Lifestyle

Trip into not-so-distant past helps us prepare for future

Touch screens are keeping us in touch with our data, our future and our loved ones.
Touch screens are keeping us in touch with our data, our future and our loved ones.

WHAT does the future look like? And what products and services that we love now will be gone?

The Futures Foundation is a Melbourne-based organisation that provides tools to help individuals and businesses prepare a more ideal tomorrow.

Charles Brass of the Futures Foundation says the sheer number of people who now inhabit the planet and the collective brainpower means things are changing faster than ever before.

And, as we think of bigger and better things, we're discarding devices or services we used to consider part of our daily life.

Think about fax machines. They've pretty much gone the way of the dinosaur.

Or landlines. Yes, many people still have one but mobile phones have slowly taken over.

Other victims of our progress - cameras that use film, leaded petrol and common old cash. Yes, cash.

How often do you actually get some of it out rather than use your debit or credit card at EFTPOS or buy online?

According to Charles, the physical process of shopping is also diminishing all over the place.

"There is still a role for stores, especially those who offer great guidance or service," he says.

"But if it's just about picking up a product, online shopping is taking over."

The message for stores: make sure you woo customers with terrific staff and service, and know what customers want.

Part of that, according to trendwatching.com, includes brands that pro-actively show they have a conscience, products from emerging markets, products that can be given back to nature to grow or make something new and products that are made domestically.

Even though more and more of us are downloading content, Charles believes that just as there is a place for great boutiques there's a place for DVD stores too.

"Services like Netflix will send you a video in a format your computer can read and, increasingly, that computer is connected to your TV," he says.

"But there is still a market for DVDs with special features and the older generation also likes to pick up a physical product."

As for record stores - "again they are diminishing, but specialist stores for collectors and those who cater to the retro market are also springing up".

So what about TV? Charles says it's still here because of the advent of digital channels.

"If you aggregate the numbers, the audience is reasonably healthy."

As for newspapers, they are increasingly offering stories that have multiple elements that are easier to digest and growing their audience online.

So what about exciting new products and developments for the future?

According to The Futurist magazine, some of the things we can expect include stem cell and genetic breakthroughs (2010s), robots making life easier (2020s), driverless cars (2030s), a merger of human and machine extending lifespan (2040-2060) and off-world communities on the moon and Mars (2070).

Of course futurists don't get everything right.

Remember in the 1990s everyone was predicting we'd telecommute and only occasionally check in to a central hub with our colleagues.

"Twenty years later that hasn't happened for two reasons:

"More and more people live in the CBD and futurists underestimated the fact that we are social animals not technology animals."

Ironically, we have no machine to predict the future, we still rely on the crystal ball.

 

>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  editors picks, future, lifestyle, shopping, society, technology, trends



Family and friends unite to help after son's death

The Maskell family with son and bother Jack (centre) who died in a motorcycle crash on Friday.

Jack Maskell died in a traffic crash late last week

Hospital emergency: Thousands clog ED with minor issues

EMERGENCY CALL: Ipswich Hospital's emergency department has been swamped in the past 12 months by people presenting with very minor issues.

Residents need to stop presenting with only minor treatment issues

QT’s name and shame: This week’s drink and drug drivers

Senior Constable Simon Cook with the RBT bus at Tweed Police Station Photo Blainey Woodham / Daily News

This week's convicted drink and drug drivers

Local Partners

Marilyn Manson wants a 'nice' girl

Marilyn Manson wants a girl who understands both of his identities

Angelina turns to Depp for consolation after divorce

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie with their six children

Angelina Jolie is reportedly being consoled by Johnny Depp

Rockhampton dancer en pointe for European stages

CENTRE STAGE: Anastasia Lewis has moved from Rockhampton to Sydney to study classical ballet.

Rocky dancer believes competitions are the perfect preparation

Conner's food distraction leads to elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Conner Bethune.

HUNGER gets to castaway as Australian Survivor's tribes merge.

Bonus point gets Dan and Carleen over the line on The Block

Dan and Carleen in their winning living and dining rooms in a scene from The Block.

BABY boomers win living and dining week as show hits halfway mark.

Olivia Wilde having a girl

Olivia Wilde revealed she is expecting a baby girl.

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets

Another Ripley development

THE ENTRANCE: An overview of the last planned development for the fast growing Ripley area.

85 more home lots released

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'