Sony's 'Tokyo 2050' Envisions Humans Living on Floating Pods in the Sea

An elegant solution to a terrifying possibility.
Irmak Bayrakdar
The floating pods.Sony

Mostly caused by climate change, melting glacier and ice sheet waters and thermal expansion of warming seawater results in rising sea levels that pose a great threat to human civilization. Global mean sea level has risen about eight-nine inches (21–24 cm) since 1880 and keeps rising each year at an alarming rate.

A new project called "One Day, 2050" by Sony envisions the future and how humans will be living in Tokyo in 2050 with Sci-Fi prototyping in a collaboration with science fiction writers. 

The company explains the project as: "With “2050,” “Tokyo,” and “romance” as keywords that define the overarching theme, Sony designers and science fiction writers held workshops to explore life, habitats, senses, and well-being in 2050—and their creative effort resulted in a series of design prototypes and short science fiction stories. Each design prototype presents an idea for a service or product that is relevant to the messaging of each theme," in the press release.  


The "Habitat" features nomadic communities based at sea where they coexist with nature. Picturing life in a not-so-distant future, the coastal cities have been replaced with floating housing options accommodated by climate change-struck refugees who have lost their homes due to rising sea levels. Without a land to live on, people had to relocate on these marine habitation pods that drift across the ocean, looking for sustenance and a possible safe haven.

According to Sony, the floating pods have a double structure that will stay stable even during storms. The exterior of the pods is designed to break incoming waves to reduce shaking, and the interior is where the living areas will be. 

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The spacious pods have three levels for living both above and under the water, and all three are connected with stairs. Since it's a concept project, the amenities of the pods are not detailed, but we can imagine that it's probably similar to the bunkers' interiors from dystopian movies. 

For getting around in the water, these futuristic pods use water jets. In addition to batteries located at the bottom of the units and autonomous energy tanks, the pods are equipped with panels on their roofs for easy solar power generation. What's more, they clear the water with pumps filters as they float across the ocean.

When two or more pods meet, they can form a hive-like structure and maybe even a "sea city" in order to support one another due to their specific shapes. When connected, they could also transfer power from one energy tank to another anytime during the day, forming a power system, all at sea. 

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