An interesting thing to think about is how humans will live in the future. Will it be in mega-cities or will we increasingly expand into suburbs like our parents did? One way of analyzing this is by looking at the furniture and devices we use. An increasing trend is the combination of uses into one item such as futon sofas, cell phone cameras, and other innovative objects.
While the trend of suburbanization appears to be dying out as more and more people realize the ease of living and working nearby, it continues to flourish in many areas where the cost of city living is high, but rural land is cheap. Another important factor to suburbanization is the cost of transportation. When moving long distance is easy and cheap, people tend to move around more and settle down where it is most pleasant, both to the wallet and the atmosphere.
Unfortunately the cost of transportation is rising in many areas, especially areas not serviced by mass transportation such as light rail, subways, and busses. Until there is widely available, virtually free energy, transportation will always affect how people live and how products are moved. In today's digital age there are increasing amounts of products that are entirely digital and can be freely moved, purchased and used entirely online which has also allowed people to choose where they live more effectively. Many people work completely from home and don't rely on having a physical office away from home. Twenty years ago this was entirely impossible.
Just like futon sofas combined the couch with the bed, homes are increasingly combining the home and living space with a well planned workspace. Having a long commute to work and then reorienting to a new environment then commuting and reorienting to a home environment has been standard practice for professionals for years, but it is incredibly stressful on both the body and the mind. In these modern work/living spaces dreams are realized and the possibilities are almost limitless.
An idea can quickly be created digitally and then rapidly prototyped (sometimes at home) and rushed into production in a fraction of the time and a trillionth of the cost compared with a traditionally run manufacturing company. These short cuts have allowed countless products such as cell phone cameras and futon sofas to come into homes, pockets and buildings around the world and are sure to inspire an incredible generation of innovative products and inventions both useful and hilarious.