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

Vipassana and Speakers Convention silence Mensmerk

Until the 5th of August I'll be at a Vipassa retreat in Denekamp and after that I'll be in New York for five days for a convention of the IFPPS, the International Federation For Professional Speakers. My vacation will thus start with ten days of complete silence, reviewing everything anew, the experience within myself, my view on other life and my vision of the world of today and the future. After a lecture that follows immediately on this, I'll leave for New York to exchange thoughts on the craft with the top-professionals in the world. After some silence on this blog, I'll return begin August full of energy and fresh knowledge. And then onwards to version 2.0 of this website!

Routenet shows actual fuel costs

When one looks up a route, Dutch Routesite Routenet automatically calculates the actual fuel costs based on the type of car and fuel used. By entering the car's license plate number the model of the car, the fuel consumption and the actual fuel prices are looked up. Based on that Routenet calculates the cost.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

Mobility coaching brands help you get from A to B using conditions you’ve set yourself. All possible information will be used for this. At first it was just about the roads, but now we’re seeing the use of estimated traveling times or even actual traveling times more and more often, now the costs are also added to the list. Soon costs will be weighted against other forms of transport, desired comfort and, on top of that, globally. This is how mobility coaching brands ensure that you can reach any destination on earth using your personal preferences. Routenet takes another step in that direction.

Stay or Go asks for shower head testers

The Dutch living concept Stay or Go calls the members of its community on Grohe Rainshowers to test a special kind of shower head. This was sent to the members through email. By clicking the link in the email a personal page is created where the users only need to add their zip code. The rest is already filled out and users can then click 'send'. That's all you need to do to sign up. Then Grohe selects people based on their profile, including their zip code.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

Brands that have access to the consumer (coaching brands, Stay or Go a home coaching brand in the making) catalogue the demand in name of the consumer. The testing of products is a part of this. This time Stay or Go is making a general call (or was it because I once said I wasn’t happy with my bathroom?), soon it’ll be able to select the consumers open to this kind of thing accurately.

Related trends

Dutch police places video-recording on the internet

The Dutch police (Politie Hollands Midden, in this case (Dutch)) places recordings of security cameras on YouTube with the request to react. For example, a video of a robbery in Leiden on June 12th, 2008.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

Our world will eventually (think 2050) be guarded by video cameras (sensors) and robots. In this world too the added value of the police is to protect us: to uphold the rules we’ve agreed to obey so that we can move about the earth in freedom and safety. And just like in any other organization that needs to be as effective and efficient as possible. This is a step towards speeding up the IDing of people. In this example a hood is still hiding the majority of the image, but soon we’ll be able to ID someone by their walk, the DNA on left coins, or by their voice.

PC Zapper collects all videos

PC Zapper groups together all watched videostreams of broadcasting companies, of Dutch video sharing sites or other video sources using Dutchcharts (Dutch). This way a Top 30 can be created. Videos can be clicked on and watched immediately.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

Home entertainment coaching brands collect and group all available media from which a viewer, the consumer, can choose. Now all the Dutch video-offerings are being grouped, soon the whole international videos and then live-video will follow suit. How to choose from this overwhelming offer. This new type of brand will help us choose by building a profile of us and also by knowing what our friends are doing. First gathering up all the video-material. That’s difficult enough in 2008.

CitySense: feel the night life

Through CitySense inhabitants and visitors of San Francisco can see where the masses are in a city with one press on their BlackBerry. Through GPS and WiFi-locations of other (anonymous) CitySense-users the BlackBerry displays real time where in the city the most people are gathered. You can see whether it concerns a busy restaurant, overcrowded bar, or a steamy club. Also ideal for when you're looking for an empty bar stool or don't want to go out where all of San Francisco is at that moment.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

Brands will aid people with real time information in real time increasingly often. In this case you see what’s happening NOW for other people in the city. The same also goes for a TomTom with detailed route information based on other users that are stuck in a traffic jam at that moment. Soon we’ll be able to view the inventory of any store in the neighborhood and reserve immediately. We’ll know that it’s now a twelve minute walk because of road-work, but it’s usually a ten minute walk. As such we’ll get a pair of ‘antennae’ on our head that guide us across the world and that look further and deeper than we can ourselves. Brands will get a very meaningful role in this. This is a nice, innovative example.

Director places laptop thief on YouTube

Director Marcel Nillesen of the marketing company CustomMedia in Emmeloord has placed security footage on YouTube with the text 'Do you recognize this man?' In the video a man walks into the office and comes back out sometime later, carrying a laptop. Whoever gives CustomMedia the golden tip can look forward to a nice reward.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

The amount of cameras around us is growing fast and the registration of our behavior in the physical world can be shared easily. Currently there isn’t a lot of legal ground to protect people against this. Soon hobbyists will film passing cars, read license plates automatically and connect databases. Just for fun. Then we can type a license plate number on a site and see where it’s been. Fun. Furthermore we’ll be able to start automatically recognizing faces in every photo or video on the internet. Also fun. We’ll also automatically translate every spoken text. Useful. That means we won’t be able to do anything without being seen.

Developments like this mean we’ll get world-wide pillories. Any human being, anywhere in the world can, in time, broadcast on their own easily, and preach shame. Shame when we don’t stick to global norms and values. That have to be created first, by the by. Such developments will disrupt nations, create denationalization and in a very long time (think 20-50 years) the emergence of global values with fitting legislating, government and control. This trend can’t be stopped anymore.

Related trends

Samsung promotes telephones in YouTube videos

Samsung has asked consumers to make a home video containing a Samsung phone with the help of the site InstinctThePhone. Samsung will add the phone, you don't even have to own it. The first 1000 videos will receive $20, the winner $10.000.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

Brands will more and more often come up with mechanisms to employ existing customers, or other people involved with the brand, to reach others. This is a nice example of it.

Rabobank’s Yvette researches

Yvette, Rabobank's brand agent, has sent an email to her relations to ask about their experiences with her. The text in the email turns out to come from the University of Maastricht and contains a link to the survey site. Here Yvette's relations will be asked questions such as 'during my conversations with Yvette we talk about things other than just finances' which people can answer themselves.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

Brands are increasingly represented by brand agents, artificial characters that, in time, will look like humans and with which we engage in dialogue. For now it’s just in third person, but in time Yvette will ask ‘Do you mind if I sometimes ask you personal questions?’ Not during email, but during a spoken conversation. The facial expression of the customer will say enough. Then market research will be a continuing logical part of the dialogue between people and brands. Using Yvette to send an email and as part of a survey is a step in this direction.

Zuka launches housechat

Through Dutch housing site Zuka buyers and sellers can chat with one another directly. Typical questions that aren't (as) easily caught in a database - for example 'from what time will the sun be shining in the garden?' or 'when was the exterior painted for the last time?' - can easily be answered in this way. In an extreme case one might even be able to make an offer from the chatroom.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

You can sell or buy a house just like any other object. We used to need all sorts of complicated things for this, but in the network economy that’s being created it’s all about allowing two parties to meet. In a next step, Zuka could arrange for a notary, sort mortgages and arrange the move. Sometimes you’ll need a physical, real person, but that’s going to be the case less and less. This is a development in that direction.

Related trends

3D display

Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) has developed a 3D LCD display box, the so-called gCubik, that with its 10cm diameter fits into your hand perfectly. The developers will commit themselves to creating sharper images in the coming years.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

More and more displays are inhabiting our world. Bigger, smaller, more real. As long as it looks most like our real world. Because that is, after all, how people think. And this is the world in which brands transform themselves. Soon brand agents will be walking in such displays like it’s never been any different.

Related trends

Nuon offers self-service through telephone

Energy company Nuon offers Dutch people self-service through the number 0900 0808. Callers are asked to enter their client number and the four numbers of their zip code for identification. After that, through the use of IVR (Interactive Voice Response system, with keys) they can check whether a bill has been paid, change the account number, increase or decrease the amount pay or switch to automatic payments.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

This is how companies are increasingly automating the dialogue. Available 24 hours a day, no waiting periods, and above all you’re helped faster. Currently only with the phone’s keys, but after with speech. Currently you need a lot of codes on hand, but soon you’ll simply talk and be recognized by your voice and mobile number. It’s coming ever closer.

Wimbledon live on Internet

While the Dutch broadcasting company NET5 shows Wimbledon's most important matches on television, the others can be watched on Wimbledon2008 (Dutch). You can also watch old broadcastings, view the results and send in your own questions.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

Live TV will become Live Internet and with that the country borders will disappear: we’ll be able to follow anything from anywhere in the world. When this has progressed far enough we can expect live broadcasts that are aimed at other countries from anywhere in the world. Virtual experiences in which we’re involved en masse in real time, and in which brands can play a part. The era of national television and national broadcasting models will disappear into the history books forever.

China’s investments in Africa

While western eyes are trained on China and India, China is looking chiefly at Africa: the next continent that will bloom up in a year or twenty. The Chinese quest for fossil fuels is leading more and more often to extremely active governmental support for projects in African countries that can offer oil. For example, China has been investing billions in oil-rich Angola for years and it's now investing in the electricity grid of the poor, West-African country of Nigeria. China has recently awarded Angola the support of 135 million dollars for rebuilding their electricity grid, water supplies and the infrastructure. In 2002 the civil war that had been raging in Angola for the past 27 years and had destroyed the infrastructure was finally ended. The Angolan media reported that the Chinese dollars will fund the modernization of the electricity grid in two cities in the Lunda Norte and Lunda-sul provinces, as well as the construction of a water purification plant, canals in Luanda and an improvement of the infrastructure in two other provinces. Furthermore the Chinese money will be used to build a center for the treatment and prevention of malaria in the hospital of Luanda.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

In a long term development, the virtual world will cause the world’s prosperity to be more or less equally divided. Huge differences, such as we still know today will disappear. The fact that China can develop like this is partially caused by the extremely good opportunities to communicate across continents and to share knowledge. This allows a land with 1.3 billion people to develop rapidly and take control. These kinds of developments are part of this.

GreenNote allows people to pitch for a loan

At GreenNote American students can get financing for their college/university studies through acquaintances. The student creates a profile and adds, alongside the desired monetary amount, a photo, information on finished courses and in 'my story' the reason the money is needed. And of course why they think that lending them money to go to college is a good investment. From there the student can start to approach people.

If people are interested in offering a loan, GreenNote formalizes this through a legally binding contract for both the student and the person offering the loan.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

This is how new financial brands are created in the network economy. The new model will be borrowing from the acquaintance of an acquaintance. We trust the people we know, our trusted relations, and the trust that they have in the outside world. This is how micro credit becomes useable around the globe, this is how new brands such as GreenNote grab a chance that traditional banks aren’t yet embracing well enough.

Related trends

Talpa asks viewers about formats

Dutch TV producer Talpa (Dutch) belonging to John de Mol asks for new ideas on TalpaCreative (English). Visitors of the site can win €500,000 and on top of that their idea will be brought to life, giving them eternal fame as an added reward.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

It’s a typical example of the network economy in which different parties can find each other in a different way. In this new economy the production factors are knowledge, creativity and relationships (as Ben Tiggelaar once said). Those are the factors with a shortage and so people have to look for them. That creativity is the only limitation left also shows. If we have a good idea we’re almost certainly able to make it. Anything is possible. And if it’s not possible then it can be done in the virtual world anyway. Brands facilitate this process and Talpa is giving an example here.

Related trends

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