Few days ago I discovered the EU study “100 Radical Innovation Breakthroughs for the future” (link here). It is a foresight study that captures the most potentially impactful innovations in the perspective of 2038. The study was released pre-Covid19 (in November 2019), nonetheless I think the content is very relevant even after the 2020 Black Swan.

The innovations covered by the study tackle a very broad range of topics, from automated indoor farming to emotion recognition, plastic-eating bugs and new journalist networks. While reading the report (and pleasing my inner foresight geek) I came up with the idea of brainstorming brief stories for selected innovations that could impact book-related areas – from books and writers to publishing houses and everything in between.

Welcome to the future!

Augmented Reality

Today was an awful day, now it’s time for some reading! Ah, where did I put my Kindle contact lenses? It’s so easy nowadays to fully immerse in reading a book, when using the Kindle contact lenses I choose to not see my devices and only see the book I’m reading. When in need for extra relaxation, I can also add the PET layer so I see my virtual dog sleeping silently next to me …

[Augmented Reality is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, incl. visual, auditory, haptic, olfactory (Wikipedia)]

Computational Creativity

Alexa, please write a book for me. This time I want a book with a strong Agatha Christie flavour, but a bit darker. Add some Donna Tartt twists. Ah, and also some dystopic elements à la Margaret Atwood. Thank you!

[Computational creativity, also known as artificial creativity, aims to model, simulate or replicate creativity using a computer (Wikipedia)]

Life Caching

Publishing a memoir nowadays is piece of cake! If you were diligent in blogging often and you also had at least 2 active social media accounts, the memoir can be automatically created by the ForeverYou publishing house. They have a strong team of ghost writers that will make the final tweaks based on your preferences … and then you publish your book. It’s a walk in the park, isn’t?

[Life Caching means collecting, storing and displaying one’s entire life for private use, or for friends, family, even the entire world to peruse (100 Radical Innovations report)]

Emotion Recognition

Do you remember the times when books had only one version of the story? Nowadays the story can adapt on the spot based on the emotions it identifies on my face. If a certain scene is too violent for me, then the content adjusts itself to shorten it … and also removes the next violent paragraphs! But this system can be easily tricked – you just have to wear a mask 🙂

[Emotion recognition has been traditionally concerned with detecting emotions by applying advanced image processing algorithms to images (or videos) of the human face (100 Radical Innovations report)]

Touchable Holograms

Best experience of my life? The afternoon I had dinner with Margaret Atwood! Of course it was not with the real Margaret Atwood, but her real-life hologram. We had a very interesting conversation about her inspiration sources from the 1950s … It’s unbelievable what was happening back then years ago. After the meal we even hugged, it felt so real! She was an incredible woman, we are so lucky that she agreed to keep her hologram live even after she passed away.

[Holograms display 3D images in a realistic manner without using glasses. Touchable Holograms respond to human touch, using femtosecond lasers (100 Radical Innovations report)]

What do you think about these long-term (speculative) innovations? Would you be interested in trying them out? 🙂

Or maybe you would be more excited about other innovations to be applied to the book industry?


Cover photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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