Just thinking

Winning our hearts, minds and mirrors

Keeping abreast of every technological hop, skip and jump is hard!

How many people really know our future, in a world soon to be dominated by AI et al?

Jobless VR addicts seems to be the consensus*.

There’s only one thing for it then. Let’s smash our weavers and make our placards provocative.

We’ll do an Eddie Redmayne and live without smartphones. We’ll read ‘real’ books from beginning to end without clicking on a single thing. And we’ll rekindle the joy of buying the Sunday papers and never reading a word.

Slow food. Slow journalism. Slow life.

A recent tour of Unruly’s future home exhibition however, revealed a number of things.

Mainly, the potential for big name brands to connect with us in our homes, from every angle, is huge. And more specifically, the option to live a ‘fast’ life may well become just too tempting.

Soon, mirrors will flatter our ego by suggesting the right clothes to get back on trend. Voice controlled devices will tell us what to do (and with what) when exuberant guests spill red wine on our off-white carpet. And spirit bottles will come to life through augmented reality to make mixologists of us all.

Scales will even remind us of our weight goals when we add more chocolate to the online shopping basket.

Actually, the weight warnings could be useful. If I’m spending all day straddling universes in virtual reality, chances are I’ll put on a pound or two.

And being told how to make a teriyaki sauce, hands free, sounds more sensible than getting sticky fingers all over my laptop/mobile/tablet.

And what about digital screens that deliver art depending on your mood or the occasion? Niio’s mesmerising media art management suite does just that. The Spotify for art they call it.

I think voice control will free us of the tyranny of the screen. Ask Alexa to put on your favourite album then get on with your intended task, without being drawn into ‘what that child actor looks like now’.

You’ll add things to your basket when you finish them. Not when you remember to buy them. And if you’re lonely then VR could take you anywhere in the world, with anyone.

The biggest question however, is if we’re all out of work, then how do we afford it all?

Spending less on smashed avocado toast seems a start.

*Check out next year’s Ready Player One adaptation for how that will look!

Image used with permission: Mirror by Paul Delvaux, 1939