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  • Bronwen Hundley

Updated: Jun 20

Nearly half of Americans are said to feel that their IRL (in real life) relationships are not meaningful and many are uncomfortable with face to face interactions due to extended use of digital devices facilitating interpersonal connections.

These feelings of detachment are prominent in Millennials (born 1983-1995) and especially in Gen Z cohorts (born 1996 – 2021) who are known as the loneliest generation. Human qualities such as vulnerability, setting boundaries, communication skills and empathy have been lost and are now replaced with emojis. This has led to the trend of intimacy schools. (Source: WGSN)

Intimacy schools hold classes to teach emotional literacy and interpersonal skills, it is ultimately a school teaching us how to be human again. (Source: WGSN)

"We demand big personality from technology but cannot handle a little bit of emotion in another human" - unknown

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  • Bronwen Hundley

Updated: Jun 20

In an effort to combat loneliness and offset solo living, more and more people are adopting robot pets to provide companionship and drive social connection. The tech is created with personality to take the human-robot relationship to the next level. (Source: WGSN)

Image credit

With the demands of day to day life, most people are unable to care for pets. We find it challenging to even spend enough time with friends, let alone caring for an animal. Robotic pets provide the convenience of technology with the affection and companionship of a dog or cat. The virtual pets fill the void of love and affection without any time constraints.

Pet or toy?

Many will say robotic pets are just toys so why the excitement. Robotic pets are designed with machine learning and can adapt to your mood and responses.

Look at Sony's artificial intelligent robot, AIBO who is designed to engage and learn to express itself. Each AIBO develops its own responses giving it a unique personality based on its interactions.

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  • Bronwen Hundley

In March 2021, Mars House, the world’s first digital NFT (non-fungible token) home was sold for more than US$ 500,000. The virtual structure was transferred as a file to the buyers by designer, Kirsten Kim, who designed it to “create a healing atmosphere using digital zen philosophy”.

Image credit: dezeen

The Mars House is fully furnished with tempered glass fixtures and complete with a flowing infinity pool. The home is situated on a Martian mountain top with stunning landscape views.

Kirsten Kim's Mars House was not only the first property sold on Mars, but the first digital house ever sold for US$ 512,000