‘The Future’ – all rather exciting, isn’t it? Especially after spending months in lockdown. As the world around us continues to grow and evolve, so do the industries and products that we create: food, music, fashion, technology. Technology is a big one. Can you believe that there are twenty-four different types of iPhone to date? Twenty-four?! Granted they are the size of small laptops now and it’s amazing to think that the top-dogs over at Apple still see room for improvement.
That’s what the future of technology is all about: improving tasks that can be actioned quicker. Pictures that can be taken faster, and in better quality. God forbid if we ever must pick up a pen again – surely we can type everything moving forward? While the idea of a digitally driven life is seen to be smart and efficient in the eyes of many, it’s important that we acknowledge the man-made creations that we would be giving up as a result of these progressions. If typing were to replace the physical act of handwriting, then the humble biro would become obsolete. The notepad would be forced to retire. As we welcome the future of technology, we unfortunately wave goodbye to pieces of our past.
This year, Argos announced that it would be ceasing the publication of its legendary product catalogue after forty-eight years of development. The world’s thickest Christmas wish list (as seen through the eyes of me and my sister) will no longer be regularly printed by January 2021. Speaking with BBC News, Mark Given, chief marketing officer at Sainsbury’s, claims that customers’ tastes “have changed over the years” alongside their shopping habits; where an “increasing shift towards digital shopping” has resulted in the decision to cease the Argos ‘book of dreams’. Here lies a prime example of the cost that comes from the digital revolution, the price we pay when technology presents quicker alternatives to traditional methods.
While many see change as a daunting and threatening presence, we must also remember the good that comes from evolving technology. Another announcement made this year details how Sainsbury’s is testing a virtual queueing system that will allow customers to wait for entry to the store from the comfort of their nearby car or local café. The Times reports that the idea behind the app is to prevent shoppers from waiting in the harsher weather come autumn and winter, when socially distanced queueing will be less appealing. I’m sure the creative team at Sainsbury’s HQ got a pat on the back for that one: a prime example of the benefits that come with the growth of technology. Why waste your time in a supermarket queue when you can be defrosting from the cold, winter air in your car parked meters away? Genius.
The future of technology is truly a mixed bag; we will feel remorse and sadness at the loss of old friends, but we will also embrace the arrival of ‘new normals’.