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Nextworld: Future Intelligence

Posted by JungleBoot on August 31, 2008

If you are like me, you have been waiting most of your life for “life” seen in various science fiction films ( Star Trek, Knight Rider, Johnny Mnemonic, Blade Runner, etc…).  Guess what, it’s a lot closer than you think.  Sure, we won’t be zipping across the universe exploring new worlds for some time.  But the rest, it’s coming.  Don’t believe me?  Program your DVR to record the next showing of Nextworld: Future Intelligence.

Just watching the program I know the following is already in existence:

Smart appliances
Enhanced Vision
Smart Cars
Smart Homes
Energy Independent Homes
Digital Thespians (voice over actors required — way beyond Final Fantasy)
Holograms
Total virtual reality Immersion
Hands Free Gaming
Synthetic cars reinforced by strong aluminum frames

Price Tag:  millions

Do you remember the virtual world goggles of 15 years ago?  Remember how bulky the things were?  There is a scientist that is working on intelligent contact lenses.  His goal is to allow an individual to see his digital world (mail, web surfing, pictures, videos) via contacts.  That’s totally awesome!  But why stop there?  This technology will lead to enhanced vision.  Imagine wearing a lapel pin that acts as a camera (ie: spy cam) and using the contacts to improve both near and far vision based on distance to the object being focused on.  The letters on the page suddenly becomes larger.  The breathtaking view ahead of you no longer requires you to squint to see it.  Imagine the implications.  Outside of the contacts, others are working on sunglass sized virtual glasses.

Another scientist is working on a digital home.  Everything is digital.  All of the appliances are smart and communicate.  The refrigerator knows when to order milk based on a content scan.  Entering the house requires a fingerprint scan.  Temperature adjusts to your presence in the house or other family members.  Plus, there is a “Sarah” (for all you Eureka fans) that manages the house.  There are monitors in every room that allows “Sarah” to interact with the family.  The avatar (which is what it is) will remind your children to go to bed or turn out lights (nicely or forcibly).  Really, really, cool stuff we all want to experience.

The program even goes into cars that drive themselves.  Granted these cars are very small and slow, but they exist.  They are real and a proof of concept.

My guess, the next 20 to 30 years are going to be very interesting.  The technologies discussed in the program are both exciting and well beyond the means of everyday people — unless you’re Bill Gates rich.  Which, in my opinion, sucks.  Still, they are coming and look to greatly improve our lives and drastically change the job market.  You’re gonna need to strongly impress the value of science and math to your children.  Almost every future job is going to require technology skills.  A simple turn of the wrench won’t cut it.

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