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Thursday, 8 August 2019

By 2040, we’ll be lazy and individualistic, but never alone

By 2040, we’ll be lazy and individualistic, but never alone. Call us old-fashioned, but a Euromonitor International report on the consumer landscape in 2040 reads like a dystopian nightmare waiting to happen. Don’t believe us? Just watch an episode of Black Mirror, of which it is decidedly redolent. Technological innovation and constant connectivity are set to drive the consumer landscape, the report predicts, painting an imaginative (and plausible) picture of how this could look. Yes, okay, a lot of it is highly practical. But it also scares the [redacted] out of us. A few key predictions:

  • We are likely to become increasingly egocentric: The rise of immersive tech will allow us to engage in formerly social experiences without ever having to leave our homes with the help of virtual reality devices.
  • We will all but lose the ability to take care of ourselves: Automation, connectivity and the desire to create a “personalized” experience means we’ll never again be left to do something as onerous as making an unassisted decision about what to wear (your mirror can help with that) or how much to eat (your kitchen will monitor your food intake).
  • Big Brother will always be watching: Shopping will involve a lot of facial recognition and tracking for increasing personalization, while smart homes will track how much energy each occupant is burning, along with who enters and leaves the house. And should you find yourself alone, at any point? Not to fear: The robots will be on hand to provide companionship and track your movements using video surveillance — purely for your safety, of course.

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