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Envisioning a spectacular future with Microsoft.

When I think of the future my mind instantly jumps to a very sci-fi view of the world with flying cars and robotic dogs. Popular movies and tv shows certainly like to weigh in on this topic (Guardians of the Galaxy, below). But if I think about it more seriously, it gets a little greyed out, creating these vignettes of possibility. Some are positive and show a world where we have overcome our differences and learned to live a more sustained and harmonious life together. Another is a little darker, considering what will happen if we don’t get several major issues figured out or stop ignoring natural crisis that could effectively end civilization as we recognize it. Then there is that zombie apocalypse version, but no one wants to entertain that idea for very long…haha

Artwork by Oliver Pron

Somewhere in the middle is probably closer to reality. But that vignette still needs guidance, a view point, a creative and innovative spirit to make its prophecy come true. Having spent several years in Seattle now, I have had some very interesting conversations with people and been closer to technological, scientific, and cultural advances than I have in my entire life. It’s exhilarating, if you don’t take it for granted.

Luckily, I don’t. Last week I had the pleasure of getting to sit down and talk with two designers from the Microsoft Productivity Envisioning team who’s job it is to envision life 10-15 years in the future (Consider the technological advances in just the last three years!). Alanna MacGowan is a Designer and Thomas Ham is an Experience Designer and they are a riot! Cracking jokes, doing impressions, and poking fun at each other as only a truly harmonious team can be. It was nice to interact with a kick-ass design team that was humble, human, and capable of any herculean task put before them.

One might think that envisioning the future needs to be people in lab coats with stern faces. Not at Microsoft. They take their responsibility seriously, but they understand that to see the future, you can’t strangle it. The Envisioning Team believes that the future will be centered around people and the technology that supports them in their lives. Want to see what that bright future might look like? Watch their vision video below!

This video is exceptional all on its own, but to be able to watch it with a running commentary by the people who created all of it and their thoughts behind their decisions? I am one lucky person. What is even more fascinating is that they were very aware that they did not want to produce a science fiction video. So much of the technology you see presented is truly going to be a possibility in 10-15 years. That is AMAZING!

The future just got a little more interesting to think about. To see the full Microsoft Envisioning website (and I suggest you take a look!) CLICK HERE.

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