What will the next must-have technological innovation be?
Jetpacks? Hoverboards? Wind-powered calculators?
Photographers, show us INNOVATIVE.
I remember when reading “Brave New World” being really impressed by the idea of ‘the feelies’, movies where the viewer could experience all the sensations related to the images they were seeing. I was quite certain that Huxley was right & that one day we would have such things.
Huxley, of course, was writing after having seen ‘talkies’, when he arrived in America & he predicted many other things such as automatic contraception, mass-tranquilisation & alienation of peoples that don’t fit into the new orders of civilisation.
I read “1984” at around the same time. I was very young & I found the concept of everything we do being viewed & recorded by cameras quite frightening. Room 101 made the hairs on the back of my neck ping. My next shock was government enforced book-burning in “Farenheit 451” & the subsequent sub-culture of the ‘talking books’.
So here we are in 2013, just arriving here was a sci-fi dream when I was a child.
We have 3D & 4D movies, computer games with so many gadgets that you can almost forget the real world exists, women implanted with contraception that only needs renewing every couple of years, our kids force fed Ritalin for nothing more than being kids.
World cultures are dividing, almost irrevocably, across the globe, there are cameras everywhere recording absolutely everything & our personal data is being collected & stored en masse, not just by government intelligence, but by every ‘Tom, Dick & Harry’ website we look at.
So where is it all heading to?
I couldn’t restrict myself to just one ‘next big thing’, but I’ve managed to control myself enough to limit it to five. I’m not attempting to make any moral judgements here, I’m just listing possibilities based on what I see happening in the world.
They have advantages & disadvantages depending on where you’re standing.
So here they are:
1. Relationships & Sex
The need for long term relationships may be reduced by advances in the virtual entertainment industry. People may just zip themselves into full body, neuro-suits & retire to bed to have virtual sex on their own, using specially developed software. The traditional family may be replaced by the concept of individuals breeding via artificial means & living alone, the resulting children having equal rights of access to both parents, who may or may not have even have met.
2. Religion & Culture
Scripture may be outlawed as religion is identified by the non-religious as being responsible for wars, the persecution of minorities, & the delusion & manipulation of the masses. Logic , philosophy & social programming may replace religion as the basis for social orders & conventions. Collective worship may be restricted to virtual gatherings on social media sites, as traditional places such as churches, mosques & temples are closed down.
3. Education & Parenting
Traditional schools may become a thing of the past, as technology is developed to educate children in their own homes via the internet. Tailoring the education to fit the child, rather than suffocating the child with the demands of the ‘average’ classroom. Children may be ‘chipped’ to allow working parents to track their off-springs’ whereabouts, or communication links, similar to Skype, may allow parents to monitor their children directly from the office.
4. Food & Medicine
Growing populations may have to look to less conventional sources for nutrition, such as insects & larvae. Advances in technology may allow the more affluent, access to such delights as the printed lunch. Advances in genetics & cloning may make it easier to identify & eliminate diseases or get replacement body parts. Technology may provide more bionic bits & bobs to improve our physical performance & senses.
5. Government & Crime
Governments may become more remote & global as their ability to monitor the people increases. People may be ‘chipped’ at birth to allow for more efficient tracking & categorization. Criminals may be controlled by virtual reality implants in the brain, allowing them to live in their own homes & even possibly earn a living, eliminating the need for prisons.
I could write so much more, it’s a huge subject, but I think I’ll stop now & post.
I realize I’ve veered off from the original prompt a bit, but this is where it took me.
I’d love to know what you think, so don’t be scared to comment.
Other Next Big Things To Check Out on the next page …