free debate

January 7, 2012

Welcome to the Future

From the SGU and Skeptical Robot
According to some, this year, 2012, is going to be the end of the world. For me, however, this year feels, once again, like a reminder that we live in the future. I am writing this post not on a desktop or laptop computer. Instead, I am on a device sold as a phone, but bearing more resemblance to a Star Trek type pocket communicator, with options to access an instantaneous world-wide network of information. I can communicate several collections of individuals with whom I can share photographs, pages of information and data, and even talk to in a nearly face-to-face manner. It can give me directions to anywhere I want from where ever I am at a given point in time. I can find almost any book I want to read at any time. It allows me to never miss a perfect photo again. I wouldn't be surprised to discover that it also makes food and does my laundry, if you install the correct app. And this smartphone edition came out several years ago. The new ones, and their sister technology the tablets, seem even more like something out of a science fiction book.

And more exciting technology than this is coming out all the time. Last year, Google put driverless cars on the road. The first prototype electric airplane were funded through the NASA Green Flight Challenge. No-focus camera technology was developed. And those are just a few of the innovations that may come into the public field as early as this year, and each of them could revolutionary to how we live our daily lives.

Technology, and the science that allows us to develop it, can be amazing. For all that it can be annoying at times, it can be valuable to step back and realize just how fantastic the items we take for granted really are. We live in a world where science fiction is coming true. No, we don't have flying cars or mammoths on jetpacks, yet, but the things our smartphones, our tablets, our computers, our cars, our GPSs, our televisions, and more, allow us to travel, communicate, and do work in ways I wouldn't have imagined even as a kid just over a decade ago. Welcome to the future, and get ready to see what we discover in 2012, and beyond.