The future of ...

Erwin van Lun predict the long term future and blogs about developments today gradually shaping that future. Also in Dutch

USB Stick in Wodka bottle?

This week I received a box in the mail. Neatly on company name, without a sender and still with a bottle of wodka from the to me (still) unknown company Oberoff. You can't even find a link for this Lithuanian brand. Neatly wrapped in sturdy cardboard, but without accompanying letter. Special. It becomes even more special now that there turns out to be a USB stick at the bottom of the bottle. It's currently drying. I'm curious what I'll find on that... That's a very unconventional way to advertise your product. grin

2D versus 3D

In this movie ('Flatland') Dr Quantum explains how viewing the world in 3D could limit us severely. How can we keep in contact with one another without being near? And then I'm not talking about the virtual world. The insights from the quantum world are ensuring the next revolution after today's media revolutions and after the humanoid revolution in a few decades. Nice movie!

Passport with video

Samsung SDI and the German company Bundesdruckerei have collaborated to design a passport with a paper thin screen. On this screen different kinds of content (like video, lines of text, etc) can be shown.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Data is recorded in as many ways as possible. This is a small step towards a bigger development where security is concerned, but especially where personal mobile information is concerned. With development we see that the technical developments of today allow us to make paper thin screens that show us from head to toe in our passports. With the personal data we’ll put on the internet these passports will register even our DNA, fingerprints and our most recent visits and pass this information to customs. It may sound far-fetched, but this is a serious step towards the development of this kind of scenario.

People looking for jobs choose online career convention

37% of the (Dutch) people looking for a job prefer an online career convention to a traditional venue, reports a survey from totaljobs.nl. According to the survey outcome, the primary reasons to visit an online convention are: the ability to look at job openings and apply immediately (74%), the ease of visiting the convention at one's own speed from behind a computer (56%) and the fact that the convention is available for a prolonged period of 24 hours (53%). The most important reason why people still choose to visit a traditional convention is the personal contact with employers (93%). This gives people an image of what kind of people are employed at a specific organization.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

More and more often people choose to act from within their own home. So online. The threshold is much lower and in addition the interaction is granted more and more added value. In a later stage the company will be projected around you so you can get an even better impression. You’ll almost feel like you’re working there already. On top of that a career convention will be assembled right then and there for you specifically. It’ll be your convention. Every day.

Stassen HiFi has an interactive shopping window

Stassen Hifi (Dutch) in Venlo was looking for a creative way to inform customers of their relocation. That's why the company decided to turn their shopping window at their location (Vleesstraat) into one big touch-screen. If passers-by touch the interactive window they'll be given information about the new location, products and special offers. They claim it's the biggest interactive shopping window in the Netherlands.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

We’ll surround ourselves more and more with touch-screens. We decide the start of the conversation and it resolves around our questions. They’ll be answered more and more intuitively, so intuitively that even my grandmother would be able to use then. Maybe not this touch-screen, but the next generation of them certainly. Then we’ll just ask what we want. An artificial employer, a brand agent, a chatbot if you wish, will appear and they’ll engage in a real dialogue. This is a step in that direction. In the Netherlands too.

Interactive touch-screen turntable


Scott Hobbs is a student at Dundee University, UK, who designed an interactive turning table, operated by touch-screens, for his graduation project. Instead of turntables, records or cds the DJ gets to use two large touchscreens. Hobbs calls it the ATTIGO TT.


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Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

As it stands, this is only a small step towards a bigger virtual whole that cooperates with the physical world. More interactive, more intense and far more physically present than ever. These kinds of applications will be developed as a supplementary and, where possible, replacing product. Where a DJ used to rely solely on his hearing and sense of rhythm, he can now dissect the music files completely and visually see what the audience will be hearing. It should make the life of a consumer simpler and more efficient while increasing the interaction immensely. For now such applications are subjugated to the laws of the physical world and it’ll have to be carried wherever the DJ is going. It’s only a matter of time before the first virtual DJ performs as a hologram.

EasyToBook to 2,400 destinations

EasyToBook.com, specialist in online reservations of quality hotels for the lowest possible prices, has started a massive and ambitious expansion. The company is expanding from three European destinations to 2400 destinations worldwide. These new cities will be added to the website. EasyToBook.com's completely revamped website will offer overnight stays in about 20,000 hotels. Dublin, London, New York, Paris and Prague have already been added to the site as the first new destinations.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

All big brands of the coming centuries are operating on a global scale. They have all the knowledge of a specific domain, but know the individual on top of that. Said individual won’t have to look further. EasyToBook may grow to become such a brand in the holiday domain.

Spot-A-Shop guides you past fun stores

On Spot-a-shop.nl users can compose their own shopping route past the best shopping addresses in the Netherlands, print it and take it along into town. This information can then be shared with friends. Users and retailers can add stores. Entrepreneurs can also make their own page and add their company to the Spot-A-Shop database.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

This is how fashion coaching brands come to life. These guide you in your choice of clothes, accessories and stores. It’ll begin at the end of this decade with a complete database of all addresses. This type of brand can make a long-term profit through a subscription model, asking money for advice, or by asking entrepreneurs for a contribution. That has to be made crystal clear for the consumer. That’ll right itself, however, as if they give partial advice such a brand would soon be finished.

Interactive hologram

This hologram reacts to hand movements.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

We’re making the world more and more real. Soon the hologram will respond to you entirely: make a different face, point at things near you, dances to your music. This is child’s play and soon we can also expect the brand agent in our home. We’ll have moved on a few years, though.

Disruptions NS in Vista Sidebar

The NS (Dutch Railway company) displays its disruptions through an RSS feed. With this feed (Dutch) users will automatically be kept up to date of disruptions on the train tracks. Then third-parties have made a delaygadget (Dutch) for Windows Vista. This gadget allows delays to appear automatically on the traveler's desktop.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Traveling information is tailored more and more to the individual. For now you still see all the disruptions and delays, but soon you’ll see only those which are relevant to you. For now you can only see that there is a delay, but soon you’ll be able to see how long you’ll be delayed. For now it’s only for (Dutch) trains, but soon a mobility coaching brand will assist you to get from A to B and takes all available real-time information regarding trains, cars, bicycles (weather), walking (danger) or taxi (costs). This is only a start.

Cell phone with built-in projector

Texas Instruments expects that cell phones with a built-in projector can be presented as early as this year. Mobile projectors are now so compact that they can be built into cell phones or other electronic devices. This means any surface can be used as a personal screen which gives sharing your photos a whole new meaning and intensity.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

The cell phone’s screen will become even more practical than it is currently. This means consumers can communicate more easily and interactively with one another and with brands. Through, for example, bar codes, rfid or Bluetooth products can be read onto your cell phone and projected onto a surface or even into the air. This can then be saved on the cell phone and the consumer can watch it at leisure back home. Dressing rooms and clothing stores get a new dimension because of this. You don’t even need them anymore. Just let the cell phone project the clothing article onto yourself. Brands and companies on the other hand can monitor which products are uploaded to cell phones the most and adapt their range of products accordingly. It all becomes a lot easier and above all more interactive.

Fring lets you call every contact

Fring is an application which you install on your iPhone fring and which allows you to call, chat and get into contact with your friends on Skype, Live Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger), Google Talk, ICQ, Twitter, Yahoo, and AIM. In addition you can see on your iPhone whether someone is available. This negates the need to keep copying your contacts from one list to another. All you need is a data or WiFi connection on your iPhone. Calling will be free and it won't matter if your friends are behind their computer or are available on their cell phone or another device with an internet connection.


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Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

This is how a social coaching brand, a brand that helps you make new contacts, maintain them or even break them off, is created. With people, or with companies (read: networks of people.) It starts with making a complete list of all the people you have contact with, had contact with, or might want to have contact with. It starts with this.

TamTam helps employees realize dream

Internet agency TamTam (Dutch) accepts that a job for life is no longer of this time. The internet agency helps employees make their dreams a reality. With the 'Live Your Dream' concept they offer employees different opportunities to grow into their dreamjob. With the motto 'Live your dream' it helps its employees even with leaving for another company. Where other companies are afraid to lose knowledge with leaving employees, TamTam looks at it positively. 'We see it as an expansion of our own network'.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

In the network economy that’s emerging, brands unite people. People who are committed travel to a building every day to meet like-minded people. Others show up occasionally. Yet others leave with a warm feeling. If we view a company this way, TamTam is building on a networking strategy that may be very beneficial. It’s part of a process of change that all companies go through and which I call brand coming out.

AH sends recipes to cell phone with aid of a poster

In the Albert Heijn (Dutch supermarket) on the Lijnbaan in Rotterdam shopping consumers can receive a recipe on their cell phones by passing it by a poster, magazine or shopping aisle. These contain so-called 'Smart Tags', small chips that can be read by special cell phones. The shopping list with ingredients will be sent to the cell phone through a text message. In addition the consumer will receive an email with the recipe.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Brands are entering a dialogue by letting their products speak. The dialogue is activated by, amongst others, physical products. This is an example of this development.

YouTube recognises music of copyright holder

YouTube automatically recognizes music in movies that users post. If the music is copyrighted the users will receive an email stating that they're violating copyright laws. Exception is a condition where YouTube is allowed to exploit the video through advertising.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Currently solely on YouTube and solely music, but soon all faces, all voices and all license plates, in every photo, video or audio fragment will be recognized all over the internet, wherever they’re placed, wherever we were, whatever language we spoke. We can conjure up the baptism of someone’s life effortlessly, a hundred times more detailed than we currently can. Only a society in which we’ve formed world wide ideals and values on how to handle this dizzying amount of data can handle this. How do you meet someone you know everything about and who knows everything about you in return? It’s going to take a new generation of inhabitants of this planet.

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