How might developments in technology contribute to a more sustainable future? That's the question posed by a collaborative project led by electronics manufacturer Sony and not-for-profit organisation Forum for the Future. The project, called Futurescapes, brought together futurologists, thinkers, authors, technologists, sustainability experts and bloggers and asked them to imagine what life might be like in the year 2025.
In a series of workshops they identified four 'concepts' - a product, a place, a platform and a design philosophy - which might help us to live our lives without causing irreparable damage to our environment.
The product, called Wandular is a multi-functional, modular handheld device that evolves with you over your lifetime. It aims at encouraging people to attach a different meaning to a device and develop a longer-term relationship with it. The device would 'evolve' and stays up-to-date thanks to downloads from the cloud and the latest hardware plugins.
The platform was the Internet of Things, whereby coding and data could be accessible to everyone, allowing people to translate complex bits of data into simple, useful building blocks. By allowing the 'mixing and matching' of hardware, software and data sets, it could free people to create things they want and need.
The place was a Hyper Village, a 'hi-tech, hi-nature' rural community. Self-reliant yet globally connected, it would be underpinned by the very latest high-spec software and hardware, allowing people to enjoy the best that both technology and the natural world have to offer.
Lastly, The Shift is a design philosophy which advocates 'refocusing society's relationship with technology so that it more genuinely meets human needs'. The Shift looks at how technology might change to boost creativity, productivity, or even our relationship with nature.
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