Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Future!

We have powerful handheld computers that let us access a global information database, find our exact coordinates, translate languages in real-time, and make video calls to the other side of the world. We've taken photos of every planet in the solar system, many at close range—including Mercury from orbit. Heck, we've taken photos of planets that aren't even in our solar system! We can transmute elements and create antimatter. We're closing in on the technology to get us to Mars and beyond, and may be able to clone extinct species in the near future.

And yet, if you're anything like me, this is commonplace. We read a news article or hear something from a friend, and our first reaction is, "Oh, that's nice" or "Oh, that's cool" rather than "We can do that? Seriously?" There's so much futuristic stuff in our lives that it's normal. If that's not the definition of the future, what is?

Fortunately, there's still pioneering technology and ahead-of-the-curve science that can wow us, if we let it. Stuff that might be everywhere in ten, twenty, thirty years. Stuff that's inspiring to look at, to think about, to watch. Here are some of my recent faves. What are yours?


Brooke Johnson said...

i'm part of the group that can't believe half the scientific innovations and discoveries that we have. i still marvel at the internet sometimes. at the same time, i believe that if we can imagine it, we can build it, it's just a matter of time and money, as is everything. i think some people just don't get excited about it until it's in everyday use.

Hannah said...


Seriously, every time I watch Star Trek or something, I think, "They have iPads. And now, we have iPads. We have reached the future."


Reece said...

I want that smart glass stuff! It really is amazing what people dream up...and even more amazing that they make their dreams become reality. Of course, that makes our job (for those of us who write SF) a lot harder. We have to come up with technology that nobody has thought of yet, but sometimes it seems like someone has already beaten us to the punch!

Anassa said...

Brooke - I get moments of that, but mostly I don't feel the science fictionality of the world. I think with a few exceptions, you're right. We can build just about anything we want to, given time. I also think I get more excited for things that are "coming" rather than in common use.

Hannah - True! Don't forget communicators, either.

Reece - So do I! The first time I watched that video, I was blown away. That's the future, for me. I love that we can build nearly anything if we try, though yeah, the number of times I've seen inventions that I dreamed up for my stories…