AI assisted wish lists, LED wallpaper and 3D-printed Christmas dinners are just some of the futuristic trends predicted to become a reality in the Christmas of the Future report informed by two leading independent futurists; founder of Next Big Thing, William Higham, and Director of bellwether: Food Trends – the first food trend research compendium – Dr Morgaine Gaye.
Commissioned by Amazon, the independent report comes as Amazon adds a range of new products to its Shop the Future Store in time for Christmas – including the Furbo two-way ‘treat tossing’ dog camera.
The Christmas of the Future report looks at how festive traditions will evolve over the next 15-20 years, including the innovations in food and drink, decorations, entertainment and gifting set to become mainstream in the not-too-distant future.
“December is a time of preparation and celebration, and technology will put a festive twist on how we approach Christmas in the future, while making the celebration more convenient and communal,” said Higham.
“One innovation we can expect to see used over the festive period is augmented reality in the home. Christmas is a time for family, and advanced technology could allow families who live miles apart to celebrate and interact together.”
“The introduction of haptic clothing, which recreates the sense of touch through vibrations or motions, will allow us to feel closer to overseas relatives by giving them a ‘haptic hug’ on Christmas morning,” continues Higham, “and holographic imaging will be a way to project 3D versions of our friends and family into our living rooms so they can get ‘virtually’ involved in the festivities.”
Food futurologist, Dr Morgaine Gaye, said: “For many, an impressive feast is what makes Christmas. Soon we will be adding even more of a homemade touch to our Christmas spreads, from using hydroponic technology to help us grow fruit and vegetables in our kitchens, no matter how small, to 3D printing helping us to create stunning edible artworks for dessert.”
Key consumer product predictions from the report include:
Food and Drink
As we continue to take inspiration from our daily newsfeeds and embrace experimentation, our Christmas lunch will be influenced by food trends and traditions from afar. Sweet spiced milk and buttery bread from India’s Holi Festival, Poland’s 12-dish Christmas lunch and a Scandinavian festive buffet are just some of the foods predicted to feature in our Christmas of the future.
We’ll also find innovative Christmas food closer to home. The development of hydroponic technology means you’ll be able to grow the vegetables to go with your Christmas dinner in your own kitchen, while 3D printers will be the perfect tool to create a feast that’s as pleasing to the eye as it is to your taste buds. Higham imagines a festive spread packed with Christmas tree-shaped turkey-flavoured soya pieces or Noddy Holder-shaped Christmas biscuits.
Gone will be the days of hiding our disappointment when opening that third pair of socks, as Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) will help us curate Christmas wish lists based on our online profile’s likes, dislikes and must-haves from across the year.
The Christmas of the Future isn’t just about family. It’s about ‘framily’. Friends, relatives, neighbours, colleagues and pets, all in one close-knit group. And the bigger those ‘framilies’ become, the more people we’ll be buying gifts for.
Higham predicts we may even buy presents for our AI Assistants: “They may not be human but they’ve helped us out all year. Maybe we’ll get them a new case or more memory?”
Home-grown garlands and wreaths using hydroponics, 3D-printed baubles and virtual Christmas scenes projected on to LED wallpaper – the way we deck out our homes is set to get a futuristic makeover. In waving goodbye to tangled tinsel from the loft and welcoming sophisticated digital decorations, which can create more personalised displays according to our tastes each year without having to repurchase a whole new look, saving time, space and money while still impressing the neighbours.
In amongst the future-gazing, the futurists predict that some traditions will never change. And while technology will continue to help bring loved ones closer together, board games are as popular as ever, with games and puzzles the fastest growing toy category in 2016.*
“Amazon is delighted to support the exciting technologies produced by some of the most innovative start-ups from around the world. Hydroponic kits, 3D printers and VR headsets are just some of the advanced products already included at Amazon’s Shop the Future Store, so that customers can discover the benefit of these exciting innovations right now first-hand,” said Alvaro Castillo, Head of Deals and Events, Amazon.co.uk.
For Christmas gift inspiration visit Amazon.co.uk/Christmasst