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Has the type of future imagined in BLADE RUNNER 2049 already begun?

18 January 2018

Much like the original BLADE RUNNER – released 36 years ago in 1982 – BLADE RUNNER 2049 has captured the imagination of people around the world with its alarmingly dystopian view of future life on earth. It’s a world of environmental chaos, invasive surveillance, deceptive technology and in amongst it all, a group of humans, cyborgs and robots fighting for survival.

To celebrate the release of BLADE RUNNER 2049 on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and DVD, Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has paired up with renowned trend forecasters Right Angle Studio to forecast a view of what life might be like here in Australia come 2049. The detailed CGI commissioned reflects five future themes with commentary on whether the film’s fiction will become reality – or whether there’s hope for a happier future.

Barrie Barton, head of insights at Right Angle Studio says: “Great works of science fiction scare or delight us because the future they predict is not completely unthinkable. Many of the problems and technologies in BLADE RUNNER 2049 already exist, which suggests that the world imagined in the movie may well come to be our reality, unless we act now to change it.”

Given our core audience are entertainment enthusiasts, we figured we’d focus exclusively on the the future of entertainment in the home!

Since streaming services hit Australia just two short years ago, we’ve become a nation of binge watchers. But for now, most of the content we consume at home is written by other humans and restricted to 2D. How will this change in the next 30 years?

We’re only just scratching the surface of what is possible with virtual and augmented reality. Facebook have just launched their VR social network, Facebook Spaces, after paying US$2 billion for Oculus Rift. In China, a 134-hectare VR theme park is slated to open in February 2018. By 2020, analyst firm Telsyte estimates that over 3.3 million VR units will have been sold in Australia, with 22.3% of households owning a unit. By 2049, adults will have been reared on game-like, immersive entertainment and entirely accustomed to seeing the world with a digital overlay.

Being a participant rather than an observer will be the norm, whether it’s by looking left or right to see opposing views on headline news stories, or the ability to progress through a Hollywood blockbuster as you would a game, and trigger a different ending. Combining filmmaking, virtual and augmented reality will simply become the norm in the entertainment industry.

“We’re already seeing media layered with contextual, interactive elements for a deeper and more immersive experience, but these will be commonplace by 2049”, says Barton. “The danger is that we become so wrapped up in these utterly convincing imaginary worlds that we forget to pay attention to what’s happening around us in the real world.”

However, because of this increasing digitisation, our attachment to physical objects will remain. Journals and books will hold our private thoughts and even the ritual of pouring a whisky will keep us tethered to the world – just as in BLADE RUNNER 2049, Deckard (Harrison Ford) clings onto his treasured bottle of Johnnie Walker. Good news for folks like us at Monster Pictures who are still operating in the physical market!

To get a glimpse into our future, check out BLADE RUNNER 2049 now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and DVD!