Who said TV is bad for you?

July 29, 2013

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It’s amazing how many of today’s ordinary technology, started their life as an extraordinary prop in a book or television show.

This week ABC Wide Bay’s David Dowsett and I took a look at the top 10 innovations that were first seen in the 1960’s Sci-Fi series Star Trek and now probable, possible and in many cases ordinary.

1. Mobile phones
2. Warp speed
3. Transporter beams
4. Tractor beams
5. Replicators
6. 3D medical holograms
7. Medical tricorders
8. Holodecks
9. Cloaking devices
10. Friendly androids / robots

Take a listen now and let me know which Sci-Fi or movie innovation you’re still waiting for.


Can we live to 100? Do we want too?

March 15, 2013

Before we know it, living to 120 years of age and beyond will be ordinary and expected. This life extension, lived in relatively good health and independence will require us to evolve society, culture, work, family, humanity and religion.

Many of our past societal norms, rituals, work patterns, family structures and behaviors were built on a life expectancy of less than 50 years, in a world where we traveled less that 20 kilometers our entire life from where we born. Where family, village and country where all we knew and we knew that because we were told it and not because we had the opportunity to discover and question it for ourselves.

As we move into a world where living longer is the norm, where self discovery and constant questioning become the norm, where we no longer seek out the world but demand it seeks us out, everything becomes negotiable and transactional.

The notion of living with the same person for 80 years and more will be in question; families with 4 and 5 generations alive will become the norm; working to 80 years of age will become expected, but what will work be and offer, what will family mean to us, how strongly will we cling to religion as our guiding example?

The questions are endless, but have to include asking ourselves how do we feed, clothe, house, water and offer quality of life and care to a growing world population that is set to exceed 9.1 billion people in 2050?

Added to this is also the rising middle classes across the developing world who are also living 50 – 60 years longer than their ancestors, with developed nations citizens living to 120 and a generally a whole lot more people standing on the planet than we have ever had before, the choices we make today, are very different from the one’s we had to make yesterday.

In this segment on Channel 7’s Today Tonight Clare Brady and I explore what living to 100 years of age might mean for us, what sort of world may we be growing older in and what opportunities and issues may be waiting for us?

Take a look now and let me know your thoughts on the world ahead and living to 100 years and beyond.


So, what’s new?

March 5, 2013

SmartHub_MainUI_ArticleI love this question, it’s so open-ended and can lead to such a great discussion and that’s exactly what my friend Jason Jordan and I did last night on one of our regular catchup’s on radio 6PR’s Weeknight’s program.

We took a look at smart televisions, what they are, why they are and is it worth buying one. We then moved on to second screening which is the growing phenomenon of watching one screen (usually your television) and having a second screen (usually your phone or tablet) in your hand.

Google glasses and the rumored Apple iWatch also got some discussion as did the role and impact of technology in culture and society.

A great chat and well worth a listen and after you have, let me know what you think are the big trends, gadgets and technologies ahead.


Good Morning 2013

December 18, 2012

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I had a hoot this morning on Channel 7’s The Morning Show with Larry and Kylie chatting about my top food, fashion, drinks and social trends for 2013.

Click on the link below to watch and be sure to let me know what trends you think will be big in 2013:


Aged Care for the Young At Heart

December 14, 2012

DSC_9973The Future of Aged Care is such a big topic, if for no other reason 1 in 4 of Australian’s are going to be in the Age Care demographic in the next 25 years.

Robots and stay at home technology is going to play a big part in this future and this week I took Clare Brady of Channel 7’s Today Tonight on a virtual tour of how this might look in a decade or two, these were her take-aways from our chat:

“Waiting in the wings are robots washing hair to replace human hairdressers; and for more independence in the home, elderly people will soon have robots that remember faces, where you put your glasses and how you like your tea.

Futurist Morris Miselowski is convinced the sorts of inventions seen in Hollywood films like ‘Robot and Frank’ aren’t the stuff of fantasy. He says seniors’ mornings will never be the same again when homes come equipped with elite sensors.

“If it senses anything untoward – so if we normally get up at 9am but we’re not up yet – it will shake the pillow, rock the bed, draw the curtains to let in light. Then, if you don’t get up, it will phone somebody,” Miselowski said.

“When you’re in the bathroom it will monitor your vital signs, take sugar tests out of your urine, breath test you, and in the mirror it will check your complexion. it’s quite incredible (and it’ll happen) in the next ten to fifteen years.”

It’s a real challenge as in 40 years one in four Australians will need some form of care and will be living, on average, well beyond 100.”

Watch this segment now:


2013 Consumer Trends

December 5, 2012

4D MOVIE GFX 01_FF VIZHere is my annual look ahead to 2013 from a Consumers viewpoint:

2013 is going to be a year of nostalgia, consolidation and innovation.

The world will increasingly become jaded with social media as it evolves to become as ordinary and mundane as the phone and fax machines of old.

The past few years of angst and trepidation have spurred next year’s response to offer us a year of where we will return to simpler time with a most modern twist.

This will be evident in the foods we will eat, the colours we will paint our homes, the clothes we will wear, the names we’ll give our children and the technology we will see over the next 12 months that will all pay homage to the past as it reinvents itself for a new tomorrow.

Here are some of the key trends and influences I’m seeing over the horizon that will impact our 2013.

Here’s what we already know about 2013:

Australia’s population will exceed 23 million people (up from today’s 22.84 million).

World population will exceed 7.2 billion (up from today’s 7.08 billion).

We will have a federal Australian election, most probably between August and October, as well as a state election in Western Australia in March.

Australia will withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by December 2013.

Analogue TV will be turned off in Australia on 10th December 2013.

There will be 30.5 million connected mobile handsets in Australia in 2013.

There will be 7.5 billion mobile connected mobile handsets globally in 2013.

China and India will begin their space race in 2013.


What Will We be Eating and Drinking in 2013?

Sharing plates, artisan products, local sourcing and culinary creativity are set to trend up restaurant menus and home kitchens next year with the top ten food predictions being:

1. Locally sourced meats and seafood
2. Locally grown produce
3. Healthy kids’ meals
4. Environmental sustainability as a culinary theme
5. Children’s nutrition as a culinary theme
6. New cuts of meat (e.g. Denver steak, pork flat iron, teres major)
7. Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens)
8. Gluten-free cuisine
9. Sustainable seafood
10. Whole grain items in kids’ meals

Top 10 drink menu trends for 2013:

1. Onsite barrel-aged drinks
2. Food-liquor/cocktail pairings
3. Culinary cocktails (e.g. savoury, fresh ingredients)
4. Micro-distilled/artisan liquor
5. Locally produced spirits
6. Locally sourced fruit/berries/produce
7. Beer sommeliers/Cicerones
8. Regional signature cocktails
9. Beer-based cocktails
10. Locally produced beer

What will we watch at the Movies in 2013?

Another big blockbuster year for movies in 2013, with lots of safe-bet franchise movies including:
Star Trek Into Darkness; Iron Man 3; The Hunger Games Catching Fire; Thor the Dark World; The Great Gatsby; The Wolverine; Mad Max: Fury Road; The Hangover Part 3; Scary Movie 5

Whilst at home we will see the first 4K and 8K television sets offering even sharper images as well as the short march to second screens where we will watch TV on one large screen and have a second screen – smart phone / tablet – in our hands to engage with all the others watching the show. And watch out for Apple TV in 2013, another ground breaking, must have gadget to add to their stable.

Beyond 2013: Look out for 4D movies making their way into our cinemas with scent and movement as part of the experience

What will Women be wearing in 2013?

Vogue claims ruffles are back with statement ruffles curled over shoulders and wound around bodies, bringing new dimensions to strong silhouettes.

Sunrise_SingleAsian Major
Kimono-inspired shapes and poetic prints call to mind the Far East with everything from silk pyjamas to sheath dresses coming under an Asian influence.

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The overriding mood for spring/summer is upbeat, joyous even, and mostly evident in the textures, fabrications and embellishments designers will choose to use. Stripes, spots, checks, and flowers will take on bold proportions at the hands of the more adventurous designers.

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Designers will embrace the new suit in all its forms; some will opt for a relaxed take, while others will go for oversized proportions, or sculpted and cropped silhouettes.

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Micro hemlines, reworked beehives and ladylike accessories are all poised to make a return.

What Colours will we Surround Ourselves with in 2013?

Vintage design, fossicking and gathering, the meeting of old and new, and the rise of new technology are among the key influences that will dominate Australian design over the next 12 months – and with it our choice of colours.

The Dulux Colour Forecast next year draws on the themes of movement, social change, people power and the march of the digital age. It explores how colour is shifting and changing in modern times.

Dulux forecasters have identified six palettes, Merge is warm and earthy. Seek updates vintage shades. Empower’s blue-greens speak of confidence. Relaxing Rise uses a soothing Japanese-inspired aesthetic. Share is monochromatic with metal and stone influences. Blur is bold and daring.

Major colours for 2013 include yellow, pastel hues and the stand out colour will be persimmon.

What will we Name Our Baby’s in 2013?

2013 children’s name will be an apocalyptic mix of wild weather and the gods preferences including names like Winter (used by actress Gretchen Mol on her baby daughter last year) is sounding “fresher” than Summer or Autumn and May and June are being replaced with March and January.

Names of old world gods and goddesses, mythological heroes and leaders like Augustus, Atticus, Persephone, Athena, Juno and Julius, Thor and Maeve are set to dominate birth announcements
The last wave of grandma and grandpa nickname names – Annie and Molly, Ben and Max – will turn to vintage nicknames from the Mad Men era and a new generation of kids with names like Hank and Hal, Ray and Fay, Millie and Monty, are emerging

Middle names are going to be blend of sharp crispy names like Snow, Frost and even the direction North and significant words like Ballerina, Bear, Sweetheart, Seven, Song, Star and Saint.


Morris’s 13 Big Trends for 2013

1. New normal – Our global, regional, national and local issues and economic uncertainties will not disappear in 2013, but what will disappear is our strong reaction to them. Mellowing and resignation are occurring, we know these real and important issues are not going away soon, but we are learning to live with them.

This new sense of normal will bring with it renewed consumer confidence as slowly we replace pessimism with optimism as we reframe our world to accept these variables and make new choices accordingly.

2. Two Degrees of Separation – Now that we’ve all gorged ourselves on social media and proven that we can alter the course of lives, international events and governments with it; stay digitally connected to our ever-growing tribe and ensure we know what’s going on in our purpose-built world 25/8, it’s time to move on to see what else this new digital social glue can do.

Expect 2013 to push the boundaries with new digital social recommendation sites, crowd learning, crowd financing and crowd everything sites coming on-line.

Sites like Kickstarter, indiegogo, and Spacehive allow end users to engage, invest and support new ideas, products and services long before they become a commercial reality. Gigfunder allows you to start a grass-roots movement to get your favourite band to come to town and perform; right through to sites like brickstarter that lets you say Yes In My Backyard by influencing local public service and community based projects and even sites that let you share cars, dresses, handbags, homes and private planes.

3. Bring It All Together – We want everything now and in one place and that’s exactly what we’re going to get. Much of next year’s innovation will take lots of seemingly disconnected bits and pieces of information from lots of different places and put them together into one easy to use and purposeful space.

The new travel apps for instance will give you a true door to door experience, booking your taxi from home; letting you know if the plane is on time; checking you in; informing the hotel how far away you are, checking you into the hotel, and guiding you to your room when you get there, even opening the door for you.

4. The World of Objects are Coming Alive – Near Field Communication (NFC) or a technical thingy that casts a virtual net from your mobile device to digitally connect you to your surroundings. This one has been in the wings for quite a while and we came close to a launch in 2012, but 2013 is make or break time for it and, when it hits, expect to get rid of your physical credit cards and start connecting with everything through that little electronic box in your pocket.

Grocery items, store posters, doors, people, objects and things will all be able to share information with you.

5. Appy days – If you think you’ve seen apps, hold on to your digital screen, because you haven’t seen anything yet. The avalanche of this brave new world is going to be fiercer, stronger and greater than the advent of websites and the World Wide Web.

Every business will eventually have one of this new digital keys to offer their online world as we move at the pace of light to cut the umbilical cord that tethers us to walls and desk bound technology to the freedom of take with you anywhere and everywhere technology.

6. Out With The New And In With The Old (in a new way) – Everything old is new again. In this world of ever-changing “things” we are turning to the past, with a great big dollop of nostalgia, to reinvent what we’ve already had.

Expect social media to become ordinary, for Facebook, Twitter and other online conversations to become less “full on” and for us to become terribly blasé about all of this.

7. Local and national trumps global– Carbon footprints, immediate delivery demands, a growing sense of self entitlement and importance and a strong desire for jingoism and patriotism will all lead us to want to shop as local as we can and to have products that express who we are and not some generic global corporation’s image of what they want us to be.

All these growing influences will rekindle our desire to buy local and national rather than international. All we need to do now is get local retailers both bricks and clicks to play ball and give us what we want.

8. Customer Is God – The days of being spoken down to, of being brushed aside are gone. As consumers we are now increasingly and collectively demanding what we want, where we want it and how we want it, knowing that if this provider can’t do, we can find another who will.

Our sense of entitlement is changing irrevocably. The old and non-connected relationship between manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and customers is gone and will be replaced with a fresh dynamic co-created organic marketplace where everybody is vital and integral if the sale is going to work and the end.


9. Who cares where you’re having coffee! Our social media baby has finally grown up and turned into a pimply teenager. The awkward early adolescent phase where we had to share every first step and toilet training event is over. Social media is here to stay and everybody’s ready to take a deep breath and just get on with using it.

This however is not the end of the social media journey; we still have to turn the teenager into an adult, so expect to see a tonne of new social media life changing platforms, uses and abuses ahead.

10. Right before my eyes – One of the new big must haves next year will be augmented reality glasses. Google Goggles and many other geek provider manufacturers have promised to bring us a set of ordinary eyewear with extraordinary purpose.

These spectacles’ will take information from the World Wide Web, your surroundings and your mobile devices and mash them up to give you a unique, real-time heads-up display complete with images, words, road maps, television and whatever else you want all on the inside of your designer sunglasses.

11. Cash is no longer King – with a growing number of retailers encouraging you to pay for all your transactions large or small using your plastic money (and eventually smart phone based e-wallet) expect to see a less-cash society evolve over the next few years.

12. Print your own Dinner Set – this innovation is the love child of “Star Trek’s Beam Me Up Scotty” and a 1980’s fax machine and makes it totally possible to print in real-time and on demand
one-off pieces of crockery, clothes, shoes, engine spare parts, human organs, building, bikes and kids toys, just to name a few.

This new technology has been around for a while, but get set for its explosive mainstream introduction in 2013 as consumers begin to discover and use 3D printing for their everyday purchases.

By 2020 we’ll look back with amazement at how we ever survived without our home based 3D printer!

13. Look what we’ve done to our world – 2013 will be an introspective year as we slowly start to turn our attention back to the planet, our place in it and the legacy we want to leave behind.

There is a growing global collective consciousness emerging, fanned by transparency and transported by social media, which is ever so slowly reshaping what is important, to whom and by when.

These issues are far-reaching as we grapple with changing our fuel and energy; reworking how we use our land and water; how we feed, clothe and provide meaningful opportunities to over 7.2 billion global inhabitants; how we make better use of medical breakthroughs and the extended life spans they offer, as well as how we might use technology to reshape our work, lives, families, communities and governments.