The End of Masculinity, Emo-Surveillance, and Cloud Doctoring: Those are just a few of the predictions made by the innovation consultancy Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve at the end of 2017.
AdAge sat down with the company’s Founder and CEO Faith Popcorn to learn more about the shocking, provocative forecasts she and her team created. The firm, which works with such firms as Allergan, Citi, and Tyson, has a documented 95% accuracy rate, so these forecasts are likely to play out in the years ahead, reaching mainstream saturation in 15-20 years. In 1986 Popcorn told Coca-Cola that bottled water would be the next big thing. Several years later she told Kodak that film was dead and digital would take its place, and in 2008 she said that Car and house sharing would become daily norms.
Among the key Predictions:
• Popcorn believes that the gender divide will grow in the wake of the many sexual harassment scandals and foresees the end of traditional masculinity.Many women will choose to separate themselves to avoid misconduct and other forms of harassment. There will be female- and male-only floors in the workplace, and women-only business and third spaces, like the Wing, which now caters to elite women in NYC. Men will have “rage rooms” for acting out their anger which stems from no longer being able to wield power in the old ways.
• Also predicted: A rise in doctorless medicine, which Popcorn calls “Cloud Doctoring.” She says that we will have color-changing stickers on our skin, swallow-able trackers, and even chips embedded to monitor our health and transmit bio-data. She sees doctors becoming “keyboard technicians because all the measuring apertures will be in your body.” Amazon, which is about to enter the prescription medicine field, will play a large role. Popcorn says that Amazon will be able to “control an entire supply chain and tap their deep data insights.” She predicts that anxiety will soar to be a top health threat of the future, and Virtual Reality (VR) will alleviate it. Virtual vacations will become the norm, as people strap on their headsets and go on escapist adventures She also sees sound therapy, and chemicals dispensed by implanted chips providing other anti-anxiety treatments.
• Popcorn foresees what she calls EcoPalypse Now, meaning environmental concerns rise as a key issue for the consumer and a powerful purchase motivator. Strict environmental monitoring will be implemented due to climate change concerns. People and cities will turn to extreme survivalist solutions such as floating islands (these will be implemented by 2020 off the coast of French Polynesia) with green roofs as a way to escape rising sea levels. Popcorn also says that RFID allows individuals, corporations and the government to track our trash. With RFID you can know exactly where a specific piece of plastic is, and if it was recycled properly or not, allowing for eco-taxation of those who don’t follow the rules. When buying a home, access to private, protected and filtered air and water sources will be a new amenity. Popcorn also sees the environmental impact of meat becoming a huge consumer issue, and meat will be shunned and taxed the way tobacco has been. With its detrimental effects to the planet, meat will be replaced with mushroom and other plant-based substitutions.
• Finally, Popcorn sees Emo-Surveillance rising, as our moods are mined by AI. Facial recognition will track our emotions, and be used to customize both messaging and products and services in real time to our moods. This constant scanning will also lead to private, AI-free get-togethers, where people can emote freely, without Big Brother watching.
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