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It's time for Personalised Time

19 future thinking provocations: 6 ex 19

You took rest when you were informed you needed it and worked when you were informed you needed to, not according to some archaic subservience to the movement of a star, but according to real-time minute observances of the movement of data. So time was now PT time – Personalised Time – with everyone working to their own relevant and optimised time system, and the only fixed point being Zero Hour once an old year. It still made Hiu laugh to think of the old days when everyone had to live by the same regimented clocks controlled by a hot plasma star. What was it with those sun worshippers? Now personalised data optimised everyone’s time, sensitive to individual need states. - Blinky's Law

Businesses know that to thrive going forward they need to shape around their customers. We expect personalised communications, personalised services and personalised products. We carry around our personalised smartphones to ensure our needs, wants and desires are met any place, any time. The world increasingly optimises around us. So why not in all aspects of lives? And why not Time itself?

Time is a social construct. Before railway timetables in the late 1800s demanded a common understanding of when trains came and went from a station, time was a local matter determined by sun dials. Since then, humans have constructed a system of time telling that is now fairly universal, adjusted by reference to sunlight hours. It is, however, interesting to note how the differing views on running Society are reflected in the application of time zones by different countries. For instance, China imposes only one time zone across its vast expanse despite the country spanning five geographical time zones. The US on the other hand has 9 official time zones and you could say it has even more if you add places such as American Samoa. However, this country-based time flexibility is out of step with their citizens who increasingly expect the world to be personalised around them individually. Maybe we should go back to localised sun dials, or even personal sun dials? After all, railway timetables don't dictate our lives any more.

Entertainment is already on demand, not according to listings. Work is increasingly about outputs, not scheduled work hours. If we want to maximise our effectiveness, we need to shape our lives around our energy, motivation and creativity. Enabling this in our own lives and those of our workforces and citizens will be a key competitive advantage in the future.

In the future Time will be personalised.

If you would like some future thinking in your life, business or government, then please contact:

Martin Talks


Author of the future fiction novel, Blinky's Law.