Online megamart Amazon wants you to know it’s ahead of the game, commissioning the Shop the Future report to complement the launch of a new store on its UK website dedicated to future-facing tech.
The report features a number of bold predictions by futurists Anne Lise Kjaer (Kjaer Global) and William Higham (Next Big Thing), with Amazon launching it at a special press event in London.
So what should we be planning ahead for?
Some of the forecasts were very much rooted in ongoing developments – we already know a handful of big firms are working on flexible OLED displays, including Samsung and its oft-rumoured Galaxy X foldable smartphone – while others still seem to be the stuff of science fiction.
An Amazon Echo that can translate your pet’s bleats into English, anyone?
Yes, pet translation devices are among the futuristic products predicted in the report, alongside ‘virtual shelves’ that display your digital records and books as if they were physical copies, and modular walls capable of morphing into a table, chair, or shelf depending on your needs.
“Pet translator devices may help us get to know our dogs and cats better, and you may soon be able to buy ‘smart conveniences’, such as fridges that know when they’re getting low on certain foods and reorder the groceries themselves, as well as space-saving technology like ‘modular walls’ that can be reshaped into chairs, shelves or tables depending on what you need.
“When it comes to entertainment, people will be able to get their hands on OLED screens so thin they can roll up and take them on the move, while autonomous cars will allow them to watch films and do their shopping on the go, enjoying the driver’s seat in the same way they would an armchair.”
On the flipside, some things are apparently destined to disappear from view completely – most notably physical currency.
“Money. Cash. No question, that’s going to disappear. Whether it’s a card, a fingerprint, whatever – it’s obsolete now,” Higham said during the panel discussion attended by TrustedReviews.
The report’s release coincides with Amazon’s launch of its new #ShopTheFuture store – a standalone section of the Amazon UK website devoted to the latest tech curios.
From smartwatches and fitness trackers to smart home devices, 3D printers, and…vegan cookbooks, it’s all there, including plenty of TrustedReviews approved kit like the Tado smart thermostat and Withings Go.
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