That is the question Sony and not-for-profit sustainability experts, Forum for the Future have been asking consumers across Europe over the last six months. People were encouraged to imagine what life might be like in 2025 and think about the potential of technology to create a better, more sustainable world.
The project is called FutureScapes and is an open collaboration project that has brought together futurologists, thinkers, authors, technologists, sustainability experts, bloggers and the public. A series of workshops were held to build on the debate and develop real innovations, inventions and ideas for a more sustainable future. In brief, four concepts have emerged:
- Wandular – a personal, multi-functional, modular handheld device that evolves with you over your lifetime. With cloud downloads and the latest modular hardware plugins, it always stays up to date.
- The Internet of Things Academy (IOTA) – helps people harness the increasing connectedness of everyday objects to reduce their environmental impacts. By 2025, your fridge, your car, your lighting system, even your plants could all be network-aware so the physical world will ‘speak’ to us like never before. But harnessing this data to live more sustainably demands hardware and software skills beyond most people’s reach. IOTA is an educational platform that bridges this future ‘digital divide’ and lets everyone – from beginners to advanced coders – connect and collaborate to make the most of the ‘internet of things’.
- Hyper Village – a ‘hi-tech, hi-nature’ rural community. It’s the best of both worlds, allowing people to enjoy the best that both technology and the natural world have to offer.
- The Shift – more of a philosophy than an invention: how can our relationship with technology change to better meet our needs? How might technology itself change to boost creativity, productivity, or even our relationship with nature?
As you can see, the products of the FutureScapes project are a mixture of ground-breaking ideas, inventions and models. We are very excited about these and look forward to working more with them. On the FutureScape website you can find out more about the project and the journey that led up to the four concepts.
We are really keen on getting your thoughts on the ideas so please share these with us by commenting here on the blog, on the Futurescape video or by joining the discussion on the FutureScape Facebook page or on Twitter. We’re looking for new collaboration partners to help us explore these concepts further. So join the conversation and let us know how you’d like to see the four exciting concepts move forward.