From time to time we all speculate on what the future holds for humanity, but have you ever thought about what the future might smell like? That was the question posed by Intel Futurist, Brian David Johnson on Wednesday, April 2nd to an audience of about 500, including many Logic Suppliers, in a presentation at Champlain College. In his role as a Futurist, Johnson attempts to look ahead 10-15 years and develop a vision of how people will live, act, and interact with technology. Basically, in his words, what it will feel like (or smell like) to be human in the future.
Johnson is a self-proclaimed geek, whose love of science fiction and robots drove him to become a futurist. By keeping an eye on emerging technologies and social trends, Johnson postulates the way our world will look, feel and even smell decades from now. He envisions the quickly-approaching reality of a world where even the most mundane objects are turned into computers, pointing out that, “Technology and science have progressed to the point where we are only limited in what we build in our imagination.”
The Maker Movement, the Internet of Things and other significant advancements in the process of taking an idea from conception to reality make it an exciting time for forward-thinkers like Johnson. Emergent prototypers now utilize 3D printers, widely-available sensors, and microcomputers to improve everyday items or transform them into something completely new. Johnson uses the implications of the incredible speed of innovation to ask, “What kind of future do you want to live in?” In his talk on Wednesday he encouraged his audience to consider this simple but broad-reaching question and challenged us to work together to create an awesome future. As technology co-evolves with our collective culture, Johnson believes that our actions at this critical time in our history will provide the building blocks for the society of tomorrow.