MindBullets is a part of the global FutureWorld Network, constantly sensitive to changes in the technological, economic, social, political and business landscape. The MindBullets Contributors scan this rapidly changing environment for clues about possible future trends. The results of this synthesis are combined by our contributors into an on-going series of MindBullets: News from the Future - with a summary emailed to you every Thursday and the complete MindBullets data base available online to explore each scenario in more detail. Exciting scenarios of alternative futures based on breakthrough thinking today. A powerful tool to help you learn from the future - a new MindBullet every week!

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Filtered by tag: Consumer Behavior

CYCLING ON A RECYCLED CYCLE

Published on: 4 May 2017

There are 29 million bicycles in Beijing - and that's a problem

Dateline: 29 October 2019

The craze for 'dockless' share bikes in China and elsewhere soon led to a massive problem; piles of discarded bikes all over big cities, clogging up sidewalks and alleyways, malls and stations. The boom in bike manufacture, almost exclusively in China, accelerated, as bicycles essentially became disposable items. With large, automated production runs, producing a standardized bike every 10 seconds, the price per unit plummeted further. Cycle manufacturer Fushida and others together now produce ...

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THE NEW GOLD OF THE 21st CENTURY

Published on: 21 April 2017 1 Comment

Data drives massive profits for the new corporate titans

Dateline: 23 October 2026

It's certainly not oil, it's not even water. The new 'gold' of the 21st century is data. And a range of corporate giants are using it to drive massive profits. Yuval Noah Harari, author of the 2016 book 'Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow', was right on the mark when he wrote: "One of the most important questions in the world is who owns the data of humankind. Maybe the most important asset of the 21st Century is not land, and it's not money, it's really data." At the turn of the century, ...

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THE BATTLE FOR A FREE INTERNET

Published on: 6 April 2017

Citizens vs. governments as the next generation of the internet unfolds

Dateline: 11 March 2020

It's 31 years since Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web; and he is the first to admit that many things have gone wrong since his original dream. Sir Tim envisaged, in his own words, "an open platform that would allow everyone, everywhere to share information, access opportunities, and collaborate across geographic and cultural boundaries." Certainly the internet has achieved that - but increasingly it is a place where trolls attack with crude, vicious posts; where governments and political ...

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GET ME TO THE GATE ON TIME

Published on: 30 March 2017 3 Comments

Self-driving luggage, for the truly 'last yards'

Dateline: 1 April 2019

Anyone who travels regularly on business knows what a schlep it is to drag your roll-aboard cabin bag around with you for what seems like - and probably is - miles and miles of airport concourses. And terminals seem to get bigger every year. Putting wheels on luggage was an innovative idea; one wonders why it took decades before that caught on in a big way. Then it was just a matter of time before someone added a laptop battery and a tiny electric motor, so your smart luggage could follow you ...

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HOORAY FOR THE MACHINES! THEY'VE CREATED MILLIONS OF NEW JOBS

Published on: 17 March 2017 3 Comments

Fears of jobless growth recede as markets demand new human skills

Dateline: 17 June 2023

The prophets of doom have been hard at work for the past decade, telling us that automation, robotics and machine learning are going to destroy jobs and leave millions of people unemployed and destitute. The reality has been somewhat different! Yes, some jobs have been taken over by the machines. But they're the dirty and dangerous jobs that most people did not want to do. Who wants to be a farm labourer or a production-line worker? It also true that many higher-level jobs have changed. AI systems ...

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SMART DOLLS FROM CHINA HACK AMERICAN CONSUMER DATA

Published on: 2 March 2017

FBI issues warning to families to destroy robotic toys

Dateline: 3 March 2019

Why send spies to gather industrial espionage, when your products can do it for you? The artificially intelligent Cutie Pie doll which is such a hit with American children is connected to the internet, so that it can interact with its owners, and answer questions. But it can also ask questions, like "What's your favorite colour?" or "What car does your mommy drive?" Innocent questions, unless they are coming from China, where the dolls are manufactured. Aggregate all the answers to those questions, ...

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NOW THIS IS REAL PEOPLE POWER!

Published on: 2 February 2017

Under-skin solar powers mobile devices and saves lives

Dateline: 26 August 2023

Remember the days when batteries in mobile phones and other device ran flat every day? A major irritation to be sure, but for critical implanted devices like pacemakers, failing battery power was nothing short of life-threatening. That's what prompted the idea that under-skin solar power-packs could drive such medical devices. Researchers in Switzerland proved the theory after extensive testing, showing that even in low-sunlight areas, and regardless of the season. these power cells could generate ...

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SMART NANOBOTS FOR CHRISTMAS

Published on: 22 December 2016

Keeping you healthy - from the inside

Dateline: 21 December 2023

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, an ingestible nanobot called 'Nanoboy', which I found wrapped up under the tree. It used to be that an apple a day kept the doctor away, but now it will be Nanoboy who keeps me out of the GP's office (or off his iPhone screen, if you're a fan of telehealth). This little wonder is so intelligent, it will alert me on my phone if my organs need help or any cells are going mad. Instead of having to go for my annual check-up, I will be pinged the ...

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NOW LIFE REALLY IS A DRESS REHEARSAL

Published on: 27 October 2016

VR lets you truly try, before you buy

Dateline: 26 February 2020

Remember when it used to be good enough, if you offered a high quality product or excellent service? It's become much harder to get to the finish line with the same old tactics. You see, to buy or not to buy, that has always been the question. Except now, it's so much easier to answer. Shopping around has been redefined; the pre-buying experience has turned into a deal-breaker. In this lower growth world, trial by virtual reality has become the norm for the middle class. A score from Booking.com ...

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SAY HI TO DECEPTIVE VEGGIES

Published on: 13 October 2016

Synthetic Biologists say it’s not what it seems

Dateline: 4 February 2022

The sugar taxes did not work, the juice cleanses came and went, and now that obesity rates have broken through the roof, it's time for us to try something different. In 2016 Oxford scientists created oranges that tasted and smelled like grapefruit. They were driven by purely economic reasons back then, as it took about 400,000kg of grapefruits to produce 1kg of grapefruit flavouring for use in other food products such as sweets and drinks. From there the technology improved exponentially as ...

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LET YOUR SHIRT FIX ITSELF

Published on: 29 September 2016

Self-repairing clothing works like magic

Dateline: 26 November 2019

With Millennials lacking basic needlework skills and only thinking of Twitter when you say 'thread' - someone had to come up with a sewing solution that is so easy, even the laziest among us would have no excuse. Researchers at D-IT in Paris have created a detergent that can infiltrate torn or damaged clothing fibers and enable them to re-attach. Just use cold water, a spoonful of Mendy (provisional name) and 25 minutes later your sweater will really be as good as new! Mendy was developed from an ...

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APPLE AIRPHONE REDEFINES ICT

Published on: 22 September 2016 2 Comments

Voice is the new mobile computer interface

Dateline: 21 September 2019

The company that brought us the world's first true smart phone has done it again. A dozen years after the launch of the iPhone, Apple has completely redefined the personal mobile computing device - you know, that thing we used to call a 'phone.' At the height of the smartphone revolution, Apple's iPhone 8 was being outsmarted by Samsung and other Android devices; cheaper, faster and more ubiquitous than Apple, the open platform ruled. But in its inimitable fashion, Apple had "just one more thing" to ...

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POWER TO THE PEOPLE

Published on: 1 September 2016

Chatbot lawyer is helping victims to take back control

Dateline: 4 February 2018

Back in the day, when faced with a bureaucratic 'irritation', such as a parking fine or (wrongful) accusation of some sort, people usually followed three options. The uninformed paid their dues without questioning; the resource-constrained simply kept dodging the authorities; and those with deep pockets took on the fight, because they had the means to prove their point. With legal fees out of reach for the majority of the global population, altruistic programmers have taken matters into their ...

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PLEASE LET ME HELP YOU

Published on: 25 August 2016

My drone knows just how you feel

Dateline: 24 August 2019

Knowing how someone is feeling, or reading the mood of a crowd at a political rally, just got a whole lot easier with SensUbot - a small drone that scans people with a multi-spectral camera. The intelligent agent controlling the drone provides a real-time evaluation of your mood, sentiment towards a situation or proposal, or even your neural state. Are you bored, frustrated, angry, joyful or content? SensUbot can tell. Now there's no excuse for a public speaker to lose the crowd. A surreptitious ...

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BLOCKCHAIN TRADING DISRUPTS CURRENCY EXCHANGES

Published on: 28 July 2016 7 Comments

Say goodbye to forex spreads and broker commission

Dateline: 27 July 2019

The new Blockchain Equitable Spread Trading system or BEST has banks and brokers in a tizzy. They've effectively been disintermediated, which is probably what they deserve, for years of fleecing consumers and investors. Most of us, at one time or another, have had that uncomfortable feeling of chagrin, when faced with a bank or forex dealer's spread of prices. "We buy US dollars at 0.89 euro and sell them at 0.98," might be the typical offering. That's a massive spread profit for simply performing ...

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MOBILITY AS A SERVICE

Published on: 16 June 2016 5 Comments

Private cars banned in New York and London

Dateline: 17 August 2019

Four years ago, it was proposed that gasoline and diesel vehicles be banned from certain cities and states; but the new trend towards mobility as a service has caused a major re-think. It's not enough to insist on electric vehicles; privately owned cars are just so wasteful. Now it's becoming illegal to own your own car. It takes up too much of the city's resources, parking and charging; and the wasted asset, standing idle while you are not travelling - where's the sense in that? Fleet vehicles can ...

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AIRLINES SLUMP AS TRAVELERS CHOOSE THE EASY ROUTE

Published on: 19 May 2016

Taking the hyperloop or a fast bus is so much quicker

Dateline: 3 June 2018

There's a simple problem with air travel these days, which has proved impossible to solve. The more people that fly, the longer it takes; not just the flight, the queues through security, complex boarding procedures; the inevitable delay before push back; and then queuing for a take-off slot! It's becoming increasingly quicker to take an Uber, if it's not too far, or a train or FastBus. California will have soon have the Hyperloop, with pods that dash through a vacuum tube at aircraft speeds. At ...

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VINYL CARS MAKE A COMEBACK

Published on: 28 April 2016 3 Comments

Like vinyl records of old, retro automobiles are suddenly back in fashion

Dateline: 28 April 2029

It's been a while since manually driven, gasoline automobiles gave way to electric vehicles with autopilot. Just as horses and buggies gave way to motor cars, the transition wasn't easy, but it was inevitable. And, just as owning a horse became a costly luxury, an expensive hobby for those who truly enjoyed riding, so owning a car, one that you have to fill up with fuel, and drive yourself, has become an anachronistic occupation for those with time and money to spare. In Europe and the Americas, ...

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WHO IS WATCHING THE WATCHER WATCHERS?

Published on: 21 April 2016 1 Comment

Mass surveillance has come full circle

Dateline: 19 April 2019

We're all connected, and most of our smart devices have cameras and sensors which can detect and analyze peoples' behaviour. What's more, our smart systems can aggregate and dissect everything happening online; mobile, financial, social - you name it. Nothing escapes the attention of the internet of things. In the age of transparency, artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to police the police. To avoid human failures and criminal sabotage of surveillance for society's benefit, we need impartial ...

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UBER HAS BEEN UBERED

Published on: 7 April 2016 4 Comments

And Airbnb, iTunes and Netflix are next

Dateline: 5 April 2018

Uber has been taken out by an unexpected competitor - the crowd. It's ironic really, because Uber was the first company to leverage assets it didn't own and didn't control, yet created an eco-system that provided a platform for viral growth; a truly exponential organization. Now it's been ubered by a crowd-sourced, crowd-funded and crowd-managed system for ride-sharing and joint car ownership. Called Arcade City, it's an Uber-like app-based platform for riders and drivers - but it's owned by the ...

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Filtered by tag: Consumer Behavior