The Future of Toilets

In the USA the courts have decided that transgender folk can use the toilet for the gender they identify with. To save me from discussing whether we need some kind of ID card that states our gender identity, we can just take it to the next logical step – wouldn’t that discriminate against those who are gender fluid or non-binary?

If gender fluid folk can therefore use any toilet they choose, then people with ill intent can just wander into toilet they want, and claim to be gender fluid. That’s where we will end up.

Aside from different functional needs (tampon disposal, urinals), and potential embarrassments, there’s another strong reason why most toilets are segregated. Many women do not feel safe going into a private area where strange men might be. Possibly most women.

So here’s my prediction. Rather than a toilet entrance that leads to booths, all booths will be directly accessible. Each booth will have its own internal hand basin and mirror, so they’ll be a bit bigger. A separate urinal room will be for people with penises only. It’ll be more like portaloos at an outdoor festival, and less like the office toilets we know today.

Mystery Bot

Dear Elon Musk,

I have 50 ideas each day, just like you. Mostly mine never get done. So I’m gifting this one to you.

A little robot, like a robotic vacuum cleaner, that wanders around your house. And that’s it. People who buy it don’t know its purpose. That purpose will be revealed one day. Until then, it is a mystery.

People will go crazy not knowing why it exists. People will refuse to own one because of what it might see or hear. Which means everyone else will own one because they have nothing to hide.

It will be the most viral, perverse thing ever.

Oh, and to activate it, you need to give it access to your Facebook 😉


2028: Some Predictions

prophecy-alert-largeAUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

They will be be real, and amazing, but their reach will be limited. Downtowns of cities and dedicated lanes of highways will be their primary space. Outside of that, a driver must be in driving mode, no matter the level of autonomy being used.

People (well, men) love their cars and love the power they have, so to some degree driving will continue. AI will never be smart enough (before 2028) to make cars 100% autonomous, and the accidents that do occur will have exaggerated media attention. Governments always err on the side of caution in case they get something wrong.


Governments are losing power. Corporations are having more income and influence. Governments will legislate against anything that undermines their authority. Any connection between official finance and crypto currency will be outlawed. Cryptos will still exist, but in the black market. Official physical currency will be gone by 2028.

A major crypto-currency will arise from illegal gambling sites. It will have legitimate uses, but also used for gambling. It will be tied to the profits of the gambling sites themselves. So it would appear to be a co-operative where you get to be the gambler and banker at the same time. But the overlords will take their percentage and still be the ultimate winners…


Flying cars will be an odd thing that never takes off.

Flying drones and wheeled robots will be everywhere, making 90% of deliveries. Governments will control the tracking and infrastructure, and taxes will be paid. There will be many providers using the same backbone.


There will only be 3 types of stores left:

  1. Flagship, like Apple has – your order will arrive in a day or two
  2. Full service, where you get pampered and don’t mind paying a premium – take the goods home with you
  3. No brand. Cheap, un-branded stuff


Will die like 3D TV did. The minor advantage of your aircon turning on 10 minutes before you get home will be offset with a hatred of machines taking your choices away in your home, in an age where they are doing it everywhere else.


Democratic countries will ban autonomous weapons, but their enemies will allow them. Ultimately every country will have them. Humans in exoskeletons will prove to be better fighters, and brave humans will become heroes.


Monkeys have been successfully cloned in China. Humans will be cloned, somewhere, somehow.


Radical vegans will be one of the new terrorists. Lab-grown meat will become affordable and farming animals for their flesh will disappear rapidly – helping the fight against global warming (cows fart a lot)


Most not really democratic counties (Africa mostly) will end up being democratic due to economic pressures from China spreading its wings. Whenever a country is about to collapse due to obvious bribery (from China), China will step in and support democracy to save their investments.


Wage growth will still be minimal, while corporations make more profit, and the 1% become richer. The reason – robots and AI are cheaper than people, the value of human employees will decrease. Our relative worth will keep decreasing, but of course we will still be needed as consumers. The 1% will test how far they can push things, and somewhere they will go too far…


At least one western country will see a revolt against and demotion of the 1%. Other “democracies” will react by restricting the rights of citizens.


Facebook will be replaced by a non-profit that provides the same benefits for a minor fee. This will be the first of a wave of public reactions to losing their anonymity. and privacy.


A portal where you can watch anything ever produced for a small fee will exist. Think Spotify for video. Meanwhile Spotify will offer mainstream and “discovery” subscriptions, where mainstream is cheaper.


World leaders will have social occasions – no policies officially discussed – where alcohol and perhaps drugs will be consumed. The first time it happens, public opinion will spur others to do the same to remain popular. Nobody else is predicting this 🙂


There are 5 main reasons for people dying of old age. One of these will be solved by 2028, increasing the longevity of the very elderly by at least 5 years.


We will send people to Mars. They will die. We won’t go back for decades.


The glorification in the media will dissipate over the next decade, as advances slow. All the obvious areas will be perfected – so Siri and Alexa will have so much data they will learn to respond how we expect them to. By 2028, true intelligence will have begun, but it will be private and secret. No public displays of abilities. The catalyst for change will be autonomous robots who ask questions in a 3D environment, just how young humans learn.


After decades of becoming too similar, left and right will become more divergent. Far more. Think Bernie Sanders vs Donald Trump, drugs vs no drugs, abortion vs rights. Regional differences will also become more apparent. In the USA, the Bible Belt and the coasts will become so radically different that secession will become a potential reality. The same pattern will occur throughout the west. Expect a trend towards city states, with regional areas aligning with whoever they want that is nearby.


There will be another one before 2018. It won’t be due to broad financial issues. It will affect some areas and sectors more than others. In the USA it could be from:

  • teacher strikes
  • political interference from billionaires and the Big 5
  • race riots and subsequent backlashes
  • robots / job automation

Basically when any grown-ups are naughty, their pocket money will be withheld. Ultimately the 1% will fight growing dissent with economic force.

For the first time since the Great Depression, people will turn to self-sufficiency en masse.


An 18-25 political movement will emerge. To date they have been the most under-represented demographic in politics. Social media and lower employment prospects will stimulate a major movement, and it will of course have a charismatic leader. Given their numbers, they will potentially get a balance of power, as the Greens sometimes do in some countries.


As marijuana becomes legalised globally, the next steps will be two-fold:

  1. Continued prohibition of drugs of damaging dependance like heroin and ice/meth
  2. Acceptance of nob-addictive psychedelics and mood enhancers like LSD and Ecstasy

Micro-dosing will take off. Drug experience centres (with close supervision) will become reality, and a new religion will emerge from those taking DMT.


Economically, to maintain “growth”, first world countries will continue to accept migrants and refugees. But their potential for citizenship will be much less. I expect that special visas will be used, and immigrants will be effectively on probation for many years, or always be a special class, like non-voting shares in NewsCorp.


Fake media will be solved, to a degree. Legitimate news organisations will band together to present a unified front of real news. Governments will provide their own real news. And there will be an un-regulated mess containing everyone else and capturing the attention of the majority of people.

In Australia we have the educated, sane people watching ABC news (government, but independent), and 80% watching commercial news programs with their abundant problems. This will continue, but the real news will become more authoritative, and the rest will be for sale more.


The USA’s love of nostalgia and tradition will become problem, in the Bible Belt. There will be a war between progress (the Big 5 tech corporations) and tradition (the Bible Belt). The USA will be seen as a fractured country, and the economy will suffer the most in the next recession – it could be an America-only recession.

It has been predicted for decades, but with the recession, the USD will stop being the default global currency. American dollars will return home, China pulling the strings, and other currencies will take its place. It won’t be one currency. It will be the Euro and Yuan. They will collude to maintain a stable exchange rate between the two.

In the USA, militia will take on a stronger presence and role. In a natural disaster or civil disturbance, non-government forces will provide the best response, and gain more trust from the public.

Conformity will dissipate as TV and Movies spend less time glamorising middle-America, because such entertainment is becoming more sophisticated and radical.

Fashion will be dictated from overseas more than ever.


Leading up to 2028, Asia and North America will suffer more and more natural disasters, directly caused by climate change. Economies will be affected, and insurance companies will become more conservative.

But before 2028, things will change. The next mini Ice Age will begin. The northern-most of the northern hemisphere will suffer terribly.


Nothing will change.


Terrorism will fade away for a while (except for vegans). It never lasts. After the USA leaves, many middle eastern countries will start to prosper.

Saudi Arabia will be bankrupt by 2028 and their sponsoring of radical Islam will end.


AirBNB+ with Experiences


AirBNB is primarily a room rental service, and it is slowly trending towards being just like every other accommodation service – bland, repetitive, same-priced, unexceptional.

What if you could

  • wear the host’s clothes
  • use a kitchen that is fully stocked
  • get tips about the best local bars and restaurants (with discount vouchers)
  • even rent their friendship (or one of their actual friends)

Basically you become them for a short while. A truly unique experience.

Example… my family live in Huntly, NZ. It’s quite an ordinary, small town. I would venture it would be totally unenjoyable without any guidance. But with guidance, you could get a very real experience of small town NZ life… your guide booklet suggests:

  • buying a 12 pack of DB Draught from the local New World
  • getting fish and chips from the Chinese takeaway
  • the best local TV shows to watch
  • buy veggies from a roadside stall, and meat from the butcher, and use the included BBQ and marinades to cook a great dinner
  • getting a Lotto ticket
  • the pool comp at the pub
  • a bush hike
  • a drive to Raglan, hippie surfie town

And, and, and, if there is a party happening, the hosts can earn points for letting you hang out. This would obviously be the hardest part to make happen…

Regardless, beats staying at a hotel and eating at the hotel restaurant.

The target audience is the people who pay $500/night to stay in a yurt. They will pay for an authentic experience that represents where they are through a locals eyes, and is a unique experience that nobody else can replicate.

Call it…. XP


Robot Theft Will Be a Big Problem

Robots and autonomous vehicles won’t be allowed to arm themselves. Which makes them easy pickings for thieves and and anyone who just hates robots (perhaps they lost their job to one).

An autonomous car is easy to stop – you just step out in front of it. What about a truck? Lots of valuable cargo might be in it.

To thwart the bad guys we will need:

  • Vehicles and robots that are very difficult to break into
  • Cameras that are monitored in real time
  • More surveillance cameras in general
  • Networking of robots and vehicles

There’s no point having video of someone stealing a robot, if they are wearing a mask. You need surveillance cameras that pick up where they arrived from and when they put the mask on. And if all the cameras are networked, AI can spot bad guys before they actually commit the crime.

And so the debate will begin – is increased surveillance a fair price to pay to protect out robots?

How Banks Could Distribute Cryptocurrencies

For any digital currency to take off it needs to come from a business people trust, and it needs to be widely distributed, and perhaps it needs to be forced onto people.

While governments will ultimately be the only winners in this space – because they can legislate against anyone else and they can’t lose control of currencies, banks could make a play. Banks obviously have the technology and infrastructure, and people already use their products to make payments.

Distribution can be easy and fair – by attaching it to either interest paid or received by customers. One BankCoin for every $100 in interest.

All the bank needs to do is make the BankCoin redeemable in enough places for people to benefit from it. Perhaps public transport, convenience stores and major online shopping destinations.

It could be seen as something similar to a loyalty card, that in effect gives a 1% discount – for example FlyBuys in Australia. The average mortgage repayment in Australia is around $2000, so that would be $20 per month in BankCoin. You’d want it to be around $100 per month to be widely adopted, so that is a 5% discount. Perhaps too much?

But what benefit do the banks receive for giving away 5% of their profits?

Micropayments. They are a product that will definitely happen one day, will work best if provided by a bank, and are only really achievable with a digital currency.

Once there is enough BankCoin out there, banks can stop issuing it, and just reap the benefits.

Oh, and all the banks in one country could work together on this…

Dark Kitchens+

(I had this idea before I heard of dark kitchens – it is the same idea, but modular, like a prefab school building)

Future: more food deliveries to homes, less eating within inexpensive restaurants.

Problem: certain products, like burgers, don’t travel well and don’t easily stay hot
Solution #1: use industrial premises that are near residential. Lower cost buildings because they are purely cooking and delivery. No seats, no toilets, no public parking.
Solution #2: create self-contained kitchens that can fit in a garage. They use portable gas and the only external connections required water and exhaust.
Result: food created affordably, sold at eat-in prices, delivered quickly.
Possible issues: parking for deliveries and deliverers. Waste.
Advantages: a kitchen-in-a-box can be mass-produced to the standards of a major fast food player, and deployed (or redeployed) in days. Can also be used for food-truck scenarios.

Alexa Will Win

Alexa will win the smart assistant war because of first mover advantage.

eBay won the online auction war because it got susbtantial traction first. Why go to any other auction site if eBay has substantially more items for sale?

Alexa will kinda win in the same way. Because it has the most users, Alexa has more data, which means the machine learning will be learning more, and quicker.

People will notice that Alexa is more natural and understanding than the competing devices, and gravitate towards it. There will certainly be smart assistant envy.

That is only half the story, because interoperability is also important. If you use Google Calendar, then using Google’s device makes sense. If you use Skype, then Cortana could be your choice.

So far Alexa is doing well – it can access calendars from its competitors. And Alexa can directly call mobiles and landline numbers in North America, as well as Alexa-to-Alexa calls.

As long as Alexa provides the features and interoperability that people want, Amazon will be unstoppable. They will become the new Android. And perhaps the new Google.

Posted in AI

Security Watch


We can do a lot on our phones these days, that saves us carrying other things around (like an iPod or a camera). The latest is the ability to pay with your phone, no more carrying a wallet…

And the Apple watch is now shifting those functions to your wrist.

So, in the near future, when I leave my apartment, go for a run, get a drink, pop into the gym… I still need to carry things.

  • Loyalty cards
  • Keys for my apartment
  • Key fob to get into the apartment building
  • Key fob to get into the gym

I rent, so changing the lock of my apartment isn’t easily achieved, and I still need a fob to get into the building.

My car has keys, but if it had a fob, well that’s another fob.

I think there is an opening for this last mile to be completed. Forget home-automation, and move into the territory of your phone/watch unlocking things. Actually, phones get lost/stolen.

Introducing the Security Watch

Either as a standalone or part of a smart watch. But when part of a smart watch, it has a separate battery for the security features, so a flat watch battery from too much chatting won’t keep you from getting inside your home.

Has to be standardised. Ideally a thrid party designs this, because Apple/Samsung/Amazon/Google will want to use their own proprietary systems.

Works universally. Allows access and entry to your car, home, workplace, gym. Used for loyalty cards. Used for VIP access to a club. Anywhere that one way ID is needed (so not purchases).

Kids can wear them.

Waterproof and shockproof, obviously.

As a standalone device it needs to last one month on a charge. As part of a smartphone, it recharges when you charge the phone.

Here’s a key concept. There is always a physical version of the key/card/fob you are replacing. And that key/card/fob is what you use to get permissions for your Security Watch.

1. Push the connect buttons on your Security Watch and key/card/fob at the same time to connect them
2. The key/card/fob sends a message to the manufacturer to check if more users are available (so a house might get a 10 user limit, a car 5, a gym pass one), and registers them.
3. The user verifies their ID on the Security Watch by PIN and biometrics.
4. If 2 & 3 are successful, all is set up.

So your entry card for work gets activated on your Security Watch, but you keep that card somewhere safe at home, in case you ever need it.

(And keep, a spare house key with a friend…)

AI Will Learn From Kids


P#rn has been responsible for pioneering a lot of online technology, which would surprise many people. Similarly, AI and smart assistants are going to (surprisingly) grow from their interactions with children.

Adults will use smart assistants like Alexa to replace activities they already do anyway, like finding out cinema times. Children being born now will grow up with Alexa, and consider Alexa to be:

capable of anything

a friend

Children being born now will consider Alexa (or one of the others) to be their friend and constant companion. Children won’t cope well without their friend nearby.

Children will play with Alexa. They will draw together on a tablet. They will sing together. They will make up stories together. They will share secrets.

AI will learn massively from children, because they will learn and discover together…

Posted in AI