We live in what once was thought to be the space age future, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. People complain about the lack of jet packs and flying cars, about not getting a hoverboard with their Nikes, and about how 2012 doesn’t look anything like it did in “The Jetsons“. The world around us doesn’t look much different than it did thirty years ago. We live in the same innocuous houses on the same asphalt streets. The future forgot about us, leaving us with cars only slightly different than the ones we grew up with. In our delight over discovering how to implement the ideas that were once only dreamed of, we forgot to make baseball-playing robots and mag-lev trains to everywhere. But the future didn’t forget about us; instead, we developed our own way of building the world. If you really want to see the future, take a look at some of these common items that proves it is all around us.
Let us start with the obvious, just to get them out of the way. Smartphones-phones that double as media players, cameras and miniature internet machines-are becoming ubiquitous. Smartphones are used for everything, from ordering groceries to DJing parties to providing a stalker with an ample trail of breadcrumbs. That trail of breadcrumbs is thanks to:
The Global Positioning System (GPS)
Most people think of GPS as just another smartphone app because smartphones can do anything. The truth is much more futuristic. GPS is an interconnected series of 30+ satellites that use trilateration to pinpoint your exact location, and GPS units are in everything that has a computer. GPS may have gotten many people turned around and confused more often than paper maps, but it’s a testament to our living in the future that it exists, and it mostly works.
Bluetooth isn’t the only fairly secure personal area network builder on the market, but it’s the most well known. Bluetooth nibs, dongles, headsets and controllers are everywhere, and seeing people walk around talking to themselves with pretty blue or red lights coming out of their ears is a sure sign of living in the future.