Dec 6, 2017 | By Tess

According to a recently published report by Amazon, Christmas celebrations of the future will be chock-full of high tech advancements, from 3D printed Christmas dinners to AI wish lists. The report, entitled “Christmas of the Future,” was led by futurist William Higham and food trend researcher Dr. Morgaine Gaye and seeks to predict future trends in Christmas gifts and traditions.

While Christmas today may already be vastly different from Christmas a decade ago (compare Ipod Nanos to the Amazon’s Alexa, for instance), Higham and Dr. Gaye believe that Christmas will become even more high tech in years to come, and not just in terms of gifting.

Among the report’s more conservative predictions for upcoming Christmas trends are 3D printed tree decoration and baubles (which we’ve already come across), Christmas-themed LED wallpaper, and personalized wish lists generated using artificial intelligence and social media likes.

On the more extreme end—perhaps closer to the end of the twenty year prediction period—the report suggests we could be seeing 3D printed Christmas food, made into festive shapes; Christmas dinner vegetables being grown directly in the kitchen using advanced hydroponic technology; and haptic clothing which could allow (physically) distant relatives and loved ones to actually feel a long-distance hug.

"For many, an impressive feast is what makes Christmas," said Dr. Gaye. “Soon we will be adding even more of a homemade touch to our Christmas spreads, from using hydroponic technology to help us grow fruit and vegetables in our kitchens, no matter how small, to 3D printing helping us to create stunning edible artworks for dessert.”

(Images: Amazon)

The report also predicts that virtual and augmented reality technologies—and perhaps even holographic imaging—will take on a bigger role around the holiday season as a way for families who cannot be together to assemble virtually. Considering that a Skype session is now a Christmas tradition in my family, this seems fully plausible.

“December is a time of preparation and celebration, and technology will put a festive twist on how we approach Christmas in the future, while making the celebration more convenient and communal,” added Higham. “One innovation we can expect to see used over the festive period is augmented reality in the home. Christmas is a time for family, and advanced technology could allow families who live miles apart to celebrate and interact together.”

While some of the predictions seem a bit more outlandish—the haptic hugging sweater, for example—it does seem as though Christmas traditions will be increasingly impacted by new technologies. As we’ve seen, 3D printing has already opened up the possibilities for creating custom gifts (even edible ones) so we can’t say we’d be surprised to be served a 3D printed Christmas feast somewhere down the line!



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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