fascinated (and excited) by the gadgets and lifestyle changes listed above, it all seems a little too advanced for my liking. Already, we are so consumed by ‘virtual’ reality and the majority of our time is spent online, if this increases in the future – will we completely abolish face to face contact? We will live in our very own bubble and become ‘techno hermits’ who can no longer socialise? What do you think?