Future of technology: VR watch

Smart cities, smart homes, smart dust. 3D, VR, and robots. AI, algorithms, and automation. Cognitive, predictive, and quantum computing. The singularity… the next decades will see incredible advances in technology, and they will have profound impacts.

With our value system changing from materialism to experientialism, work will change dramatically in the 21st century. Instead of viewing work as a way to gather cold hard cash to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like, we will think of it more as a stage to express ourselves and realize our passions. A Harvard Business Review columnist, Tammy Erickson, summed this idea up in the phrase: ‘Meaning is the new money.’  

Here are some key ways work will change in the 21st century:

Virtual reality (VR) rising

  • 350,000 VR headsets shipped in 2015
  • 9m+ virtual reality (VR) headsets will be shipped in 2016
  • 64.8m a year by 2020
    Source: analyst firm IDC

  • 2 types of VR: screenless & tethered
    • These use smartphones as their main display
    • Some are consumer-ready versions, eg, 2m headsets from Oculus, HTC and Sony to be shipped to consumers in 2016
    • "Tethered" systems because they work with a PC or a game console that pipes images to their display, eg
      Oculus Rift headset start shipping in March
      HTC Vive headsets start shipping in April
      Sony's PlayStation VR set to be available in October 

AR rising too

IDC says: growing interest in augmented-reality systems, such as Microsoft's HoloLens headset, that use a transparent display to overlay images and information on what people see. Few of these systems were ready for mainstream use, it added.

However, said IDC, screenless systems such as Samsung's Gear VR would be more popular than the tethered headsets.

These require a smartphone capable of handling the high-quality video used for VR and which possess sensors that can monitor movement and adjust what a user sees to give the impression of immersion in a computer-generated scene.

It said it expected other firms to release screenless viewers later this year to accelerate take-up.

IDC said headsets that lack electronics, such as Google's Cardboard viewer, were not included in its estimates.

The figures from IDC stand in contrast to those produced by analyst firm Gartner, which predicted that only 1.4 million VR headsets would ship in 2016.



3D printing



Rise of the robots

From AI to robots, much more of what we used to do will now be done by machines.

Cognitive computing


Smart cities, homes, lives

Just as i was the prefix of the day in the early Noughts — think iPod, iPhone, — so now the buzz word is "smart". Smart means a combination of



As our culture shifts from being based on materialism to experientialism, people will be less concerned about how much they earn: they will be less inclined to work long hours to earn more money to buy goods they don't need to impress people they don't like. Instead, they will be more concerned about the experience of work. Smart employers will realise this and improve the experience of working for them. We will see this in the rise in importance of happiness at work.



The human crisis: what will humans do?

We believe there is a crisis for the human. 

Our reason for being, in recent generations, has been to produce and consume: to make goods, to consume goods, to create a better standard of living.

But if the machines can do all the producing, what happens to us? Do we just become consumers? But if so, aren't we just parasites on the planet? 


Experientialism rising

One consequence will be that there is far less need for us to work. 

 spend less time at work, and more time at leisure. After all, when you have more than enough, and you know that every extra penny is going to deliver ever less happiness, why bother sweating for more when you could be enjoying what you’ve already got? That could translate into longer holidays, fewer working hours, and a radically shorter working week. If you earn enough in four days, or even three, why not make every weekend three or four days long? Or, instead of taking an increase in pay, perhaps more of us will prefer to take regular sabbaticals instead. We have heard plenty of anecdotal evidence of this, but have not come across any quantitative evidence of this happening yet. 

What does all this mean for you, your company, your future?

For advice on what this means for you and your company, and for smart ideas on how you can adapt to thrive, get in touch.