Your Planet Sustainable?Your Tribe Harmonious?Your Life Vibrant?
Future Proof Ideas since 2005, by Erwin van Lun

Trend observations, analysis and future predictions since 2005

ZoekAlleHuizen finds best real estate agent

Zoek Alle Huizen, a Dutch housing site, answers all questions consumers have about real estate agents. Questions such as: "Which real estate agent gets the best prices for the houses sold?" or "Who sells the fastest?" Based on objective data, from the city hall amongst others, the answer is given. Through the addition of a zip code the user will be given a selection of real estate agents. The information is sent through email and costs 25 euros for the data of 3 agents. Personal brands stand beside the consumer. They add value by looking up information the consumer doesn't want to look up, or simply can't look up. People will pay for this added value. This example fits seamlessly into this long term trend.

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The enormous impact of eye contact: scary!

Cubo is a lady who's shown full screen and reacts to movements of our mouse. People copy emotions of other people. Not consciously, but completely subconsciously. Not just when they're real people, but also if they're actors or animated characters. Whether people are happy, scared, surprised, thrilled, horny, or completely confused: we copy the emotion. Just by watching. A simple animation such as this makes us feel that to our core. In a next step Cubo will also respond to how we look (to our facial expression), what we're looking at and also what we say. It's getting increasingly more real. Step by step.

Search Me makes searching visual

New search engine allows users to search visually. While they are typing in a key word (for example 'car'), related categories appear in icons. The icons directly relate to different websites, placed in a row (em), Dutch. Brands thus start to communicate more and more visually. Now you still have to type, soon you can point at what you mean and say: 'this is what I'm looking for'. The same goes for spoken text: you just have to hum, and you immediately get the song you meant. The written word very slowly gets pushed into the background. This is only the beginning.

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AppleTV has you download directly to your TV

With AppleTV, a small device placed near the TV that makes a wireless connection to the internet, the user can now directly download a movie without even getting up from the couch. An interface appears which allows the user to directly select movies. Prices are $2.99 for a normal movie, $3.99 for a new movie, and a dollar extra for HD format. Take a guided tour here. (ap).

Thus home entertainment coaching brands further evolve. Now in HD format, soon in life size screens that cover whole walls. Now AppleTV only gives access to entertainment, soon we will pay a lot more for interactive content. The experience economy then will really come to life, and AppleTV can coach us in making selections out of all these possibilities.

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Joggers connected

Through Jogging Over A Distance joggers now can continuously stay connected. In this video two joggers who say goodbye and continue each on their own route. Through the headset they can keep talking to each other, whereby they hear the other person's voice from ahead or from behind, wherever the jogging partner is.

We thus connect the whole world. People, animals, plants, objects, means of transportation: everything is mapped. And we can contact them, wherever we are, whenever we want. In this environment coaching brands will bloom.

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SmartyPig helps you save through others

SmartyPig offers an online savings account for which you can invite friends, family or colleagues to contribute money towards a goal you have chosen yourself. SmartyPig has developed a widget for social networks MySpace and Facebook, so you can make your savings goal accessible for more people (fe, Dutch). Saving, lending, investing: it is all about trust. And the people directly around you trust you most. Brands are more and more building on this trust: they get better at tribal thinking since they have less chance to reach the consumer with messages, while at the same time they have more chance to facilitate the consumer. This development fits in that trend.

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Photograph and know

Otello, launched in Germany in beta, provides information to the pictures you make with your mobile phone. Suppose you walk by something (a building, billboard, - well-known - person, etc) and you want to know who or what it is. You pick up your mobile phone, take a picture, and send a MMS message to 4242, Otello's number. Otello matches the picture to its own information base. Within a couple of seconds you receive a reply message, sometimes with pictures, videos, and links to relevant sites. (fe, Dutch). Brands this way start dialogues, often after activation in the physical world. We see a building somewhere, or a brand costume, or brand shoes. Through a picture we directly get in touch with the manufacturer, and the dialogue can start. Soon we will call our coaching brand: 'Hey Ray', and ask: 'do you know this type of car?', and we will immediately get an answer. This is really starting to look like that.

Confucius: I do and I understand


I hear and I forget,
I see and I remember,
I do and I understand.

The quote is definitely not new, but it typifies our learning in the future. While older generations just had to listen to the teacher at school (I hear), many people of the contemporary generation had video that made a lot clear (I see), and soon we will have a (school) world in which we can experiment ourselves (in the virtual world). We can travel back in time hundreds of years with our class mates (or others with similar interests). There we get a tour from a virtual tour guide, whom we can ask questions too. And we can run around independently, and explore the city in that time. That is a whole different kind of history class than our generation has ever had.

Most people sorry for things they haven’t done

Research by Marcel Zeelenberg at Tilburg University in the Netherlands shows that most people are sorry for things they haven't done more than for things they have done. It also shows that our curiosity is stronger than our aversion of the negative 'sorry' feeling. In the world to come, developing over the next decades, we can do everything, experience everything, learn everything. From the very first moment in our lives. We can easily fill our lives, satisfy our curiosity, only the question is: does it make us happier? Then a certain wisdom is needed: what choices do yo have to make? How do you psychologically handle the things you don't do? How do you accept our own life. These are spiritual questions: questions to be answered at a higher level, but still through technology. We are then talking bout 2050 though. We are talking about the world of Pamper Planet.

Dance mat helps you dance to music

This dance mat has you stand on 4 arrows: up, down, left and right. The mat is connected to the PC and on the screen you see arrows, appearing to the rhythm of the music. The purpose is to tap the right arrow at the right moment. If you do it right, you can get points and choose harder songs (dm). We here see the experience economy take shape: an economy in which money is made by giving us personal experiences at our own place. With that a dance coach evolves, a form of a personal sports brand, a brand that teaches you how to dance (although still very simple, but it is a beginning). And finally this is just the media evolution in which all we do (walk, cry, jump, talk, turn, type) is used by brands on the other side of the medium, and through which they can shape the dialogue with us. We will see lots of developments here.

BMW soon continuously connected

Starting this Summer, BMW will build in displays in its cars giving unlimited access to the worldwide web. The company claims to be the first in the world to do this (em, Dutch). Three developments are demonstrated here: first, loose navigation sets will disappear. Second, all existing screens will be connected: every display will soon give access to one big, virtual world. And third, every product, a car in this case, loses its anonymity. Companies, brands, will always stay in touch with the product they have made. This is an early example of this.

Change old Feed in new Feed statistics show that a lot of people still use all kinds of old feeds. This is not a big problem, as everything works, but lists like the Dutch blog50 count the number of bloglines subscribers on the new feed. Because of that, I am ranked too low. So I urge you to please change your feed to Little effort, great results! Thanks!

Moviq covers moving needs

Moviq is a new Dutch home and living site that offers not only a huge supply of houses, but also all suppliers in about 70 related service areas like realtors, notaries, contractors, truck rentals, and painters. Consumers can share their experiences with the suppliers with other users. Besides, the site offers content (text and video) for inspiration (em, Dutch).

Thus home coaching brands slowly evolve. Now still aimed at suppliers, but soon the consumer will be central. Now there is only one mortgage supplier (Rabobank), but soon the home consumer will be able to choose here too. Now it doesn't show all houses yet, soon Moviq will be the only place you have to go to find your house. Now it is still aiming at the period before buying a house, soon Moviq will keep inspiring you, even after you have moved. Now Moviq still sells your details to third parties, soon the relationship with the consumer will be core, and details will never be sold again. There are still lots of steps to take, but the amount of offers within the moving market show that Moviq has a huge potential. Well done! accepts major credit cards

The Dutch website for home delivered meals accepts more and more different payment methods. Not only Visa, but also American Express is now accepted. Other payments methods have been used for longer already: iDeal, a personal business account (De Baas Betaalt, meaning 'the boss pays'), and payment on account for companies (tb). Coaching brands also take care of our payments, so that they know exactly what we bought earlier, what we did, and what we enjoyed. This financial transaction support is part of that. As soon as they know what meals we have delivered, they can also start helping us get food delivered we still need to cook. They thus can slowly grow into being food coaching brands. Although they still have a long way to go.

Related trends

Coolblue structures reviews

Coolblue, known of several web shops like, wants to raise the quality of visitor reviews. To accomplish that, Coolblue has created different fields for a special title, pluses, minuses, a minimum amount of words, and the possibility to upload pictures. Besides, other visitors can rate the review (am, Dutch). A good example of how brands are asking more questions, and are having dialogues with individuals. First we only had the open question (how did you like it), now we get: 'What did you think were the pluses'. And soon we will get an extra question on why a certain element is so strong. And now still in boxes, in which we may type words, but soon in spoken dialogue.

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