It would be easy to think that there is nothing really new
under the sun, that any new inventions or innovations will simply be variations
on things that already exist. But given the huge acceleration in technological
achievement over the last hundred and fifty years or so, specifically the last
forty (the advent of modern computing) such a belief would be facile and will
almost certainly prove to be wrong. Here are some things that sound futuristic,
but that are probably just around the corner:
Mind control machines: No, not machines to control people’s minds, but rather, machines that you can control with your mind. Imagine seeing an accident about to happen and feeling powerless to react in sufficient time to prevent a calamity – only to have your vehicle pick up on and respond to your panic? Now imagine your car communicating with the oncoming vehicle so that both machines work to avoid each other, slowing down, swerving and coming safely to a stop? Road safety would take a huge step forward, even as driving becomes a little less fun…
Returning to machines that can be used for mind control – it is quite possible that they may well be on the cards for the next few years. Quite apart from all the alarming possibilities, just imagine how nice it would be to have people obey suggestions to sit nicely and listen in the cinema?! School children could be encouraged to do their best without any antagonism or defiance, and even criminals might be persuaded against their felonious enterprises!
While we are on the power of the mind – what about an app (or similar) for telekinesis, the ability to move things simply by thinking about them? The technology would be the same as the mind-powered vehicular responses, and could result in the transformation of the construction and mining industries, enabling almost anyone to complete jobs that currently take a lot of people and a host of moving machinery.
If this sounds too unlikely to be considered – think of this: two hundred years ago, the idea that someone in London could talk or play music that a person in Paris could listen to in real time would have been considered unrealistic fiction. Just fifty years ago, the thought of accessing a vast database containing all the information in the world (as well as a good chunk of all the porn and cat pictures and videos by the million) for a modest sum, would have been inconceivable… Just ten years ago, or less, the thought of wireless battery charging boggled our minds (still does, to be honest, how even does that work?!) Bearing these ‘impossibles’ in mind, it is quite possible that there are forces about which we know nothing as yet, forces which may help us to harness the full powers of our brains and bodies, forces which may revolutionise the whole way we live.All we can do, is wait and see, surfing the ever-growing swell of innovation and technology that is urging us on.