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FutureScapes: The Role Of Technology In The Warming World Of 2025

There will still be computers in 2025, but what will they be like, especially in a world where we’re short on power and minerals? Here are some scenarios about how our tech development might be shaped by global factors in the next two decades.

Think you’ll still be puttering away on your laptop, tablet, and smartphone a decade from now? Sony teamed up with the U.K.'s Forum for the Future to imagine what our technological lives will look like in 2025—a topic that is, of course, near and dear to Sony’s corporate heart. The more they can plan for tech in 2025, the more money they can make.

The FutureScapes project offers up four scenarios PDF) of what the future will look like and how we will get there:

Hyper Innovation

In this scenario, our current "innovation treadmill" continues churning out new and better gadgets. Technology will become increasingly important in our lives. Carbon emissions are declining thanks to continued technological advances, but there are still concerns about ecosystem disturbances—and not every resource required to feed our hunger for technology can be sustained.

Centralized Survival

Harsh ramifications from climate change (crop failures, droughts, hurricanes, etc.) have pushed technologies to become more efficient practically overnight. Think: solar paint, individual carbon trading, and even better e-ink displays.

Shared Ownership

In this scenario, the sharing economy has taken off on a global scale. People lease almost anything you can think of—cell phones, big-screen TVs, wardrobes, and most other expensive items. It’s the result of an economy where carbon credits dictate lifestyle. All those carsharing services that are just launching today? They’re huge.

Even with video, it’s hard to fully understand what these futures might be like without taking into account other factors and how they’ll change in the future. For more scenarios, check out our posts on the future of food and energy.

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