It wasn’t that many years ago that sage parents advised their boundary-pushing offspring to never communicate with strangers on the internet and to never step foot in a vehicle with someone they didn’t know really well.
What was once considered illogical—reckless, even—is now considered a best practice. Look at the likes of Lyft and Uber, and you can see how technology shifted culture, broke down preconceived notions and ushered us into a reality where we now use the internet to do precisely this: summon strangers on the internet to pick us up in their unfamiliar vehicles —and we climb right in.
Something similar is happening at the intersection of physical space and empathetic technology. As our concept of place evolves along with the physical walls that we inhabit, hugely positive changes are possible. I see a grand future where we become more deeply connected with the nuances of our bodies and develop trust in our physical spaces to make adjustments based on our physiological needs. Soon, we will have a personal relationship with our spaces. Sensors will be shifted away from our bodies to create physical places that benefit more than our fitness and enable us to interact—to train, work, focus and recover in them more naturally.