Good Thinking

Samsung's take on the world of 2069

Samsung's take on the world of...
Air taxis 2069
Air taxis will be a common sight in 2069
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Samsung KX exhibition living area
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Samsung KX exhibition living area
Samsung KX exhibition
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Samsung KX exhibition
Greg Foot
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Scientist and television presenter Greg Foot unveils visual depictions of how we might be living in 50 years' time
An aerial sporting match of 2069
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An aerial sporting match of 2069
Aquatic highway
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An aquatic highway of 2069
Air taxis 2069
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Air taxis will be a common sight in 2069
An air taxi using the Thames
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An air taxi using the Thames as an aerial highway
An earthscraper of 2069
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An earthscraper of 2069
Details of the earthscraper
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Details of the earthscraper
A space hotel of 2069
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A space hotel of 2069

Samsung is looking forward to what life might be like in the year 2069. The new report, called Samsung KX50: The Future in Focus, draws on the opinions of six of Britain’s leading academics and futurists to look at a range of new technologies that will affect people's everyday lives.

Trying to predict the future is a dodgy business that has a notoriously low success rate. If the world of 2019 was anything like past predictions, we should have flying cars, personal jet packs, robot butlers, 100 percent atomic power producing limitless energy, little bottles containing nanobots that can grow cars on the front lawn, colonies on the Moon and Mars – and all in a society that hasn't changed much since 1960, except it's a bit nicer.

Despite this, such exercises can be both entertaining and useful for looking at how to meet the challenges of tomorrow, so they're anything but a waste of time. For the Samsung KX50 report, which was released to coincide with the opening of the new Samsung KX exhibition at Coal Drops Yard, London, the company called on President of techUK, Jacqueline de Rojas; Director of Engineering and Education at the Royal Academy of Engineering, Rhys Morgan; food futurologist, Morgaine Gale; digital health futurist, Maneesh Juneja; Specialist Advisor to Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art, Dale Russel; and leading futurist, Matthew Griffin to pen essays on their take on the world 50 years from today.

Aquatic highway
An aquatic highway of 2069

Though each one focused on a different aspect of everyday life in 2069, the different visions of the panel show a remarkable consistency.

According to the report, people will be living mostly in very dense urban environments consisting of giant, self-sufficient skyscrapers that grow their own food, huge underground complexes, and even undersea colonies. Travel will be by self-driving pods that can double as hotel rooms on long trips, with travel possible between places like Britain and Scandinavia by aquatic highways. Alongside these will be autonomous air taxis that use rivers as commuter routes, hyperloops, and hypersonic airliners.

Not that there will be much traveling. For environmental reasons, most food will be grown close to home, if not in the home itself. Manufacturing will be equally local thanks to 3D printing. And, thanks to automation and artificial intelligence, most people will work in their self-cleaning homes with most of their professional and personal interactions with others conducted through means of full-feedback holographs.

An aerial sporting match of 2069
An aerial sporting match of 2069

That means that most people will live very sedentary lives, but they'll also be monitored by biosensors throughout the day as virtual digital companions assess their health, help doctors to prescribe treatments to keep them at peak fitness, dispense health advice, and even custom tailor diets and medicines.

People will also be encouraged to exercise by linking the skyscrapers with aerial walkways, interactive entertainment where the viewer takes an active part in things like chases and skiing, and some helpful suggestions by their virtual companions. The citizens of 2069 may even have brain implants that automatically medicate, perform repairs using nanobots, and enhance physical and mental performance. For serious cases, there could be 3D-printed organs tailored to the individual and ready on demand.

As to diet, there will be much less meat and lots more bugs, with insect takeaways a common sight – that's if there are still meals except on special occasions. Most people might just refuel with mugs of liquid nutrients throughout the day that are made out of pure chemicals.

An earthscraper of 2069
An earthscraper of 2069

For fun, 2069 could see a blurring between real and virtual sports. There could be flying teams on hoverboards playing real-life quidditch, or it could be a virtual experience so real that it wouldn't matter. In fact, entertainment and the internet in general could be replaced by a kind of technological telepathy that not only beams things like films into the brain, but can even read the viewer's mind and tailor the perfect, ever-changing content that involves all five senses. And if, for some reason, real life is preferred, there could be a holiday at an orbiting space hotel.

In addition to the report, Samsung conducted a poll of 2,000 British adults to ask their opinion on these advances. Only self-cleaning homes got an enthusiastic response, with 63 percent in favor of the idea. Body implants to monitor health and translate languages came in second at 43 percent, and air taxis third with 33 percent, tying with 3D-printed organs. After that, things got a bit lukewarm with space hotels getting 20 percent, insect burgers at 17 percent, and beaming entertainment into the brain at a chilly nine percent.

"The next 50 years will bring the largest technological changes and innovations we have ever seen in our work and leisure," says Rojas. "The Digital Revolution, just as the Industrial Revolution did 250 years ago, is challenging all our assumptions about how we shall lead our future lives. The new Samsung KX destination is a celebration of impressive changes enabled by technology over the last 50 years – looking ahead, we can expect to be connected to everything, and everything we do will be assisted by digital technology."

The video below showcases Samsung's vision.

Samsung's prediction of 2069

Source: Samsung

6 comments
guzmanchinky
Fascinating study, but most of it highly unlikely/impractical. I do think we will get away from meat (or grow fake meat), we will have fusion energy and room temp superconductors that will make clearing the air of CO2 and creating freshwater easy, anywhere in the world. This will vastly improve life for everyone. Mosquitoes will be non biting. GMO crops common. Cancer and heart disease and brain diseases cured. A male birth control pill will drastically reduce the population growth. Stem cells grown to replace organs perfected (or pigs grow organs for us, no more transplants). Burns will not leave scars. Genetic diseases will be easy to reprogram in utero or in life. Vaccination for the common cold and most other viruses. Cars self driving, or watched by a computer so closely that there are no more crashes. Drug addiction will be cured by a drug that takes away any high. Courts replaced by brain scans, lying becomes impossible. People will be matched for dates and friendships by a giant AI system. Education will be completely computer based and tailored to each person's natural abilities and interests. Perhaps we will be able to figure out how to tap into the brain's full abilities (such as how some Autistic Savants can do amazing things). There are so many more possibilities but I think we will first focus on our problems (energy, food, warming, population, health) and the fun stuff will follow...
Lizzy Smith
the lack of reference to the risks identified in the IPCC reports and how they might affect the future are a most glaring omission
Alexander Lowe
The usual colourful & excitedly optimistic predictions for future cities. This is a glossy brochure for multinational tech companies pushing their brand image. There is nothing 'wrong' with any of the technologies described, per se, but I doubr that all of society would benefit equally from the innovations. My own prediction is that poverty will not have been eradicated by technonolgy by 2069, unless there has been fundamental social and political change as well. A minority will probably continue to benefit the most from technology, which will be deployed to maintain their social apex status, rather than democratise society. More specifically: underground parks and housing may seem like an appealing idea in a densely-paccked conurbation like Greater London, but they are less sensible when one considers the risk of flooding, which will increase with global warming. Better to use tech to help re-engineer the economy, to reduce London & the South-East's dominance, & re-ditribute economic activity around the UK. Flying taxis still strike me as a complicated, reactive & unnecessary way to deal with traffi congestion & long-distance travel. The same applies to robot cars. Reduce the need to commut, make cycling & walking to work, or for other actibities, easy & safe. Travel by train, tram, free the streets of all those parked cars. Bear in mind, also, that the shiny digital revolution relies on the assumption of a continuing, & growing, supply of cheap energy, & the necessary raw materials. Neither pre-condition should be taken for granted.
Carl East
All of the things described are possible but we won't have achieved a third of it. We're too lazy. We're not for change on the most part and we lack the get up and go gumption that those in the nineteenth century had. I mean, we've haven't even built a base on the moon yet for God's sake. I would've expected a serious attempt at a space station by now but look what we've got, a series of large tin cans held together and called the international space station, it's really sad when you look at it closely. I sometimes wonder what the hell is wrong with us.
ei3io
Everyone has ideas about the future and many legitimate ideas eventually do arrive. We hardly ever see an invention that has not previously been predicted while many that are predicted never do arrive. I predict door to door travel by flight will take over the world eventually but it wont be with thousands of dangerous moving parts nor expensive ground infrastructure. It will very likely be solar hydrogen fuel cell direct electric propulsion.
FB36
En L'An 2000 @ 2069! (The originals did not turnout to be very accurate though! :-)