a look at the year reminds you of all the things you were awakened to in the last 12 months. it’s time to make peace with google for removing the egg from its salad emoji; maybe virtual reality for cats finally makes sense; perhaps you’re even ready to give in and check apple’s screen time feature, proving that you spent the majority of 2018 on instagram?


as the digital world and your understanding of it expands, there is an opportunity to revitalize yourself which means its time to get physical! forget loving yourself as a memoji and start a new exercise program, a new diet, or better yet, a digital detox? you reach for it as soon as you wake, and scroll through it before you go to bed. your relationship with smart devices is growing increasingly obsessive and research is proving time and time again how overuse of technology is badly impacting your health.

designboom TECH predictions 2019: digital detox and get physical

minima is a tiny phone concept offering an alternative to big screens that interfere with our ability to live healthy lives
image courtesy of pierrick romeuf 



baring that in mind, 2019 signals new beginnings and a return to ‘you’. a moment of reflection offers a necessary review on how designers can better integrate technology in the physical world. as homes become smarter and technologies are more integrated into your life the focus is set on the boundaries you secure in your personal space. we saw this in 2018 with the paring down of tech across smart cars, the rise of the stripped-down secondary mobile phone, and the introduction of products like mui, a digital wooden panel concealing the look and feel of digital technology in favour of supporting the well-being of families in their homes.

designboom TECH predictions 2019: digital detox and get physical

homeowners prefer their tech paired down like mui, a wooden panel for peaceful digital living
image courtesy of mui



anything to do with naturally renewing the body is perfect at this time but it wont be easy. in spite of efforts to refresh and renew, technology continues to mutate our experience of the physical. just look at the progression of robotic limbs. from remote controlled arms to chest-mounted grabbers that feed your dinner guests, 2019 could see the end of the human body as we know it. there might not be any use for our bodies at all! whilst samsung develops software to control your TV with the mind, engineers are working on virtual reality headsets that function as extensions of the user’s brain. just this month boston-based startup neurable announced a partnership with VRgineers to bring headbands to market that use a set of electrodes to measure the user’s EEG (electroencephalography) signals – or brainwaves in layman’s terms.

designboom TECH predictions 2019: digital detox and get physical

how will we dine in the future? with the help of robotic limbs like arm-a-dine
image courtesy of RMIT university



there is a saying that goes ‘every cloud has a silver lining’, and another that talks of ‘mind over matter’ – both will be relevant next year. alongside criticisms of a world dominated by the digital, the benefits of objects that exist only online will gain traction. some are hailing it as the second digital revolution and it might not be entirely a bad thing. by increasing the range of opportunities to replace physical things with digital substitutes (like music, books, and any other physical objects), efforts to save natural resources will become easier. it wasn’t that long ago that mark zuckerburg foretold a future where physical objects would live as mere projections and that’s not far off. who needs a TV when you can put a pair of glasses on, equipped with augmented reality, and project a screen size of your choice onto the blank wall of any room.

designboom TECH predictions 2019: digital detox and get physical

mind control could transform the lives of people with physical disabilities but where will it go from there?
image courtesy of samsung



coming full circle, the year looks good for your health and fitness. in spite of your digital detox, there’s an influx of tech helping you to pursue a life more physical. several robotic exoskeletons designed to superpower the human body are in the making, for use during extreme sports and in the workplace. designed to optimize efficiency and fend off any potential injury, these devices use sensors to pick up on the users intent. they then adjust torque in the necessary places effectively mimicking the human muscles. meanwhile, fitness-focused wearables like puma’s release of its 1986 RS-computer sneaker, and a smart garment that maps the human body during exercise by zaha hadid design, ensures your of the physicality of things remains rooted in the corporeal, if not just slightly digitally enhanced.