The predictions for a world undergoing rapid change have interesting developments in store for us. Here’s to the future
Predicting the future is hard. Not only do you have to imagine what problems we’ll be trying to solve; you have to imagine which still-uninvented products will help solve them.
The Institute for the Future, a research organization devoted to providing foresight about the world ahead, thinks it’s up to the task. Mark Frauenfelder, one of the IFTF’s top research directors, shares a sense of the kinds of products people will use in 2026 that we can’t imagine yet.
- A new currency in the online-education economy
Similar to Bitcoin, Edublocks might serve as a new virtual currency exclusive to online education. If you watch an hour long physics lecture on M I T Open CourseWare on YouTube, you’d receive a set quantity of Edublocks 1 to match t he time you invested. “The lessons are recorded on an immutable database that other people can access to see what you’ve learned,” Frauenfelder says. “And you can use these education skills to buy more training.”
- Brain implants that allow people to read each other’s minds
By 2026, couples could have the option to get brain implants that allow them to read one another’s minds. Rather than rely on self-reports about emotional states and well-being, they can just know. The IFTF imagines that the company supplying this service will be ca l led A methyst.“One little device lets you truly be together, even when you’re apart,” the IFTF states in a 2015 report.
- Augmented reality that helps anyone conquer public speaking
Public speaking could get a whole lot easier with Winning Friends, the augmented-reality software that would give you real-time updates about your audience and tips to make your presentation the best it can be. “Whether you’re talking to a single person or a whole stadium, Winning Friends is your guide to mastering persuasion,” an IFTF report states.
- Pills that let you change genders temporarily or forever
Gender identity has become a national issue, and Frauenfelder says it’ll only get more scientific as times goes on. With Gender XY-Change, a pill that could instantly change your hormone levels so you can experience life as the opposite sex. The effects would last until the other pill is taken, the IFTF says.
- Microbial Mood Rings that give people unprecedented access to their health
Scientists are finding that people’s microbiome -the bacteria in their gut -is essentially a second brain. The Microbial Mood Ring would contain a perfect replica of the wearer’s microbiome. When you encounter an environment that might negatively affect that bacteria, the ring would change colours, prompting you to leave or perhaps just wash your hands.
- An augmented reality app that makes exercise a transparent and measurable facet of daily life
The EZ Lift would encourage people to take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Each person would start the day with a certain number of `lift’ credits; as they exhaust them, an augmented-reality display would let everyone know they’re running low. People can earn credits by taking the stairs.
- Water that gives people a shot at immortality, at a high cost
Research about aging suggests the first person who will live forever might already be alive. Aguavida, a futuristic water that grants people immortality, would give everyone that chance. But since populations are growing rapidly, Aguavida would try to avoid the overcrowding problem by containing an ingredient that permanently sterilises all who drink it.
Source : The Times of India (Delhi)