We were in the car and I asked my kids what they thought the future would be like.
We started with cars (naturally).
A car that can fly
A car that you can press a button and it will go where you tell it to
Very likely, especially given what Google are up to.
Then, a few other ideas...
A machine in the hospital that can fix your bones in one day
Something that would get you dressed in the morning (but that would be really expensive).
Flying houses so if you want to go into space you a press a button and then you countdown and it can get into space.
There's a pen which you talk to and it writes for you.
There might be a Third World War.
I hope not.
In the gym there are pop up machines. You just say what exercise you want to do and the machine comes out of the floor.
When we got into shopping most of the ideas involved going into a shop and pressing a button. In fact a lot of their ideas involved pressing buttons or telling things to do stuff.
The future of commerce
Thankfully my kids are not on our investment committee. We invest in early stage ecommerce startups.
Here's some of the ingredients I think we'll see for future commerce;
- Personalisation through advanced profiling and opt in marketing
- Less ownership
- Renting or borrowing instead of buying will become easier
- Automated delivery systems with networked delivery vehicles
- Fluid pricing
- Virtual currencies
- Specialist vertically integrated companies
- Horizontal service providers
- On demand production
- Personalised goods (including fitted clothes and shoes)
- Home production through 3D printing at home
- Global companies with local offerings
I'm sure I've only scratched the surface here. I'm also pretty sure the future will arrive faster than any of us can imagine.
Photo: "London MMB «Z4 Siemens Innovation Centre - Inspiro Metro" by mattbuck (category) - Own work by mattbuck.. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons