“Technology is changing the way we live our lives, share our experiences, make our art and experience our surroundings. It’s also challenging our idea of what it means to be human as it optimizes our bodies, expands our minds’ capacity for memory and creativity, and affords total connectivity with each other.” – Bill Bon & Lee Hooper

Getty Images’ 2016 visual trend Extended Human parallels society’s swift advancement into the technological unknown. Life-changing innovations and revolutionary inventions across industries are equipping us with extraordinary capabilities, made possible by the ever-closer connection between man and machine. Visual portrayals of people are evolving alongside, with a surge in images depicting robotics, visions of the future, virtual realities, and more. No matter your industry, there are opportunities to incorporate extended human imagery into your content.


The popularity of wearable technology in the marketplace is reflected in our search data. Fitness-related keywords have skyrocketed an unbelievable 11,765%, with “fitness tracker” alone soaring 790% last year. These devices can possibly transform the ways in which our bodies function, and we’re only beginning to explore the full potential of their effects.

Search tip: Search for specific sports and physical activities along with terms like “technology,” “futuristic,” and “wearable computer.”


This trend’s possibilities within the realm of healthcare are endless. We’re just starting to comprehend the effects technology will have on the industry, but with enough imagination, research, and experimentation, it seems as though anything is possible. Technological advances are empowering doctors and patients alike, putting them on the road to better health.

Search tip: Try searching terms like “doctor,” “medicine” and “health,” as well as “touch screen,” “technology” and “futuristic.”


Cooking is also seeing a renaissance of sorts when it comes to the Internet of Things and the smart home market. High-tech ovens, self-regulating quick cookers, scales that spout nutritional information – these things already exist, and we’re bound to see more. Whether you’re focused on developing virtual reality in the kitchen, or exploring the nitty-gritty of cooking, the future is here, and it is riveting.

Search Tip: Include “hands free device,” “augmented reality” or “computer graphic” alongside “cooking” and “kitchen” and see where your search leads.


Anyone in the fashion industry knows that the positive effects of tech go well beyond wearables and accessories. Professional shoppers and everyday consumers are constantly being met with easier, smoother ways of going about browsing and purchasing. Virtual reality shopping experiences? Streamlined buying processes? Voice-controlled purchases? If you can dream it, you can do it.

Search Tip: Search for specific items or accessories, along with the standard Extended Human keywords, “technology” and “future.”

Gaming & Entertainment

Virtual reality is opening the doors to all kinds of possibilities in the world of gaming and entertainment. Across generations and demographics, people are hungry for new experiences, and the next several years are sure to completely transform how we consume media. A search for “virtual reality” alone on iStock by Getty Images returns over 64,000 images. Options abound for any kind of company that’s starting to explore this territory.

Search Tip: To narrow down your search, be precise. “Oculus Rift” and “Google Cardboard” may yield desired results, while specifying age and gender, indoor or outdoor settings, and light quality, for instance, can do so as well.

 Explore more futuristic imagery inspired by the Extended Human Trend at iStock by Getty Images