In March 2019 we unveiled Programmable Realities, a cross-sector macrotrend that examined how technology – combined with new materials – will shape a future in which physical consumer touchpoints are no longer be set in stone – or any other solid matter.
Driven by the power of human imagination and machine learning, new tools such as Magic Leap and brands as varied as Nike, Bose and Disney are extending our experience of the world by facilitating an entirely new way of engaging with products. Through augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications, real objects are replicating with ease the ever-changing nature of the digital sphere. Trainers are moulding themselves to our feet in real time, car interiors are able to redesign themselves at the swipe of a finger, and smart aeroplane seats are prompting healthier flying habits.
As we move into the 2020s, the spread of Programmable Realities will be signalled by trends such as the Digitisation Economy, in which physical objects become hyper-real in the digital realm, and Elastic Content, whereby new technologies facilitate entertainment content that responds to real-world environments.