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Your Future Is Now!

Erwin predicts, writes about the future & developments today.

LinkedIn adds smart people search

Social business brand LinkedIn makes searching for people easier. As soon as you type a letter, the names from your network appear automatically. If you make a typo (for example when you search for 'Edwin van Lun' LinkedIn offers the suggestion: Are you perhaps looking for 'Erwin van Lun', 'Edwin van Loon' or 'Edwin van Lit'?)


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Brands do everything they can to understand our language. And just like in a human dialogue, half a word is enough for them. People also often don’t hear half of what’s being said, but our brain glue everything together seamlessly. Slowly we’re learning to automate this. Soon well just call to the car ‘Call Vincent, please!’, that’ll be enough. If there’s any doubt about which Vincent the return question ‘Which Vincent?’ will come automatically. This shows nicely that brands are also starting to get to know our personal network better and keep this in mind in their communication.

Related trends

107,5 billion people born

Statistician Peter Grünwald of the Dutch CWI (National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science) has calculated that up to now 107.5 billion people have been born. The current population of 6.7 billion is 6% of all the people who've ever lived.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

If we presume that the maximum will be reached around 2050 and humanity will start to shrink afterwards, would the amount of people stop at 250 billion in a few hundred years?

Visible Body gives layered 3D model of human

VisibleBody allows people to travel through the human body in 3D. The demo starts with the skeleton and then allows you to turn layers on and off separately, like the digestive track, the nervous system, organs, lungs or blood vessels.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

There are two developments in this example: a media development and a brand development:

  • The media development shows that, in the virtual world that’s being created, we map everything that walks on Earth (in general: exists, drives, moves etc, and also what’s beyond that). Third parties will later be able to add layers to this model (although it’s not yet supported by creator Argosy Medical). For example, photos, documentaries about operations, exceptions or treatment methods. And of course: commercial entities that offer services to the body. Don’t just think of surgeons, but also of masseuses, physiotherapists or beauty specialists.
  • At the same time a possible health brand is being created. This type of brand studies health, knows everything about it, what’s for sale in the world, and know everything about it. This is a generic model of a human being, but soon it’ll be exactly our body. And every time a change occurs (for example, we start to stand differently thanks to a visit to the physiotherapist) that’s taken into account. Or a new filling in our teeth. We can see the impact of every change immediately. And our life expectancy. What would happen to our body if we lost ten pounds? That’s the domain of health coaching brands and this could be a start for VisibleBody.

We could put this development directly beside Google Earth (or Visual Earth). So that you can, for example, come into immediate contact with a specialist anywhere in the world if you have an SL distortion. And the EPD can be connected to this effortlessly. Worldwide, immediately. Enough chances for marketers to link up new services. (Now we just have to wait for the APIs grin)

Related trends

UrbanSpoon lets you shake to find restaurant

Restaurantsite Urbanspoon now has an UrbanSpoon iPhone application which recommends a random restaurant in your immediate area by shaking the iPhone. To make this possible the application uses the GPS and movement sensors that are a standard part of the iPhone. This lets you experience a sense of surprise by a random choice.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

A few developments are hidden in this.
Firstly, brands are going into a dialogue with consumers and use their eyes, ears and antennae to do this. It’s not just about what the consumer clicks, types are presses, but also what’s said, how they look and how they move. It’s all feedback in the conversation and brands are slowly learning to deal with this. It might seem like a gadget now, but soon all brands will do it.

Secondly, there’s another trend hidden in this. Coaching brands, new brands that can find anything across the whole world, can surprise the consumer. But then knowing what the consumer doesn’t want. That’s the next step: that you can exclude what you don’t want. Just like with a master chef: just do something as long as it doesn’t contain blue cheese or coriander. This is also true for music, for media, for vacation destinations, for books.

iNap wakes you up when you reach your train destination

iNap is an iPhone application that wakes you up when you reach your destination. The application costs $0.99 and is available in the Apple Store.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Brands will guide us, coach us. Later on we won’t have to pay attention to anything. When we wake up on the train, we’ll be told whether we have to get off at the front or the back of the carriage, which elevator we need to take, and that there’s a cab waiting for us at the door. It’ll eventually go so far that we can give our coat to a robot who’ll store it for us. The navigational system is an effective example of today. These are useful successors. But the real work has yet to come. Fodder for Pamper Planet.

Related trends

VR Game for in moving car

CarCade is a concept game you play on your laptop while in a car. A camera filming the environment is mounted on the wing-mirror and the moving image is used in a space-shooter-like game (think of Space Invaders of yore). The game responds to the behavior of the car.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Virtual and physical world mix. Currently complicatedly through a laptop, soon through special glasses or afterwards in our contact lenses.

YouTube places MGM movies

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, better known as MGM, will be the first big movie studio which places 'full-length' movies on YouTube. Currently the movies are older ones and episodes of television series from the past which still have to be converted into a format suitable for YouTube. Viewers can watch these movies for free thanks to advertising.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Currently for free, but soon we’ll gladly pay for movies. Because with paying customers YouTube can finally do what it was created to do: entertaining people. And with all possible content ever created. That’s why YouTube is a home entertainment coaching brand in the making. Currently predominantly on the PC, but in a few years 95% of YouTube’s content will be watched on the big screen in the living room.

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LinkedIn advises with events

LinkedIn, a business social network, advises people with events. By now LinkedIn 'reads' over 8000 events worldwide. You can select events based on industry, data and (traveling) distance. You can see who organizes the event, who's speaking and leave comments. Speakers get to see the event on their profile too. You can also see which colleagues and contacts are going. That might be the most important.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

People are herd animals; they do what others do. And they let themselves be led especially by their immediate environment. That’s true for both less-educated and well-educated people. That’s just how we work. Here, LinkedIn uses this principle flawlessly. Slowly, LinkedIn seems to be turning into a real career coaching brand: a brand that coaches you with your personal development. News, books, events, LinkedIn has it all. Soon LinkedIn will start to help students with their career start. Then high school students with their follow-up choices. Currently in only a few languages, but soon exactly in the language you need, that helps you best. This is a step in that direction.

Related trends

Cell phone with very fast internet

The HTC T829 is the first cell phone in the world that has WiMax, wireless technology which makes it possible to reach data speeds of (in theory) 70 Mbps (Megabit per second) with your cell phone. In comparison: HSDPA reaches a maximum of 14 Mbps, but most European broadband connections don't get further than 3.6 or 7.2 Mbps.

With this new phone VOIP calling is the most normal thing in the world:

The HTC MAX 4G supports GSM calls using a SIM card from any Russian network operator and when both callers are Yota subscribers, the call will automatically be routed as a VoIP call over the Yota Mobile WiMAX network.

Yota is the VOIP supplier.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Calling someone is slowly becoming a part of traffic. Instead of calling beside the internet, speech is becoming a natural part of the virtual world. In time we’ll be able to use speech in the virtual world to call our friends, priced as if they’re only a kilometer away. That’ll soon be the most normal thing in the world. Even for the regular Joe.

The business model for telecom operators will be revamped completely though: the data line will become the basis, rather than calling or texting. They can earn extra money by giving you access to third party services (read: regular websites) that ask an access fee per minute, like webcam sites already do. You might pay 10 cents per minute and the operators take 1 cent. Still 1 cent. Still a model.

Wikitude tells you what you see

Wikitude gives you real time information about the display of your cell phone when you're pointing it at something. This is possible because the GPS knows where you are. Anyone who spots an interesting castle, for example, will be shown when it was built.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

The media-evolution is becoming more and more clear. We can ask questions with everything we see. Just to whom? The traveling guide may be able to tell you everything about the history of your environment, but a brand that knows everything about nature might know exactly what you can eat and what you can’t, or which animals live there and are threatened with extinction. And yet other types of brands can tell you what you’d like to do around there. No one brand knows everything about you, know your interests in every area like the back of your hand. This is how multiple brands are created, multiple coaching brands, brands we can ask questions. This is a very clear step in that direction.

Related trends

3D camera

Fuji FinePix Real 3D technology makes it possible to create 3D images directly on the camera. They can be watched without the use of special glasses. To do this the camera has two lenses which are combined into one. You can also still make 2D photographs. With the two lenses the quality of the 2D photo can be enhanced or an extremely panoramic picture can be taken. Cameras using the technology will be for sale in 2009.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

People think in 3D, think in images, think in the special placement of objects in regard to one another. Like we order nature around us. We’re getting technology that plays on this more and more often. We were used to making a 2D picture and printing it 2D. Now we’re making a 3D picture and can print it in 3D at home (such a printer only costs 5000 euros by now). In the long term, we’ll create 3d video and we let be played by programmable matter. Then we can replay everything completely. The way it was. The nostalgic human in tiptop shape.

Related trends

Fire already the start of the virtual world?

Using the radio, the tv and the internet we're trying to gain experiences in a place on earth which doesn't match its physical environment: it's an experience made possible by an artificial addition. In a way electricity, the light bulb, is an example of this already. It allowed us to do things which we physically wouldn't be able to do at that time, like looking at one another. Only the moon made that possible. And before that it held for candle light and fire in general. In principle light moves us in time (day/night) and all developments in the media/virtual world move us in space. Although it's possible to travel over larger periods of time. It's not quite clear yet; it's still just a twist.

My Health Coach makes you healthy again

My Health Coach for Nintendo DS combines a virtual, personal fitness trainer and a professional nutritionist. Your movements are measured by a pedometer. You connect it to your Nintendo DS and keep track of your daily movements. You create your own profile based on age, weight, length, body movement, etc. Based on your BMI and lifestyle a personal program is put together for you.
Then you fill in your own goal which ten training sessions help you reach. Based on this data the program also supplies tips for a balanced diet.
To read your goal, you only need to play 10-15 minutes a day and to keep the game fun you can set yourself challenges. For example: 'don't use elevators or escalators all day long' or 'sit in the Lotus-position for 15 minutes' or 'eat two bowls of vegetable soup', etc. The result of the exercises and eating habits are converted to graphs. This allows you to see whether your lifestyle has really changed after a few weeks or months.
My Health Coach has a one time fee of €39,99.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Now all we need to do is connect and synchronise everything. Soon you’ll hear directly in your ear piece which movements are good for you right at that moment. Get up! Health brands are with you all day long, and, dosed, know exactly the right way to coach you.

LinkedIn integrates Amazon booklists

LinkedIn, a business social network, is integrating people's reading lists. For each book you can indicate 'I want to read it', 'I'm reading it now' and 'I want to read it'. You can also indicate whether you're using the Kindle, Amazon's e-paper device.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

In a next step you’ll connect your Amazon account to the LinkedIn account. Then the books you’ve purchased will appear automatically. When you indicate that you’ve read it, Amazon will ask for your review, which will then appear on Amazon.com and, more importantly, will be shown prominently to your business partners. This allows LinkedIn to help you more with books that help develop your career. This is a step in that direction.

M&M’s with photos

Using M&M Custom Print you can now make your own M&M's. You can choose from 22 colours, add text and even print photos.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

We’re leaving the standard product ever further behind. Now that the media allows brands to listen to the customer again (like they did before the mass production era) the marketing P of Product will also be personal again. This is an example of this.

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