Back to the Future

Future Gazing. It is notoriously difficult. Our vision is blinkered by the limiting factors of the present. An endearing example is the portrayal of space travel in old sci-fi movies before manned space flight actually existed. The ‘space rocket’ always moves vertically, following the skyward trajectory. Orbiting a planet was not envisaged.

From the universe of consumer research the classic case is the mobile phone market of the early 80s. BT (UK) and AT & T (US) believed customers would never want to do stuff like phone home while on a bus: carphone owners said they wouldn’t want to be perceived as foolish or extravagant by strangers. The immediacy and speed of a digitally connected world was yet to come.

Visionaries are born in every era. Leonardo da Vinci made drawings of a man powered flying machine in the 16th century. Perhaps it won him greater patronage for his art, and probably a few laughs too. Today, ‘Dragon’s Den’ and ‘The Apprentice’ regard themselves as the gate-keepers of zesty product development, though much less epochal than the painter of the Mona Lisa!

Our entire domestic environment will be Smart according to a former BT Chief Technology Officer, speaking to The Telegraph:
“In 2045, upon waking, you’ll walk into the bathroom, whose mirror will check your blood oxidation. By the time you enter the kitchen your bodily needs have been assessed and a suitable smoothie will have been prepared, along with a suggested breakfast menu of food, which is optimised to match the day’s activities pulled from your diary”.

Would this be the high watermark of the labour-saving device, or a dystopian overload of bio-feedback?

Substance QI’s Fusion Days proposition helps companies accelerate new thinking. You have a suite of ideas that needs to be developed: we hot-house and manage the exploration process. Collaborative workshops, including co-creation sessions with your customers, determine which ideas have traction and momentum.

Rest assured nobody during Fusion Days will claim sooth-sayer status, and our feet remain firmly under gravity’s control. One day, soon, you may hear colleagues whisper ‘he’s living on a different planet’ and know they mean it in a good way.

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