The new technological protagonist of the next few years will certainly be 5G and lots of us are waiting for it. According to Mintel and other accredited research institutes and their projections, 5G will be able to connect 125 billion devices by 2030, and it is expected that this will contribute to the spread of practices that will incorporate elements of virtual and augmented reality in various sectors. Technology is going to shape a different idea of society.
Following the 5G implementation, concepts such as time, travel, work, learning and leisure are expected to change and important transformations to take place especially in areas such as tourism, entertainment, sport, home and urban furnishing.
As a consequence of this evolution, all the projections tend to describe a society in which individuals will be less attracted to employee work, while more and more appeal will be associated with self-employed opportunities, freelance jobs and consulting positions, all of them more flexible in terms of locations and times, all of them facilitated by sharing technologies.
These aspects are expected to result in an increase in smart working [an element that COVID-19 has anticipated], also supported by apps for determining home settings according to one’s mood, to the activities to be carried out and to media consumption habits, settings that can be attributed to any location.
Consequently, changes are therefore also expected in mobility which will be redefined in its function: on one hand it will tend to be subject to a strong decrease, on the other hand mobility will be increasingly left to zero-emission public transport [with the possibility of using individual vehicles in sharing economy for the last mile].
In this context, digital services [eg. audiobooks and ebooks], cashless payments, and fully automated points of sale will spread more and more, while healthcare will increasingly depend on specialist online consultations aided by health monitoring technology – always more focused on combating ageing – through intravenously implanted nanobots.
In the meantime, climate change will have among the consequences climate migration and the displacement of some areas in favour of others will make economies even more unequal. All these transformations will therefore also lead to an increase in the demand for privacy, human interaction and social equity.
If on the one hand it remains true that being constantly connected makes any action potentially more visible, on the other hand smart home, delivery services and the at least partial replacement of physical interactions with digital ones – increasingly inducing consumers to stay at home – can go so far as to transform comfort into a sense of loneliness, social isolation and depression.
The task of brands therefore becomes on one side to create products and services that support users in learning to disconnect, and on the other to create “spaces” in which it is possible to be part of a community by interacting with other users and staff in order to contribute to individual and social wellbeing.