A Vision of the Future: Home Entertainment in 2020

by Dr. James Bellini, Futurologist

In the past decade, advances in technology have changed our lives dramatically. Since 2000 we’ve seen the introduction of things that we now take for granted as part of everyday life, such as USB sticks, mp3 players, Skype, Sky+, smart technology and social networking, none of which were available only ten years ago. The next few years are set to progress even more quickly when it comes to technological advances. Electrical specialist Comet has teamed up with futurologist James Bellini to take a look at what the future of home entertainment may look like by 2020.

James Bellini says; “In this digital high-tech age, a time span of ten years is a long time. And, over the next decade, things will continue to develop significantly and many remarkable innovations are likely. Holographic science will come of age and the development of brain to device connectivity will change the way we live day to day life.”

Bob Darke, Comet’s Commercial Director, is excited about the future: “3D and smart technology is currently the biggest innovation in the home entertainment arena but future developments will go far beyond this – we will be networked to our TVs emotionally and cooking will be taken to a whole new level. The world, in all its multi-sensory forms will literally come to us, just the way we want it. It will give staying in a whole new meaning.”

Augmented reality in the home: see what you want to see

Wearing 3D glasses to watch television and films are already widely accessible. Advances in technology mean that by 2020 the most adventurous technology consumers will have grown tired of 3D specs and will be wearing active contact lenses instead. The lens will be a general purpose display that sits in your eye all day. You will just pop it in your eye in the morning and take it out at the end of the day, allowing you to get entertainment at your fingertips. Contact lenses to view moving images and physically feeling the pain and emotion of characters in films will radically change how we watch our favourite TV programmes and movies in the future.

Information and entertainment goes experiential and ambient

As the formats through which we view movies change, the content will change to adapt to it too. So it’s not just about 3D, holographic and augmented reality experiences, it’s also about what we will watch once we have those capabilities. Once viewing goes this experiential with emotional and responsive feeds, the experience will broaden to being able to jump up on buildings with Spiderman. It will be as if you are a character within the film.

Cooking

Molecular gastronomy would have seemed an unlikely concept only ten years ago before it was used by a celebrity chef. Advances in cooking technology will mean that by 2020 we could be looking at having molecular ovens in our homes that will allow us to cook in a completely different way, by allowing us to use chemical processes to prepare our food. Furthermore, holographic technology will also be extended to the kitchen, meaning that it will be possible to have our favourite celebrity chef ‘virtually’ standing next to us to help us along with our mealtime preparations.

Communicating

Already, the prevalence of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype have
changed the way we communicate with our friends, family and colleagues. Telepresence technology, which is currently used for the purpose of work conferences will become cheaper and more accessible, meaning it will start to become available for the home. Again the application of holographic enhancement will mean your friends or family will be virtually present in your own living room.

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