Forget your plans for 2015. A wise person would plan farther out than a year. But what is it going to be like in 20 years? If only there was some way to ask.
A new site called Future Self lets you. And the person you’re asking is a creepy, older version of yourself. Using a complicated combination of motion capture software, speech recognition, and 3-D rendering, the site creates a semi-realistic simulation of what you might look like in 2034, and then lets you ask questions about the future.
The site was created as an ad campaign for Orange, a European telecom company (this explains why it seems like you’ll have a British accent in the future) to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
“We wanted to do something fun, and digital, and not focused on the past,” says Anne Imbert, from Orange’s global brand team. “Our creative agency came back to us with this idea to project yourself into the future and predict what the future would be in 20 years.”
The project pushes the boundaries of what’s possible for real-time simulation. “No pun intended, but it really is a project that’s a bit ahead of its time,” says Adrian Belina, partner and creative director at Jam3, the digital agency that built the site. “Basically you’re rendering things live, as opposed to a computer game.”
As you chat with your future self, some of the answers you’ll get are just meant to entertain—I was told I’d end up living in a treehouse with 10 kids—but others are based on things that are likely to actually happen. Ask whether you’ll have a flying car, and you’ll be told about self-driving cars instead.
“It’s not crazy innovation—this is not yourself traveling in space and discovering the moon—it’s really focusing on potential innovation and on what the future could be,” says Imbert.
Perhaps it’s a little overly optimistic: My future self told me that we’ll have completely solved the problem of climate change by 2034. Hope I’m going to be right about that.