Predictions for 2016 from the curators of FutureFest
From aroma DJs to virtual romance, the curators of our future-gazing weekender FutureFest predict the emerging trends in how we'll love, play, work and thrive in 2016. Find out more about how they'll be exploring these themes when FutureFest returns on 17-18 September.
Olfactory marketing - Dr Morgaine Gaye
Scent branding is on the rise and we are now beginning to use it much more in terms of indirect selling and subconscious consumer persuasion.
In 2016 we will begin to see scented billboards and posters, aroma DJs, and web-connected technology which can transmit smells based on what we see and read. Pheromone dating and more understanding around our own personal scent will start to influence fragranced products.
Love, sex and romance in virtual worlds - Ghislaine Boddington
In 2016, controversial debates will emerge around the burgeoning range of 3D virtual realtime environments in which we can conduct our love lives.
Personalised avatars allow us to be and find the lover (or lovers) of our choice. Gendered or non-gendered, individually, as couples or in groups, we can engage, from the safety of our homes, in a range of adventures that perhaps we would never physically dare to.
How this affects our social abilities in the real-world is the big question - will the psychologies of confused identities and power play cause chaos? Or will we blend parallel virtual/physical realms for joy and positive release?
Click revenue growth - Ruth Amos
If you think YouTube vlogger Zoella and her novel Girl Online earning the highest first-week sales for a debut author since records began was the peak of those in the 'click/share/follow industry' then you would be wrong.
2016 will see a rise in not just the number of people earning from platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and WordPress but also the amount those at the top are earning; big brands will come calling and increase the power of these personal brands.
Bionic sports - Pat Kane
In 2016, robotically-enhanced athletes will leap even higher.
The Rio Paralympics in early September is set to be a huge highlight as track and field bladerunners and free-wheeling basketballers thrill the crowds. In October, the first ever Cybathlon will take place in Switzerland - where human-meets-robotics sportspersons compete against each other, in new games involving obstacles and ingenuity.
We are getting ever closer to the inflection point where absolute sporting performance may favour the cyborg over the unenhanced athlete - and 2016 looks like being a benchmark year.