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The Wave of the Future

10 November 2011

There are technologies that sci-fi in the 50s convinced us we’d have in our daily lives by 2011. I’m thinking mainly of two today — video phones and flying cars.

Thing is, we have both of these technologies, but they’re not nearly as widespread as those films would have us believe. We’ve had video calling and video chat for years, but only a very small segment of people I know actually have used it more than once (I’m thinking Skype and FaceTime, among other similar programs). The reason? Well, we all want to see the person on the other end of the phone… but very rarely do we want them to see us. And the problem with video calling is that it’s a two-way street — if you’re not going to transmit video, the other person is going to wonder what the hell is going on.

Yet, even with that, watch any sci-fi movie where people communicate with each other through a machine — chances are they’re still using some form of video calling. Why is that? I tend to believe it’s because, as the technology still hasn’t broken wide, it’s still useful as a shortcut to say “look at us, we’re in the future!”

Then there’s flying cars — again, a technology we’ve had for years, but one that hasn’t broken wide. And I hope it doesn’t. I can just imagine someone eating a sandwich and trying to browse the Internet on their phone while attempting to pilot a small, airborne vehicle… no thanks. Car accidents are bad enough, but midair collisions have a very low survival matrix. And random humans aren’t pilots.

So, can you think of any tech that we were promised here in the future that we actually have, but really don’t use?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 10 November 2011 1048

    Republicans would say: Birth Control.

    Democrats would say: Voting.

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