With technology continually advancing, various aspects of our lives are evolving all the time. We wondered how these technological advancements might change something as traditional as Christmas.
We partnered with Dr Ian Pearson to imagine what Christmas could look like in 2050, focusing on whether our Christmas meals, celebrations, decorations and more would be anything close to what we know it to be, in 30 years’ time.
The family feast itself is one of the most anticipated events over Christmas and is a tradition that has been around since the 16th century. This festively joyous time allows loved ones to gather around and celebrate, which is reason enough for us to believe that we will still be having Christmas meals in 2050. However, our discussion with Dr Pearson suggests that we might find the meal itself will change.
With people becoming more and more conscious about the environmental impacts of eating meat, we will find alternatives to our traditional meat dishes. The turkey crown, for example, may not be popular by 2050. Instead, we will have the option to have cultured meats. These are lab grown animal cells which could eliminate the need to raise and slaughter animals.
Besides the food, drinks will also see their own evolution - becoming more interactive and entertaining. We will have augmented reality (AR) glasses (or contacts) that will allow us to enjoy the visual and audio effects from everyone’s cocktails and drinks. There is no limit to what these AR effects can display, from fireworks to our favourite TV characters taking a swim in our drinks.
The changes won’t be limited to our Christmas meals; elements of the preparation of traditional dishes will also see changes. Many people think of cooking Christmas meals as being extremely stressful, as we can spend up to a day or more perfecting the meal for the family. Thankfully as technology improves, we may be able to enjoy the process of cooking Christmas dinner more.
Our kitchens and the way we interact with them will undergo drastic changes in the next 30 years. Rather than reading from a recipe book, we will utilise AR glasses and have a virtual chef demonstrate how to prepare the meal in real time. We can most definitely expect a smart kitchen rather than a conventional kitchen in 2050. This means cooking with the assistance of handy robotics and smart appliances, which will not only automate a lot of the time consuming and annoying tasks, but also increase precision and speed. This will cut the cooking time down to just two to three hours. By 2050, 3D food printing technology will also be available, allowing us to decorate our cakes as we wish in any shape or form.
We treasure our time putting up the Christmas tree and decor as well as opening gifts as it is a heart-warming time for families to create memories.
Putting up live trees plays a big part in our Christmas celebrations, unfortunately this tradition is costly for the environment. According to the Telegraph, 7 million Christmas trees enter landfill each year, producing 100,000 tons of greenhouse gases when they rot. In the future, we can expect AR Christmas trees in order to further reduce our contribution to climate change.
Although concerns have been expressed over excessive Christmas decor and gifts, we believe that in 2050 the choice will not only still be available for those who want it, but these experiences will be greatly improved with technology. AR will play a big part in making our Christmas trees, lights and even crackers more enchanting. Additionally, Dr Pearson believes that all things digital can and will be powered by renewable energy generated from technologies such as tidal power by 2050.
The opening of gifts can also be enhanced with all sorts of AR effects, providing unique experiences for children and adults alike. By 2050, we can also expect that these gifts will be delivered by drones, making Christmas shopping more efficient and convenient.
By 2050, it is also very likely that we will be celebrating Christmas with more virtual guests in the home. Some families today are not able to celebrate Christmas altogether due to substantial geographical distances. However, by 2050, we will have the technology to allow family members to join in on the festive celebrations using AR. Unlike video calls, these AR visuals will be highly realistic allowing your family members to interact with one another as if they were physically in the room and you may even challenge them to a game of chess.
From these predictions, we can see that the fundamental elements of Christmas’ traditions will be kept in the future. However, by 2050, we can also expect to see technology playing an even bigger part in this festive period. Let us know what you would like to see or what you think about #ChristmasIn2050 by tagging us on Facebook or on Twitter @ViessmannUK.