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

Video clips on tombstones

Having lived life digitally (ultra-sounds, birth, youth, life as a grown-up, family reunions, and funeral: everything is recorded), our digital lives from now on continue even after death. At Dutch cemetery Larikshof in Rhenen there is a tombstone with a small TV-screen on which images of the deceased can be seen: the digizerk (digital tombstone). Relatives and friends can show pictures and videos on this screen. According to supplier steenhouwerij Rijtink, this is the first digital tombstone in the world. The screen now operates on a battery, but the company is working on tombstones operated through solar cells (sr, Dutch). Pictures and videos are virtual representatives of people's real lives. In a next step, these screens are connected to the internet. Relatives then can consult our social-network pages through the tombstones, watch the video of the funeral and the condolence register, listen to their favorite music, and see where friends will be buried later. And we can still interact with the avatar, the virtual representative of the deceased. Like our voice mail today, these virtual representatives keep reacting. The contact after all stays. And it will show behavior that will be an awful lot like the behavior of the deceived. A different world, that's for sure.

Sounds in Google Earth

Through Google Earth and Google Maps you can now hear the world's sounds. Elephants in Africa, the rain forest in Brazil, and even the bells of the Notre Dame in Paris. American Bernie Krause has been gathering sound materials for 40 years, varying from singing birds and the cracking of melting glaciers, to rustling woods and the singing of whales. His company Wild Sanctuary has now published these sounds in the virtual world (dc, Dutch). And thus the virtual world becomes more and more real. Now with recorded sounds, recorded at a certain moment. In the future we will choose what sound of what moment we want to hear. From 40 years ago, from last week, or real time. Which will be like a telephone conversation. And that shows that the virtual world easily integrates phone, radio, and TV. It becomes one world. This is just a small step in that direction.

YouTube shares income with users

Video site YouTube shares its advertising income with its users. It calls these people user-partners. User-partners are treated as other content partners (yt). Brands, especially new brands, unite people. People who structurally or incidentally add value to the brand, are rewarded. Other people pay for that (now we pay indirectly, through advertisements, but in the end we will pay for the services, the experiences offered). Many brands will start using this form of co-creation. This is only the beginning.

Amazon starts digital music store

Amazon starts an online music store in which you can buy and download MP3 music without digital rights management software. It is expected that Amazon will work with more than 12,000 music publishers, and thus can offer millions of songs. British recording company EMI has signed the first contract with Amazon. The store will open before the end of this year (dc, Dutch). Amazon this way could grow into a music coaching brand. For a start, a coaching brand needs to be complete: offer ALL music ever made in the world. After that, a music coaching brand can make selections on an individual basis, adapted to time, place and situation. This is a possible step in that direction.

Eighty mosques on narrow casting network

Eighty Turkish mosques in the Netherlands shall be connected to a narrow casting network by the end of this year. At the moment 14 mosques already have a screen, providing information and advertisements. The network is financed by advertisers focusing on the Turkish community (em, Dutch). We will see screens and displays at various locations. The tighter the group visiting the location, the more added value the screens get. Through the screens, you could control who enters the location, show which people of your network are inside, or what elements of the experience they valued most. So that we directly know what we should choose. 'Casting' will not be in place any longer though. And we will have to get used to that, step by step.

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