Last updated: 17 July 2017
Back in 1925, illustrators at Popular Science Monthly put together this graphic predicting what city life would be like in a quarter of a century’s time. While the future-gazers got some things right (underground electric trains and car parks), other predictions, such as mile-high skyscrapers topped with landing areas for blimps, proved a little far-fetched.
At the time of its creation, technological change was accelerating rapidly, and innovations such as the motor car captured the public’s imagination and promised to transform the lives of city-dwellers across the world. Today, we believe we are on the cusp of a similarly revolutionary period of innovation, with machine-to-machine (M2M) technology set to transform how our cities function. This got us thinking about how different urban life may look in just a few years’ time.
Inspired by the 1925 original, we’ve put together our own vision of how M2M will change urban life for the better by 2025, which you can take a look at below. Driverless electric cars, keyless front doors and photovoltaic panels feeding into a city-wide smart grid are all pipe dreams today, but could be a reality in twelve years’ time.
What is amazing about all of this technology is that it is just around the corner. It really is only a short matter of time before smart metering and home appliances make our cities more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective, or before advanced human-machine interfaces make keyboards redundant.
Perhaps the most attractive possibility of all of this is the way in which technology could enable greater communication among neighbourhoods and larger urban communities. eGovernment services and social networks, working in tandem with an M2M-powered infrastructure, have the potential to bring communities together and re-connect people with the urban areas they inhabit.
What do you see in the city of the future? Share your thoughts with us below.