A futurist is someone who studies the future. In the context of product development, a futurist helps companies to anticipate consumer needs and develop products that will meet those needs. Futurists use a variety of methods to research the future, including trend analysis, market analysis, and technological forecasting. They also stay up-to-date on current trends and developments in their field. This allows them to identify emerging technologies and trends that could have a significant impact on the future of product development. As such, futurists play an important role in helping companies to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in the ever-changing marketplace.