Business Technology

London Technology Week: 12 ambitious digital happenings expected in the next 20 years

5 min read

20 June 2016

Former deputy editor

The pressure on businesses to perform will increase in the coming years, as the launch of London Technology Week has resulted in Brits revealing the digital developments – some of which are rather outlandish – they feel are likely to be in place by the time 2036 rolls around.

Image: Domino’s Pizza Group

It’s barely possible to maintain a stable WiFi connection at certain London Underground stations at present, but that hasn’t stopped British consumers from dreaming big when it comes to tech advancements.

With London Technology Week underway as of 20 June, London & Partners and the Tech Foresight research team at Imperial College London’s surveyed Brits to determine their thoughts on where they see our industries heading.

Feedback found that the area deemed most likely to cause change is fintech, with 68 per cent believing we’ll see tangible money become a thing of the past.

Elsewhere, healthcare is also expected to be overhauled with a virtual reality (VR) upgrade – indeed, this year we already highlighted how Babylon is delivering personal health via mobile.

Other industries on consumer radars, which move into the realm of sci-fi movies, include 3D printing, bodily device embeds and driverless cars. Oh, and drone-based pizza delivery.

Read more on existing digital developments:

Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, said: “London Technology Week shines a light on this hugely important sector of the economy and demonstrates how our city is open to trade, ideas and people from across the globe.

“Tech-savvy Londoners welcome new digital advances that are going to revolutionise the way that we live and it is crucial that we harness those ideas to help the capital work even better as a city. As someone who has helped to run a successful business, I look forward to supporting the tech sector so it goes from strength to strength over the coming years.”

On the next page you can discover the 12 predictions considered the most likely.

Check out the 12 predictions considered most likely:

(1) Physical money will be fully replaced by cashless technologies – 68 per cent

(2) Doctors’ appointments will be routinely conducted via virtual reality – 62 per cent

(3) People will regularly wear clothing connected to the internet – 57 per cent

(4) 3D printing will be used to produce human organs – 53 per cent

(5) There will be more driverless vehicles than ‘regular’ vehicles on major roads – 51 per cent

(6) Drone pizza delivery will be considered normal – 50 per cent

(7) The first cloned human being will have been born – 41 per cent

(8) Communication devices will be commonly embedded inside the human body – 37 per cent

(9) Commercial space flights will take off from major airports – 37 per cent

(10) The first Artificial Intelligence (AI) machine on the board of a major company – 23 per cent

(11) Avatar girlfriends and boyfriends will be commonplace – 19 per cent

(12) Robots will outnumber human beings – 14 per cent

“London’s technologists, scientists, medics and entrepreneurs are creating the future. No city in the world enjoys London’s quotient of talent, technology culture and capital. It is a potent combination,” said David Gann, VP of innovation at Imperial College London.

“Through our Tech Foresight team, Imperial Business Partners is taking some of the world’s finest minds from business and academia to predict how whole industries will transform within two decades. By considering breakthrough discoveries taking place in labs today, they help businesses look ahead to tech-driven trends and markets that will shape our future.”

Additional research from EY highlighted the UK capital as the second-most thriving tech hub, just behind Silicon Valley – home to Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb and so on. Accenture has also found the digital economy accounts for 22.5 per cent of the world economy at present, while it also discovered that tech could boost economic output by $2tn by 2020.

Eileen Burbidge, partner at Passion Capital and Tech City UK chair, added: “The breadth, depth and creativity of our expansive talent pool has helped London to become a world leader in areas such as fintech, e-commerce and cyber security, just to name a few.

“We are already seeing technology disrupting traditional industries, but in years to come we will no longer be talking about the digital tech sector in isolation. Technology and digital will be integrated into every part of the economy.”

London Technology Week will conclude on 26 June, while hundreds of international companies and tens of thousands of visitors are expected across over 300 events.

Meet Britain’s 30 Digital Champions.