A panel of futurists and business experts predicted what businesses will look like by 2036 – including virtual reality vacations and bugs like fast food
Humans will have lunch at insect restaurants, experience vacations thanks to virtual reality, and see robot rental and maintenance shops appear on main streets for the next 15 years, a panel of futurists predicted.
Smart AI fashion boutiques will use scanners to create individual âtailoredâ garments, reducing the need for retailers to stock expensive inventory while ensuring a perfect fit.
And haptics – a wearable technology that lets you feel warmth and touch – has been cited as the future of the gaming and education industries.
These are the predictions of four of Britain’s leading futurists and consumer affairs experts behind the NatWest Future Businesses report, which offers a vision of what UK industry could look like by 2036.
The report was commissioned by the bank to inspire the next generation of start-ups and SMEs, and was written by leading futurist Dr Ian Pearson, consumer business guru Kate Hardcastle MBE, Shivvy Jervis, founder of FutureScape248 – the award-winning human-centric innovation lab – and futurist and author Tom Cheesewright.
The panel found that in the near future, travel agents could let vacationers ‘try before you fly’ through virtual reality experiences, and daily commutes could take place in high-speed personal travel pods to avoid traffic jams in the city.
The protein-rich bugs served by âbug burger barsâ are set to become the fast food of choice, with fried grasshoppers or a worm burger replacing the late-night kebab.
And AI fashion boutiques could use technology to design perfectly tailored clothes.
Futurist Dr Ian Pearson, one of the authors of the NatWest Future Businesses report, said: âThe NatWest Future Business report helps paint a picture of the changes we may see in the business environment over the next 15 years.
âWhat was clear to all of us was how greater interaction with technology was going to revolutionize businesses and transform almost every industry.
âOne thing the whole panel agreed on is that this is not the end of our shopping streets, which will thrive if businesses can offer good reasons to go.
âIn the long run, over 50% of retail businesses will still be in big box stores, with predictions like AI personalization and insect food stores showing how businesses might adapt to. the future. “
The report says farm robots or drones, like those seen in the 2014 film Interstellar, will help meet humanity’s growing food demand, which is expected to increase by up to 98% by 2050.
Human health surveillance will be enhanced by smart toilets capable of analyzing urine and stool for deadly diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
And smart skin clinics are expected to emerge that will connect wearable technology to blood capillaries and nerves to monitor the nervous system and diagnose problems.
Artificially intelligent supercomputers should be used as triage physicians to diagnose patients and issue repeat orders, while large-scale 3D printed organs could mean waiting lists for organ donation could belong to the last 15 years.
The report also states that âstressed workers will soon be able to take a 30-minute ‘refresh’ vacation via virtual reality headsets, improving work-life balance through regular ‘trips’ that help get away from work completely and relax â.
Neil Bellamy, Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications at NatWest, added: âTo get a clue as to where the industry is heading, just look at Facebook’s pivot to a metaverse.
“The future is a more personalized and immersive experience – it’s a good excuse to watch the movie Ready Player One again.”
Further advancements in transportation are suggested to include drone-copter air taxis, rental of driverless cars, and quick individual personal travel mods to beat city congestion – an evolution of the electric scooter – with the dream of ‘Elon Musk of driverless cars and fast “pods” coming true.
The report also questioned Britons on which of the predictions they were most excited to become a reality.
Robot rental and droid repair stores were successful with more than half (53%) of the 2,000 respondents.
Kirill Kukhmar / TASS / Getty Images)
Despite fears that robots will steal jobs from humans, only 4% of those surveyed believed their jobs would become completely obsolete by 2036.
Almost two-thirds (64%) admitted their skills would need to adapt over the next 15 years to keep up with the technology – and 52% said they want to work with robots by 2036.
Andrew Harrison, Managing Director of Corporate Banking at NatWest, added: âAs this landscape evolves, NatWest continues to be the biggest supporter of UK small businesses at all stages of development.
âFrom our Dream Bigger program in schools encouraging young people to explore entrepreneurship; our fully funded Business Builder initiative for start-up entrepreneurs; and our Entrepreneur Accelerator hubs for high growth, green and diverse businesses, our vision is to help more businesses start, grow and succeed.
The NatWest Future Businesses report is available here.
To see how NatWest is supporting businesses across the UK, you can also watch Alison Hammond spend a day as an intern with a selection of companies from across the UK as part of NatWest Backing Businesses’ partnership with ITV. .
PREFERRED FUTURE FORECASTS IN THE UK:
- Robots for rent – 53 percent
- Next-generation transportation such as air taxis and driverless basket rental – 50%
- Artificially intelligent tailors – 50 percent
- Virtual reality vacations and “refreshing the mind” – 47%
- Digital health e.g. smart skin doctors and AI – 44%
- Gourmet “Grub” – 34 percent
- Smart stores with VR store assistants and augmented reality screens – 33%
- Smart agriculture and AI drones and robots – 32 percent
- AI entertainment curators – 30 percent
- Holographic teachers – 25 percent