Space holidays, Quidditch-like sports on hoverboards, and underwater highways could all be part of life in 50 years’ time, a new report has predicted.
According to the report, released by Samsung, life in the future could also involve self-cleaning homes, implants to monitor our health and 3D-printed replacement organs for people who need them.
The predictions, published in the Samsung KX50: The Future in Focus report, have been compiled by a group of academics and futurists, including TechUK president and co-chair of the Institute of Coding Jacqueline de Rojas, director of engineering and education at the Royal Academy of Engineering, Dr Rhys Morgan and food futurologist Dr Morgaine Gaye.
The report adds, in 50 years’ time, your daily commute to work will be unrecognisable – assuming anyone commutes to work then, by no means a certainty in our interconnected future. Travel of any kind will be utterly different. You’ll be hopping into a subsonic tube transport system (STTS), a quad pod, a superconductor bus, or even a reusable rocket.
You can also forget traffic jams, traffic cones, roadworks and even driving yourself. Insurance companies will have finally decided that human steering is just too dangerous and should be left to robotic, autonomous driving systems. So we will be saying goodbye to steering wheels in our cars – unless we decide to go retro and pick up a vintage car from 2020. Of course, it is always possible that driving yourself will become actually illegal, except on specialised recreational driving circuits.
As our climate warms, tropical fruit will be more easily grown closer to home, the report suggests. A whole new world of grains such as kernza and teff will become more available. Nuts such as the pili nut, or macadamia, will become less exotic.
We may have to abandon some prejudices.
Eating insects is common in some cultures and has been discussed earnestly since the 1920s, but a mainstream conversation about entomophagy is fairly recent, sparked by concerns that breeding and farming animals like cows and sheep uses too much land and resources to be a viable source of non-plant protein in the future – not to mention worries about animal welfare should farming become more intensive. There is still the ‘yuck’ factor to deal with, but eventually insects will become one of our main food resources.
Every kitchen will be equipped with counter-top growing pods, with a small harvesting drawer. For the squeamish, the insects do not have to be consumed whole as a recognisable species. Ground insect meal will be in everything from savoury dishes to snacks and cookies. It could be used, as soya protein is now, to create meat substitutes, sausages or mince… and so I can picture a mall full of Grub-burger takeaways, with families picking up a supper of the Colonel’s Big Value Fried Grasshopper Bucket or, maybe a greasy worm kebab. De-fatted insect flour will be available for home baking and the fat itself, containing nutritious alpha linolenic acid, used for frying or even in skin care.