Things you won't need for the future...
Glimpses of it are everywhere, an awesome technological future is coming up fast, so as we hurtle toward it, don’t be sad or frightened, I’ve seen it and it is bright, and let’s remember that sometimes technology allows us to purge some of the clutter that’s had us in the stone age for centuries.
Typing and Buttons
A diamond age upon us! Your every whim and desire fabricated before your augmented eyes, before it even becomes a conscious thought. No need to push buttons…no that would be the equivalent of Fred Flintstone chiseling out his shopping list. Far more accurate, punctual and ubiquitous than your best Google search, or Amazon book suggestion…simply a thought, an intent, and each end every subtle cue will be picked up by a dozen or more sensors interpreting your every desire into instant reality. This tech is almost here, brain wave interpretation, eye tracking, pupil and expression recognition along with a very well documented history of behavior has us on the brink of our search engines answering questions we didn’t even know we wanted to ask.
Car Dealerships (and used car salesmen)
Want a Ferrari? Why limit yourself to that when you can have a custom tailored ride created around you using what was previously thought to be trash, but is now regarded as invaluable filament source to make anything and everything the human race has ever sought after in the blink of an eye. Don’t bother looking for parking, just recall the car once you get there and make a new one for the ride home. It’s no secret 3D printing is exploding: liquid immersion printing, printing glass, printing organs, houses food…10 materials including metals in a single printer…and that’s just the past few months…how long do we think this is going to take?
Phones and Social Media Apps
You won’t need phones or Facebook, you’ll be jacked into the entire communication net all the time…the world connected completely. Talking to a friend is simply thinking of them, no matter where they are or what they are doing, your intent is made clear and a link established…drop a note, a whimsy, or visit them virtually anywhere in the world or otherwise in a fashion more real than real and a lot more fun. Touch…smell…presence…a lot of companies are chasing these goals and I think the “Mind Ride” and strangely…tele-dildonics are the start of a real telepresence movement.
Don’t worry about recharging anything, everything will become a source and consumer of energy. No need for windmills and solar panels…everything will be capable of converting wind, solar, and gravity into useable energy. From windows, to clothing, the breaths you take and even the pull of mother earth down upon you, it will all be absorbed and fed into the accessible energy cloud, which will be ubiquitous, clean and free (and good riddance to the wires).
You won’t need lights, the stars will once again brighten our skies, the milky way and all its glory will look to us much as it did to the ancient Greeks who first tracked our stars and planets. Cars will be driverless, they don’t need lights, at least not ones we see, we will have augmented vision, a hundred different wavelengths, ability to see in pure blackness, but rarely will you ever experience that, because there’s far too much to see and do, too much information to take in, too much enhancement to experience. Forget the street signs too, signs in general and any sort of road markings, no point in having them, everyone’s augmented, why would you ever not be?
Passwords, Encryption and VPN
Security will be a thing of the past, a thousand data points from your heartbeat to your face, to the way you move, will identify you beyond any shadow of a doubt to banks, communication networks, employers and the like, there is no hacking, it is not possible. Even the clones are distinguishable. What would you steal anyway?
Wars seem silly when everyone can have everything they want anytime. Of course there will be an ugly drone war, and an AI war, and some nano-terrorism…nations and corporations will fight for a time, there is after all a sport to having…but the technology and its ability to counter conventional weapons will outpace even a potential nuclear threat…nano-bots and a hyper-connected sensor networks will be capable of stopping bullets in mid-air and rendering nuclear missiles inert. Far more effective than any pre-cogs, malicious intent would be sensed by the com network long before any action taken.
We will travel beyond theoretical limits as we push the boundaries of vacuum enclosed transportation, the world will begin to seem very small and extremely accessible, but why leave, why go anywhere when you have everything you need right where you are. Nonetheless, any spot on the globe is only minutes away, if you had the whim. Don’t bother packing, you can just fabricate it all when you get there.
Outer space will be more accessible than ever, no need for a crude rocket, vacuum enclosed space elevators will take you to magnetic launchpads high in the atmosphere where you can sail the stars in your own custom made ship, manufactured only minutes before takeoff. Forget Tahoe, you’re off to Mars for the weekend with your friends.
How many degrees do you want to earn? Astrophysics, Mechanical Engineering and Botany, why not? You’ll be living for several hundred years thanks to advancements in medical, nanotech and synthesis technology. This will be enough time to learn well over one hundred specializations. Learning will be fast, without steps backward and fed at the maximum pace your enhanced brain will allow. Learning can be passive…of course the process is a known quantity, gone are the days of the old standards of learning, each learner is unique in biology and station and magnificent AI threads each concept perfectly into your consciousness at a speed beyond conscious thought, a custom education delivered at breakneck speed . But why let it have all the fun? While more sport than survival, learning will be gamified into the most visceral experiences available, with your friends on some of the grandest adventures you can imagine.
One Child Policy
Overpopulation? Not a chance. Even without war, disease and natural death, we will require less space, be far more efficient with the space we have, and let’s not forget we’ll be leaving the bounds of this planet to find other homes among the stars.
Clothes will be created to suit each moment, of course custom tailored instantly around your person without even taking off your previous outfit (which will be instantly recycled into the nano-cloud for use in future tailoring). Clothes will not only reflect you style, but your mood and your current interests as well, they will not be static, but rather extensions of you in every way. Of course the same goes for hair, forget the hair club, or even Jane Jetson’s magic hair machine, like your clothes, your hair will be a living extension of you. A world of chameleons, each as unique as their fingerprints.
Life will thrive, species near extinct will re-inhabit their former stomping grounds, species long since passed will walk the earth again, not in parks or zoos, but in their native habitats. Mankind will shepherd the return of the natural ecosystem of this planet, and will enjoy it completely without fear of dangerous creatures or diseases, these are the problems of the past, not the future.
Earth Zip Codes
Each person on the planet will be capable of starting their own outer rim colony, with all of the necessary biologicals, technology and skills to terraform and civilize the unkept space rocks that populate our galaxy, and you can do it from the comfort of your own home, which can be anywhere, even Pluto.
There’s no reason this needs to take millions of years, the current acceleration of technology will put this squarely within our grasp. It shouldn’t even take a millennium, but even if it does, your kids will probably get to see it.