Which differs from the usual “bold” predictions of future tech in that it actually talks about stuff we don’t already have, whereas most of the clowns predicting tech stuff are just “predicting” that our current tech will become faster, prettier and cheaper. Which is like “boldly” predicting that the next big Apple phone will be called iPhone 5 or that we’ll one day see PetaByte SS drives.
The article is marred a bit by the author, as so many other idiots before him, predicting that the desktop PC will be replaced by smartphones. Which must be the 769th time that the desktop PC has been declared dead, yet here we are, still typing away on one.
Obviously, the author has never used a desktop PC for anything other than playing solitaire or browsing for pr0n (NTTAWT), or perhaps he’d like to explain how desktop users like yours truly will happily throw their current desktops away so they can play Fallout: New Vegas on a 2.5″ smartphone screen? Or how about the guys at Pixar making their next movie on a screen the size of a slice of toast with the immense graphic processing powers of an Android phone?
We’re not saying that smartphones, notepads, tablets, what have you don’t have a place, they’re perfectly fine if all you need to do is to play Angry Birds, listen to your mp3 collection and find the closest Thai restaurant, but a replacement for a custom-built powerhouse of a racehorse desktop PC they will never be.
His Imperial Majesty would suggest, instead, that people replacing their desktop PCs with smartphones oughtn’t have purchased their desktop PCs in the first place since they obviously never had a need for one to begin with.
The other “next big things?”
Nanotech batteries. Yes, it’s about time that batteries caught up with the gizmos they power. The joy and convenience of “mobility” is seriously marred by the fact that you pretty much have to find a power outlet to recharge your “mobile” device every 2 hours if you ever dare actually use it as it was intended to be used, i.e. “on the move.”
Augmented Reality, as in “HUD displays in your eyeglasses.” Pretty cool if you wear glasses. Otherwise, that’s what smartphones are for. Besides, do we really need to be bombarded 24/7 with info as we’re walking down the street/driving down the highway? Isn’t it bad enough that half of our commute to work these days is spent leaning on the horn because the braindead bimbo in the SUV ahead of us just has to text, tweet and whatnot and thus can’t be arsed to move when the light turns green?
Health Tech, as in gizmos that count your calorie intake as well as the number of calories you’ve burned all day long. Seriously? Yeah, that’s all I really fucking need. Some overpriced electronic gizmo attached to myself that can constantly nag me every single fucking time I eat another hot dog or order another beer. I’ll never have to do without my PCP’s haranguing, sermonizing and lecturing me. Really?
Flexible OLED Screens. Yes, Virginia, fully functional screens that you can roll up and stick up your… Er, put in your briefcase or something. Alright, this one we actually can see a use for. Not, as the author suggests, as a smartphone screen (do they allow people to legally marry their smartphones where the author lives? He should look into it) you can roll up in between uses. OK, we can see his point, but don’t tell us that constantly rolling and unrolling one of those wonder screens isn’t going to tear them the fuck up eventually. No, where we can see the use of them is on the wall. Imagine a 70″ screen that you can hang on the wall with a couple of pieces of masking tape as opposed to having to bolt a steel construction that would deflect a proton torpedo into your wall. Oh, and you could move the screen later if you didn’t want it on that wall anymore. In five minutes. Neat!
Living-Room Tech. As in “more ways to hook your TV, computers, consoles, stereo etc. up to each other and the rest of the world.” Yawn. You mean to tell us that there even are more ways to do that? We can already stream music, video and Bob knows what else remotely from any bloody TV in the Imperial Palace. What else is there to do? The author doesn’t say. Only that it will be spectacular. Or something.
Speech Recognition/Interface. Finally something we can truly get excited about! Imagine an intelligent AI that understands what you say, can take dictation, can infer what you mean from spoken language and will learn from you as you interact with it, all hooked up to all of the other gadgets in your house. Yes, we know that prototypes exist, but they’re pitiful. Siri is a step in the right direction, to be sure, but we’re not there yet. We need to get there, though, and fast. It is truly pathetic that we’re in the 21st century and we still, in all of our interactions with our wonderful electronic gadgets, have to rely on clumsy interfaces, typing in commands, observing syntax carefully lest we inadvertently reformat the hard drive or end up on pages with pictures that will scar our brains forever, you name it. It’s about time that we finally disconnected the digital revolution from our, er, digits.
We’ll get there, though. Things are coming together, but it’s taking much longer than it ought to.
And finally 3D Printing. Yay. Make a perfect copy of something on a 3D printer. We can’t hardly contain ourself. So we can just print out our favorite car at home? Seems to us it would be much cheaper and much more efficient to just buy the damn thing from somebody who is mass-producing it but hey, that’s just us. Unless the raw materials for the “print” will just appear magically out of thin air, that is, in which case it would be pretty cool.
OK, so the article didn’t exactly blow our mind, but at least it contained actual ideas. And it gave us a chance to mock something, so it’s all good.