An area of electrocardiography which has received much interest of late is that of synthesising the 12-lead ECG from a reduced number of leads. The main advantage of this approach is obvious, as fewer recording sites are required to capture the same information. This, in turn, streamlines the ECG acquisition process with little detriment to the integrity of information used for interpretation. In the current article, we provide an overview of ECG synthesis along with a description of various ‘limited lead’ systems that have been reported in the literature. Based on this, several suggestions as to what the ECG of the future may entail have been made.