To answer this question we need to look at exactly what that future is. For most of us it’s what we see in the movies and TV shows, for me it’s also a fair amount of comic book influence. The sci-fi/cyberpunk fantasy is something that we all look to for what we would like to see from the various manufacturers that supply our shiny new toys. I believe that there is a tech bubble, soon to burst.
Now when I say tech bubble, I don’t mean that the world of gaming technology is about to collapse, quite the opposite in fact. The last elements of life not touched by computer technology are soon to disappear. Virtual reality is already big business now that the technology has finally been cracked, and decent, usable augmented reality is just around the corner. The amazing digital world promised by so many sci-fi and cyberpunk games and movies is finally upon us. The future is now, and we are about to get everything our geeky little hearts could desire.
The gaming bubble to which I was referring is not a bubble keeping the rest of the world out, but instead an area where the last remnants of the old world still reside; hiding away from the ever encroaching cyber revolution we have been awash with these last few years. Even as I write this on a laptop computer in my kitchen using an electronic cigarette capable of creating clouds the size of a grown man in a single breath, my smartphone (with full internet browsing, HD photo and video capture, video calling and VR gaming) is wirelessly charging on my desk in front of two large monitors showing movies on one and a digital library of over 300 games on the other. Wherever I am in the world I can keep up to date with any news or technology developments and be contacted at any time. I can instantly shop for anything legally available without ever needing to travel to a store or even leave my home. I can have miniature displays mounted in front of my eyes and use all of my mobile devices functions through voice commands. The future we dreamed of is here and yet… Do we really notice it?
Unfortunately the majority of people don’t seem to see just how far we’ve come and are constantly asking what next? or wouldn’t it be cool if we had this? not realising that the tech we all sport now was just a dream only a decade ago. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, we do always need to be looking forward so that we continue to progress. My problem is that we don’t always realise just how advanced our current world is with regards to what is available to us, if we were to only look for it.
Be adventurous! If there is a feature you really want for your device, Google it. As chances are someone has already thought of it and if it isn’t in full release then it is most likely in development (within reason obviously). I’m not saying that you’ll be able to install an app that will turn your phone into a super smart AI, capable of anything you wish, but there are many features in current smartphones and computers that the vast majority of consumers are completely unaware of.
Now, I consider myself a fairly tech savvy individual, however while working for a mobile phone retailer I would receive regular updates and tutorials from various representatives of the different phone manufacturers; during these tutorials I would learn about all kinds of features that I never would have thought to go looking for or even assumed were already in circulation. Even if you have a smartphone that is a few years old, chances are it is capable of more than you thought possible. Diagnosing car trouble and acting as a central locking remote, monitoring your health by way of heart rate monitor and perspiration, assessing blood alcohol levels, automatically notify selected contacts if you’re in trouble and connecting to and controlling a smart home to name but a few things.
So, in short, REJOICE! The future is now and we’re living in the science fiction dream of decades past. Do some research on your device and I’ll bet that you will find a whole host of possibilities for functionality. You may not have need of these features, but still you will gain a whole new view on what we have and what is possible.