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We asked clever men what your life will be like in 125 years

Take a look into the future

We asked clever men what your life will be like in 125 years
16 March 2018

Illustrations by James Jirat Patradoon

Because at some point in our lives we’ve all thought about it haven’t we. What will it be like? Like, actually? It’s time to play… CLEVER MAN, TELL ME THE FUTURE!


Nick Bevan, head of product management at Samsung, on home refrigeration

In 25 years?

“Everyone will have a smart fridge in their kitchen. It’s always been the organisational hub of the family. But, instead of magnets and Post-its, you’ll have an interactive touchscreen where you can binge on your favourite series and watch the football while making dinner.

“It’s already happening. With the Family Hub fridge, you can order food to your door, listen to the radio and screen-mirror from your phone. It won’t be long until you’ll be having full conversations with your fridge, given the pace of change in voice assistance. There’ll be a greater health focus, with live tracking of food going in and out, calorific content and cooking suggestions.

“By 2043, every kitchen appliance will be Wi-Fi-connected. Your oven will ping your tablet to let you know your food is ready and, as your home will know you’re going to the kitchen, your fridge will automatically display what you were watching from the sofa.”

In 125 years? 

“The entire fridge surface will become interactive, maximising the usable space in your kitchen.”

Pop music

John Seabrook, author of The Song Machine: Inside The Hit Factory, on chart hits

In 25 years?

“At what point in the future do machines start to make music? The idea of a technology-based pop song is becoming more and more likely the way they’re made in studios now – instruments are rarely ever seen. Music has gone from a handcrafted process to a mechanical, industrial one.

“But pop music will endure as a human process. It’ll have even more of a hip-hop element. Of all the genres, from turntables to Pro Tools, it’s always been the most technologically adept. The next generation of that technology is the phone – it’ll become the instrument of everything in the studio, from beats to lyrics.

“Pop could be even more avant-garde. But strip away any pop song in 2018 and the production sounds quite weird. Producers know that a novel sound – two instruments that haven’t been combined before – instinctively creates a sonic hook for the listener.

“The industry might be in a healthier position. Potentially, more money can be made in streaming. Back catalogues will be even bigger – you could binge on The Beatles the way you binge on an old series on Netflix.

“As for the artists themselves, there could be a backlash against the pre-packaged, homogenised pop star. People want something more authentic – and again that points to hip-hop. But the singers and rappers of today should still be performing. Drake could be playing when he’s 80.”

In 125 years? 

“The song hasn’t changed much in the past century, but it might be all chorus and no verses by then.”


Stephen Woolley, Oscar-nominated producer on the Hollywood blockbuster

In 25 years?

“There’ll probably be a Harry Potter remake. The new cast of kids would make worldwide news, the excitement would be palpable. It’d be the same movie with more effects, and a longer version J K Rowling would’ve written herself.

“As the cost of property skyrockets, the small cinema on the high street will struggle to survive, so something like that would be shown at Wembley. Dramas will be shown in smaller environments – at pop-up cinemas and film festivals. On the other hand, event movies will explode. Massive arenas would take over blockbusters. The new Thor film would run for six weeks at The O2. You could have a whole summer of Star Wars at a football stadium. There’d be enormous screens displaying special effects on a ridiculous scale. Sound would be engineered to make your hair literally stand on end.

“Blockbusters will get slicker, longer and more sophisticated. It’ll still be franchises – they’ll never die. People always want to see something they’re already familiar with.”

In 125 years? 

“Cinema will be like a trip. You take a pill that connects with the special effects and soundtrack to leave you feeling like you’ve had the best time of your life.”

On Chesil Beach is out 18 May


Sneaker collector Kish Kash on footwear

In 25 years?

“Sneaker culture will be even bigger in 2043. The next generation won’t just have sport and hip-hop as their reference point – they’ll have their parents.

“The driving force will be the technology. Adidas already has the 3D-printed shoe, the Futurecraft 4D. You’ll be able to make your own shoes to your own requirements – but it’ll still be a premium service in 25 years. It’s like a tailored suit – it’s expensive.

“The innovations will be small – like tweaking a Formula 1 car between seasons. Cushioning and super-materials will advance, the fits and colourways will change. There’ll be a myriad of looks and fruity options to pick from. But the classic silhouettes will still be there – look at how the Converse All-Star is still in the mix. Trainers won’t change too much. Look at the past 25 years – the Nike Air Max 95 was super-futuristic then, it still looks it now.”

In 125 years?

“The Romans wore sandals – and they’re still around – so sneakers won’t be going anywhere.”

Premier League football

Premier League football Jonathan Wilson, author of Inverting The Pyramid, on the English top flight

In 25 years?

“Unless a special deal is made for football regarding work permits, Brexit could mean a dearth of foreign players in the Premier League. Potential economic chaos would mean fans will be less prepared to pay for match tickets or TV subscriptions – a whole swathe of cash would be wiped out of the game. Then, there might be a super league between all the best clubs in Europe to guarantee competitive football. Manchester United and Liverpool would join a 16-team league that’d include the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus. It’d be like an American sports league with no promotion or relegation.

“The domestic league would likely continue without them. Post-Brexit, post-super league times would mean a drop in standard, but it might have a positive effect on English football. A lack of cash and foreign players would mean clubs would have to develop young, British players. It’d become more competitive.

“There’ll be even more sponsorship and advertising. TV deals will rise to £10bn max, then shrink thanks to the continual rise of illegal streaming. That’s where the likes of Facebook, Amazon and Netflix might step in and broadcast games. Ticket prices would drop so stadiums stay full.

“On the pitch, it wouldn’t be too dissimilar. Kit design wouldn’t really have moved on – the material has already peaked. Players, will be even more versatile on the pitch, and play would be quicker.

“Tactics go in cycles. By then, it’ll probably follow the Ajax-Barcelona strand of possession and inter-movement you see with Pep Guardiola now – taken on in the dugout by one of his former players.”

In 125 years?

“The game won’t have changed much – it’s barely altered since the original laws in 1863. However, players could have sensors in their boots so offsides are judged automatically.”

Living Room

Simon Caspersen, of future living lab Space10, on your chill space

In 25 years? 

“Digital furniture is on the rise. You send a file containing bespoke designs, then have it downloaded and built for you on demand. More furniture will be made from plastic and recycled material, but it’ll be made to look luxury and marble-like. Materials will increase in price, so furniture could be rented, too.

“The era of being glued to a screen could come to an end. Designers are looking at projections and augmented reality via smart glasses. Although AI assistants are learning our language and will be living alongside us, art will still be part of our lives. There’ll be more greenery in people’s homes to create a better indoor environment, complementing a green energy where everything will be powered by renewable energy.

In 125 years? 

“We could be living in a simulation where you could curate the physical environment around you. Or we could be extinct. One possibility is as likely as another.”


Simon Wainwright, director of insight at the Institute Of Grocery Distribution, on the supermarket

In 25 years? 

“The Sunday afternoon supermarket trip will evolve. You’ll order fresh sushi from the counter, Skype your mum from the workstation, then go to a tasting at the in-store restaurant – all on one trip. Large supermarkets have the space to add entertainment areas and experiential spaces – they’ll want to entice you to stay longer.

“When you walk in, more fresh products will be on display, but it’ll be minimalist. There’ll be touchscreens for orders and electronic labelling that can change automatically. Robotics will fill shelves and check prices – meaning more time is freed up for staff to engage with shoppers.”

In 125 years? 

“The supermarket will exist in a physical form as people will always want an emotional connection to the food they’re buying.”


Professor Marcos Sforza, scientific director of MyAesthetics, on male cosmetics

In 25 years? 

“There’ll be a huge increase in male patients looking for external enhancements, making it appear like they’ve been working out – silicone implants to boost the biceps and pecs. Biosensors could also be inserted, meaning patients can check their vitals like body temperature and heart rate on their phone.

“Technology will advance so patients could utilise 3D printing. Instead of knee implants, you’ll have a procedure that’s more like bionics to give you greater speed and strength.

“Stem-cell transplants will mean men won’t go bald. It’d be a minor surgical procedure once a year, like going to the dentist. By 2043, we’ll be close to discovering treatments that stop the ageing process altogether.”

In 125 years? 

“You’ll be able to transfer your consciousness to the body of your desired age – so you’ll look like that forever.”


John Parkin, transport engineering professor at UWE Bristol, on the commute

In 25 years? 

“The advent of autonomous motor vehicles will mean the division between the car, taxi and bus will disappear. You’ll be able to book a driverless vehicle from an app and have it pick you up from the office. It might have a truck chassis with a bus body on it, carrying a dozen people.

“But it’s a fractured future. There’ll be a backlash against autonomy. People won’t want their lives dominated by being carted around in a metal box. Equally, if autonomous vehicles become more efficient, mass public transport will increase. The roads will be less congested, meaning it’ll be safer to cycle and walk to work. Inter-urban travel could also increase – travelling from Leeds to London daily like it’s one of its regions.”

In 125 years? 

“Will there even be a commute? More digitisation might mean we no longer need a consistent mass movement of people.”