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Flying shoes may be just around the corner, as research released today by Sony Mobile reveals that 62% of children expect these by 2037, and 22% predicting that they could become a reality in just five years.

The research, conducted for Sony Mobile’s Xperia Touch projector, explores the vivid imagination of 6-12 year olds globally, comparing their fun and advanced expectations of the future to that of their parents.

Having grown up in a generation where anything seems possible, it’s the creative expectations of these children that best describes the product’s advanced technology.

Will we be able to communicate with our pets in the future? Apparently so, with 63% of children dreaming up a reality where technology lets us speak to and understand our pets. With no limits on their vivid imagination, 65% of children expect to be able to see through walls by 2037, and 55% believe we’ll be able to read each other’s minds.

Parents on the other hand have a different outlook on the future, and think some technologies are too far-fetched to become a reality. Around half think teleportation (51%) and invisibility cloaks (49%) could never be a possibility.

But, whose vision of the future really is more accurate? Ian Pearson, lead Futurologist from Futurizon reveals whether these technologies could soon become a reality:

On flying shoes: “We do have hover-boards that can hover without wheels on special skateboard parks, and self-balancing unicycles too, so if you can get things that hover and self-balance, why not? In timescale, I’d say 5 – 10 years, but there could well be first demonstrator prototype in five years. So on this one the kids win.”

On telepathy: “By 2050, direct connections into people’s brains will be so good that your mind will extend into cyberspace and 90% of your thinking will be outside your head – kids also win on thought recognition.”

On teleporting: “A first win for parents. We can already generate exact copies of a photon or a single atom, but it will be many decades or even centuries before we could do that with a human.”

On talking to pets: Let’s ignore those near useless devices that claim to interpret barks and meows by their tone. Around 2045-2050, you could theoretically get a brain implant in your pet that would enhance their intelligence and enable this sort of interaction, but the regulators might not permit that.”

To back up the research findings, Sony Mobile enlisted the help of six small experts, who were put through their paces when interviewed about what the future holds. A separate planet for work, octopus pets and teleportation to a holiday destination were some of the predictions, with these innocent answers captured on camera.

Hirohito “Henry” Kondo, Senior Manager of Product Planning, Smart Products at Sony Mobile said:

“Xperia Touch is a flagship smart device that can transform any surface into an interactive screen, bringing a glimpse of the future into the home or office.

We commissioned this campaign to delve into the imagination of children and parents alike to help illustrate the advanced technology and experience – as a bonus, we may even have a few new employees lined up for our R&D centre!”

Dr Ian Pearson comments, “As Arthur C Clarke once observed, a sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, and kids have grown up in a Harry Potter culture surrounded by tech that does seemingly magical things, so it’s not unreasonable to expect them to think anything at all is possible.

Their short experience of life has never been technologically limited so they remain optimistic that anything can be done and that’s no bad thing, their imaginations have flourished.”

The way children use technology is ever evolving, with 90% of parents in agreement that it has had a positive impact on their children.

72% believe that technology and smart products have helped enhance their child’s imagination.

Xperia Touch is an interactive projector that can transform any surface into a HD touch screen, recently receiving the Good Design Gold Award. Displaying up to 80” vertically, Xperia Touch introduces a more collaborative experience for users, bringing communication, games and entertainment to life.

Xperia Touch is available now at select retailers and the Xperia Store Online.

Notes

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Notes to editors

Sony Mobile Communications commissioned the research. The research was carried out by market research company Census Wide, surveying a total of 6,000 respondents across US, UK, Taiwan, China, France, Spain, Germany.

 

About Sony Mobile Communications

Sony Mobile Communications is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation, a leading global innovator of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for both the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Through its Xperia™ smartphone and tablet portfolio, as well as innovative SmartWear products, Sony Mobile Communications delivers the best of Sony technology, premium content and services, and easy connectivity to Sony’s world of networked entertainment experiences. For more information: www.sonymobile.com

About Ian Pearson

Dr Ian Pearson BSc DSc(hc) CITP FBCS FWAAS FWIF

Ian Pearson is a full time futurologist, tracking and predicting developments across a wide range of technology, business, society, politics and the environment. He is a Maths and Physics graduate, a Doctor of Science, and has worked in numerous branches of engineering, from aeronautics to cybernetics, sustainable transport to electronic cosmetics. His 1850+ inventions include text messaging, active skin and the active contact lens. He was BT’s full-time futurologist from 1991 to 2007 and now runs Futurizon, a small futures institute. He writes, lectures and consults globally on all aspects of the technology-driven future. He has written several books and made over 750 TV and radio appearances. He is a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society and a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and the World Innovation Foundation.

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