There are all sorts of strategies used to convince people that smoking is bad for you, laws, advertisements and confronting cigarette packaging, but what if the cigarettes themselves were the things that finally convinced you to quit?
Picture yourself buying some ciggies (forking over an exorbitant amount in the process), pulling one out and lighting up.
But there’s something different about this cigarette (and all the other ones in the pack). There’s a little device on each of them…
You might think it a bit weird but you start puffing away anyway…
As you breathe take that next drag something strange happens… a projection appears before your eyes. You find yourself looking into a version of you, an older, haggard, and quite frankly, ill looking version of you. And as you continue smoking the projected version of you slowly becomes more decrepit and unwell.
You get to the end of your cigarette and your projected ‘future’ self does something really disturbing… it dies.
You stub it out.
And find yourself feeling a little strange, unsettled, disturbed even. Is that what you really want for your future?
What do you think? Would cigarettes that project your potential future health back at you make you want to quit smoking, or is the constant nagging of your special someone enough to make you pack it in?
Right now it’s all about being social, sharing images of your body, food, belongings, friends, pets and whatever else you can think of. Social media is one of the easiest ways that people can build an archive of their lives, but do you ever think of the digital legacy you might be leaving? Would you grandchildren and great grandchildren be impressed by your prolific collection of shirtless selfies and breakfast bowl snaps? In 2016, the fear is that no one will engage with our online identities, but in the future, our online fears could look very different…
Would you be upset if your future grandchildren could simply fill out a form and erase you from the Internet, just because they found you embarrassing?
If you think about it, right now we don’t really have full autonomy over our own online identities, it might be nice to let our ‘cyber-selves’ fade into oblivion along with our physical bodies. What do you think, do you want to live online forever or are you cool with being deleted by some ungrateful little teenager living it up in 2076?
Cameras are everywhere. They’ve got a home on both sides of our smart phones, they peer down on us silently from storefronts, ‘protecting’ buildings and the people in them, and sometimes we even wear cameras, strapping them onto our bodies to record our activities and experiences. Yes, we’ve adopted cameras in many shapes and forms wholeheartedly, we are the compliant subject of their gaze and we share what they see with everyone we know… and those who we don’t. We make every embarrassing drunk selfie, stupid prank video and ‘private’ confession public property online.
This is the way things are now, but imagine a future where the majority of the population does not want their every move caught on camera.
How might people go about protecting their public identity from the pervasive camera? Enter the ‘e-skin’…
The University of Tokyo has developed a method for creating ultra-light electronic ‘skin’ that conforms to the wearer’s body in comfortable and subtle manner. Could this imperceptible wearable technology be the future of public identity protection?
Imagine being able to obscure defining facial features in photos and recordings without even having to think about it. Being able to choose whether or not you would like to be featured in a cute video or photo without all the awkward interactions that come with denying someone their ‘right to record’. All those famous faces wouldn’t have to fight with those pesky paparazzi anymore, just pop some of that e-skin on your face and know that when a lens is detected, your face is protected!
Our culture is one that currently enjoys publicly shaming those who have engaged in stupid or unpleasant behaviour, but imagine if you could save yourself the embarrassment of being the public face of a sloppy night out. It would be a world where you could truly let your hair down! Not to mention that you wouldn’t have to suffer those random fools who decide to photobomb your cute couple snaps and adorable tourist moments.
And best of all, all those times you’ve ended up awkward third wheel in those party pics would finally be over! You’d never find yourself cringing over those tagged photos on Facebook again. What a dream world!
So, e-skin could be the antidote to all those horrible moments when you really don’t want to be on camera, or, it could enable a whole new wave of criminality… hold tight, time will tell.
Imagine being able to completely change your look on the go without actually having to change your clothes. With augmented reality fashion, people would be able to alter the appearance of their outfits without the need for an enormous wardrobe! AR technology and fashion have already met and produced some interesting results; from AR fashion shows to holographic nails we’re starting to see the potential of AR fashion.
AR could revolutionary! Pop on your tracksuit; you’ll want it to be comfy for this one…
Imagine putting on your AR glasses (or contacts) and looking out onto a world full of people wearing fashion that has been specifically tailored for them.
AR fashion has the potential to disrupt the fashion industry. With basic garments serving as the canvas for interactive and responsive virtual fashions there would be no need for mass production of fast fashion items. Nor would there be the associated textile waste, all anyone would need to buy would be the basics. Not to mention that there would be less pressure to buy into trends. People could simply imagine their dream outfits and create them quickly on their own!
AR could lead to a world full of inclusive fashion that can change trends in the blink of an eye without the environmental cost of our current fast-fash culture. Or it could just lead you to a crippling decision-making nightmare. How are you meant to choose what to wear when the options truly are endless?
What would your custom AR outfit look like?
Picture yourself some time in the not too distant future. There’s a question you need to answer…
Have you found yourself tired of the daily grind, of looking for something to while away the hours while your robot buddies take care of all the work and the government pays your bills? Do you need something to do other than just sitting on the sofa with your Virtual Reality goggles on?
Well we’ve got the game for you.
Call Centre Simulator is an interactive multi-player virtual reality game that gives you the authentic experience of working in a call-centre. Based on extensive research we have re-created the environment modeled on call centres operating in the early 2000s. As you play Call Centre Simulator you will get to drive your own story, you can choose to make phone calls and chase sales to please the boss, moving up through the ranks to become the call centre manager, or you can focus your attentions on your co-workers, real-life players coming to get the 9-5 call centre experience just like you. Hey, maybe you’ll even get to indulge in an office fling… the opportunities are endless when you play Call Centre Simulator!
Ah, the future, what a wonderful whimsical place where anything can happen and everything seems a little bit terrifying. A little while ago I engaged in a (mildly tipsy) discussion with someone who suggested that, as machines become increasingly useful in the workplace, and in some cases, eliminate some occupations entirely, governments will begin to roll out programs of financial support for people whose jobs have become obsolete. At the time this seemed to me to be an implausible idea, I was more set on the thought that a handmade-product market would blossom as people would start to see value in ‘human-made’ rather than products produced by machines (my secret inner-hipster rears its ugly head again) and that people would still be able to earn an income by selling handmade objects. Unfortunately we aren’t living in my version of utopia and as much as it pains me to say it, he might not have been that far off the mark. Automation is continuing to develop across many different industries and certain jobs are starting to teeter on the edge of obsolescence, and as such, countries are already starting to put plans for the financial support of their citizens in place. Finland is already developing plans to give each of their citizens 800 euro a month in guaranteed income, a strategy suggested by computer science professor Dr Mosche Vardias a means to ensure people’s quality of life during the transition from a primarily human-driven workforce to one that is fuelled by machine labour.
That’s one way to ensure that people have some quality of life, but what do these people who now have an income but no jobs to fill the day then do with their time? Are they just meant to mill about or perhaps while away their days becoming full-time internet trolls? There’s a lot to be said for jobs and their ability to give people a sense of identity and purpose in their daily lives.
So what will we be doing in the future without a job? I have a feeling that people will be searching for something that at least feels mildly productive to fill their time. Once they’ve had enough of their VR pornography is it really that ridiculous to think that people might be switching their VR headsets over to a new sort of ‘game’ that allows them to do a stint ‘at the office’? People are always looking for ways to feel worthy and productive, who’s to say that a simulated work environment wouldn’t make you feel great? And if it was a multi-player game all the better, no one would miss out on developing those great workplace relationships, you’d still be able to make your office buddies, retreat into the bathroom to hide from the awkwardness of your failed virtual office romance, or play kiss ass and work on meeting your sales goals for the month – the choice is yours. It’s your virtual world, and you don’t even have to live in it. I’m not sure that VR will be the answer to fill the void for an increasingly unemployed population, but there sure is potential…