Human capability without the assistance of today’s technology, engineering and products is a humbling thought. How could we manage without computers, hearing aids, electricity or dentures? The truth is, people did manage, before any of these were invented, produced or implemented. Whether or not we really need these advances is a different matter; they seem indispensible today. Strangely, this also means we’re likely to look back a few years from now and wonder how we managed without the tools that haven’t been invented yet.
Time bringing change has always been an accepted notion, but the steep technological acceleration of the past few decades can actually make the future seem frightening. Can we accurately predict anything about life 30 years on, other than that it will be very different from life now? What would our abilities be and how would they make us feel? How will product designers shape our progress report as a society?