Predictions

Remember back in the days of vinyl, 8 tracks, cassettes, VHS and CD’s? The whole idea of delivering audio and visual content mechanically seemed archaic and imperfect with its breakages, skips, hisses and accidental loops. I thought there just had to be a non-mechanical way of delivering content, something where music could be stored on some kind of electronic memory chip where all you’d need are batteries and a good pair of headphones to enjoy. Well, it came to pass that they invented the USB MP3 Player and all was well in the kingdom again. So I got to thinking? What else bright ideas do I have that some Einstein will entertain in the near future? What else could arise just over the horizon? To wit:

1. They will make a functional, road-ready, family-ready mass-produced solar powered car that you can drive to work, to school and right past those pesky gas and electricity pumps.

2. As batteries and motors become smaller and lighter every day, it’ll only be a matter of time before we see a noiseless, pollutionless personal jet pack. With one flick of a switch you’d be whisked away to your place of employment or favorite movie theater high above the madding crowd. Helmets and body pads are, of course, necessary just in case the motor peters out mid flight.

3. They’ll find a cheaper, more economical way to transform sea water into drinking water. One pill in a bucket will be all it takes. Those who will benefit the most? Third world shoreline countries and ocean voyagers everywhere.

4. Those cute Roomba floor-cleaning maid-like robots will expand to include ones that can mow your lawn, take out the trash,  bring in your mail and assist with general chores like dusting and wiping down surfaces.

5. Someone will come up with a Personal Security Device. It’ll be a robot you activate when you’re going to sleep. While you’re in slumber land, he’ll actively monitor your home or jobsite and keep any pesky intruder out.

6. Someone will come up with a Personal Security Partner. This robot will walk with you where ever you go, keeping all those bullies, beggars and baddies at bay.

7. I’m waiting for the day when all live concerts will be broadcast routinely and directly to your home. Madonna in town but you can’t go? Live concert broadcast. Led Zeppelin reunited but playing 50 miles away? Concert broadcast. Sure, there’s nothing better than being at the real thing, but who can enjoy a show in the nosebleed section anyway? You can stay at home, go to a bar or theater that streams them and get as ripped as you want without standing in a roped-off beer garden.

8. It’s only a matter of time before they build Supreme Cuisinart. This kitchen device is so sophisticated a five year old can use it. If you’re in the mood for say, beef & broccoli with fried rice, all you have to do is load up each individual drawer of Supreme Cuisinart with the right amount of raw foodstuffs, close the door, and press cook, or compose, or whatever fancy name it’d be called. Then, five minutes later, food so fine it’d make Chef Ramsay zip his lip.

9. Intelligent beer that won’t make your belly big.

10. When I was a kid, the students use to crack on each other. One of them went, “Your mama’s so weird she has fake legs and real feet! Well, not so fast, Jacko. It may be a reality in the coming future.

11. As miniaturization of electronic components continue, I expect they’ll create artificial intelligent hearts that can automatically increase and decrease oxygen to the body based on the user’s physical regimen at the time.

12. In the vein of miniaturization, they’ll soon have artificial eyes that send visual signals to the brain, that is, sight to the blind. Or ears that can hear. Or tongues that can taste (for those who must know what foie gras tastes like).

13. I was going to say time machine but I changed my mind. If they’d built one we would’ve known already, wouldn’t we? Maybe they’ll be able to go back in time, say, like one second or two in the future but more than that seems unlikely.

14. North Korea will be free.

15. The internet will be available in all parts of Africa. Not only that, but fresh running water, a sewage system and an infrastructure.

16. They’ve already made self-tuning electric guitars. Soon to come: self-tuning acoustic guitars, basses, drums, violins, saxophones, dulcimers, cellos, violas, clarinets, ukuleles and banjos.

17. 3D TV’s that don’t require glasses. Yes, I’m cheating here because that’s already in the works from Hewlett Packard and Vizio so it’s only a matter of time. Ralph Kramden would be proud.

18. Dick Tracy wrist TV’s are almost here, too. I think they’re being pioneered in China.

19. Can you imagine taking an intelligent pill, or having electrical beams sent into your brain, that instantly gives you the piano playing skills of Rachmaninoff? Or the genius of Einstein? How about a beauty pill? Hope they save one for me.

20. Apartments are becoming so tiny that it’s just a matter of time before people start living in their cars. This, of course, would give rise to cars with stoves, fridges, bathrooms, sleeping alcoves and the like. Oh right. It’s called an RV. The difference here is that the RV’s would be regular sized cars that can instantly convert into parts of it into living amenities.

21. On the transparent front, it’s only a matter of time before a transparent cell phone shows up. It’ll no doubt be partnered with a transparent computer keyboard, transparent mouse and a transparent modem.

22. Not only will they bring back the dinosaurs but they’ll also successfully clone Jesus, much to the chagrin of the Vatican, based off the bloodstains found in the Turin shroud.

23. Altruism will become as global as cloud cover. How can, in the one hand, you have one man in possession of billions of dollars, but on the other hand, have billions of people possessing less than one dollar?

24. A few states, in attempt to keep their economy from floundering, will institute sovereignty notes as the sole means of currency within them. For instance: Florida dollars can only be spent in Florida, not online or in any other state, but visitors to Florida have to convert their money to Florida dollars to buy anything there.

25. The trans-Atlantic railway, or trans-Atlantic highway should be complete around 2075. To encourage people to drive from New York to London, hotels and tourist destinations will be built along the thoroughfare.

26. The eastern shoreline of Somalia, once the haven of pirates and mutineers, will be a tourist attraction as the top companies build hotels, casinos and amusement parks along its 1,000 mile long beaches.

27. Solar-powered boats and ships will flourish, eliminating those pesky ocean-polluting gas barges and ocean liners.

28. Tourist submarines will dive to the depths of the Marianas Trench, stunning their passengers with live glimpses of ocean creatures never before seen by the naked eye.

29. Okay. I can’t take credit for this one, but I do think it’s possible: the holodeck or virtual reality chamber. Imagine being in a chamber where you’re carrying a virtual gun and running around a virtual jungle picking off virtual guerrillas one by one. Definitely not for those with weak hearts or knees. They have glasses that sort of simulate that now but they’re in their infancy. kind of bulky and costs a fortune.

30. Mankind appears to be getting smarter and smarter at an early age. Whatever the age of the youngest Nobel Prize winner for physics is now, in the future, the age of a winner will be the lowest age minus five years.

31. I’m not against species mixing per se, but it could grow to new incorrigible heights the minute they create the first dog-sheep, cat-wolverine, cow-lizard or snake-mongoose that insists on trying to kill itself continuously.

32. In the same vein, they might try to join the animal and plant kingdoms together. Coming up next at your local zoo, the first flower-butterfly and grasshopper-sticks. You couldn’t make circus side show producers more proud.

33. Here’s something that would make the power companies nervous – a perpetual motion machine that powers itself as well as other machines. I’ve actually designed one which I call PPM-1. As soon as I find the time I’ll build it.

34. An electronic wall calendar that automatically changes itself as the years progress.

35. Healthy, legal, non-lethal and safe recreational drugs.

36. Intelligent Medicines without side effects. Not that I’m super cynical, but since we do live in a world where there is money to be made just from combating side effects alone, this invention will be challenged tooth and nail to the bitter end.

37. How about going to work via conveyer belt? You can step on and off at predetermined areas and even bring a shopping cart on it with you. It’s both pollution & noise free but only travels along the major corridors.

38. I’m sure that, somewhere, some geneticist is working on this: neuro chemicals that can alter the color of your unborn child’s hair. Not only that, the technology would be loaned out to the animal world to see if they can create red or blue cats, zebra-striped dogs, sheep the color of leopards and pigs the color of coral snakes. Mother Nature must be fuming.

39. True anti-allergy pills. Allergic to seafood? Here, take one of thess and enjoy that delicious calamari and Alaskan flounder you’ve been drooling for. Allergic to peanuts? Here, take one of these and dive headfirst into that vat of Planter’s you’ve been eyeing for days. Allergic to gluten? Here, take one of these and enjoy that pasta your mama just made for your birthday?

40. Bulletproof, Bombproof, Chemical proof, Acid proof Suit. For those times when you need to extricate a loved one from a North Korean gulag and diplomacy just doesn’t seem to work.

41. Personal Force Field. For those times when you need to extricate a senator being held captive by a guerilla army in the bowels of Mindanao.

42. Whole Body Cloaking Device. For those times when you absolutely, positively have to extricate the Secretary of State from his dungeon prison in Southeast Bora Bora.

43. Instant breakfast, lunch or dinner pill. Just one tablet and you won’t have to eat again for another 5/6 hours. One pill to rule them all. Sméagol would be pleased.

44. The Proliferation of Green Houses. I’m not talking about glass-covered plant abodes, although that would also be nice, but I’m referring to entire blocks or maybe even whole communities where all the houses are solar powered. Perhaps even some, if not all, of those homes would also get their water from their own personal storage tanks or reservoirs. Coupled with non-polluting vehicles, such self-supporting Green Towns  could become as popular as prefab houses sprouting up in vast numbers right after the end of WWII.

45. Talking about solar power, further developments in this area could include solar windows that convert sunlight into electricity or solar powered streetlights and traffic signals operating in cities everywhere.

46. One of the Southern States (Texas? Mississippi? Arizona? Florida?) is going to surprise the world by seceding from the United States – as far as their own state legislature is concerned. The motion won’t pass in the U.S. Senate, and there won’t be a war for secession, but the scare will begin polarizing people from all corners of America into one or two states with strong anti-American, anti-immigration, pro-arms sentiments.

47. It’s only a matter of time before they let people gamble at personal casinos in the privacy of their own home. Since this will probably be a state option, only someone from, for instance, Washington state would be allowed to gamble at a casino within the state such Muckleshoot or Emerald Queen. They may also go ahead and allow people outside of Las Vegas to gamble electronically in those famous casinos.

48. It’ll also probably only be a matter of time before they let people play the state lottery from the privacy of their own homes.

49. In some of the less than PC towns, it’ll be legal to equip your car with jets that shoot flames when someone tries to break into it. Of course, there’ll be stickers around the cars to warn perps. Can’t read? Well, hopefully their loved ones won’t mind when they end up in the ER as a crispy critter.

50. As the internet grows more and more secure, and 256bit encryption becomes the norm, people will soon have the ability to vote in local elections from home. Yes, this includes even voting for the President.

51. The price of one way, lead lined glass will come down low enough to be fitted and retro-fitted in everyone’s windows. Privacy curtains and blinds will become a relic of the past, unless of use they’re used simply for decorative purposes.

52. This next prediction is a no brainer and is 100% guaranteed. Jason Collins is the first NBA player to come out as gay. It’ll only be a matter of time before players from the NHL, NFL and MLB chime in.

53. Solar-Powered Personal Aircraft. As solar panels become smaller and smaller, and their voltage and current output increases, we will soon be flying the friendly skies noise & pollution-free.

54. Since the larger airplanes already have the wingspan to accommodate multiple solar cells, Solar-powered components of aircrafts (air-conditioning, lights, heating, etc.) is a possibility.

55. Anywhere Battery Charger or Anywhere Power. Right now, in order to recharge the battery to my wireless vacuum cleaner, I have to place it in a cradle then plug the cradle into a wall socket. How about if that cradle could sit anywhere in the room but I’m still able to recharge the battery because of wireless power from a wall transmitter? No muss, no fuss, no clutter. One good use of this new technology would be for fish tanks. Imagine having a 30 or 50 gallon tank sitting in the middle of a living room. The lights and motor filter would be running off wireless power so having a nearby outlet won’t be necessary. Cool, huh?

56. Personal Cooler. An electronic air conditioning device you wear that cools the air around you. For those days when you can fry eggs on the sidewalk or the hood of your car.

57. Personal Heater. An electronic heating device you wear that heats the air around you. For those days when you can barely talk because the frost is working against you and your fingers feel like they’re going to fall off at any time.

58. Digital Aquariums. Digital photo viewers are pretty commonplace these days. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to hang a, say, 32 inch virtual aquarium on your wall? It could also be battery-powered to reduce cables.

59. In an ongoing effort to combat forgeries and identity theft, some governments will resort to using subdermal ID’s. These will be electronic bar codes implanted beneath a newborn’s skin that are unique to them alone. When they’re at a supermarket or clothing emporium checking out, a simple scan of their implant site will deduct the money from their bank account. This would, in turn, give rise to…

60. Personal Retinal Recognition Software on everyone’s home or office computer. Buying from Amazon or JCPenney’s? No problem; however, no purchases are allowed unless you retinal scan into your computer.

61. More cable-free electronics. They already have wireless wifi printers, wireless LAN’s, wireless remotes, wireless microphones, etc. On the horizon – wireless speakers, wireless musical keyboards with wireless USB transmitters, wireless mixing consoles that receive audio wirelessly and transmit to speakers wirelessly, wireless HDMI and wireless external HDD’s and SSD’s.

62. Talking about computer disk drives, SSD’s are as far as they’ve gone. It’ll only be a matter of time before they device another way data is stored, like optically on a paper thin wafer.

63. A 3D printer in every home. With additive manufacturing, as it is called, you’ll be able to download and print out your own utensils, furniture, weapons, musical instruments, picture frames, coffins, etc.

64. Even further up the road – a 3D printer with assembly modules. Just lay in the plastics and hardware and viola! – instant TV’s, radios, watches, keyboards, remote controls, microwave ovens, etc.

65. Super Universal Remote. JRR Tolkien got it right when he created the one ring to rule them all. This new, rather small remote will only work for one user because it requires thumbprint recognition. And what will it operate? The car, the garage door, the TV, VCR, cable and computer, the heating and air conditioning system, the ceiling fan, the lights, the washer & dryer and even the front door’s spanking new keyless deadbolt just installed the week before. Update: I can probably say this device has already been created. Using your iPhone and associated programs, you can: 1. Use XFINITY TV remote to control your TV. 2. Use Viper Smart Start to unlock and start your car. 3. Use CalypsoKey to lock and unlock your front door. 4. Samsung just released a Wi-Fi-enabled washer/dryer you can control with your smartphone. Someday, all those separate programs will coalesce into one Tolkien-inspired program.

66. There are a few certainties in life: it will always rain in Seattle, electronics will continue to evolve and mankind will find new and inventive ways to kill each other. Some genius firm is going to come out with the Pulse Transmitter. It’s an electronic device that sends out an extremely strong pulse of supra-sonic energy that can stop the heart of any living thing in its crosshairs. The Geneva Convention will, of course, condemn its use after some government uses it to slay their enemies on the battlefield in a wide six mile swath of land. By then it will become stuff of legend but would have given the victor an upper hand in future negotiations with their allies and enemies alike.

67. I can see some country experimenting with this – the creation of non-crossable roadways and highways. What are those? Simply, they’re streets set up with individual driving lanes with barriers that can’t be crossed and intersections that prevent motor vehicles from entering until a barrier is released. The barriers themselves can be physical, like an electronically operated fence, or electrical. If your vehicle attempts to cross the barrier an electrical pulse stops you in your tracks. These devices would be useful for distracted, inebriated and inexperienced drivers.

68. Electronic paint. What is it you ask? Well, imagine being able to change the color of your walls or the exterior of your house or car with the flick of a switch. Don’t like that drab olive green? No problem. Just push the button and voila!, you have a glorious new chartreuse, fuchsia or lipstick red version of your prized possession. The changeable substance would be known as chameleon paint and would have to be installed professionally. Whenever you tried to change the color of your car, though, there’s a catch. The state patrol would have to be notified and you’d have to pay a fee. Bank robbers would especially love chameleon paint for their getaway cars but the police would have a detection system that would allow them to see a car’s original color.

69. Magnetism. I couldn’t help thinking that this is an unexplored physical component. I was thinking about line arrays this morning. Those are huge speaker systems set up on large trusses and utilized at outdoor and indoor concerts. I”m thinking there must be a way to do away with the trusses and just have the speakers “float” high above the stage. This should lessen the chances of the trusses falling due to accidents like a bump or a wind gust. It’s preferable if the magnets were not electrically created just in case there’s a blackout and the speakers come crashing down. They have these little scientific experiments where metal balls are suspended in the air over a base they’re magnetically repellent to. On a much larger scale floating devices caould be possible.

70. Street legal, non-destructible bumper-type cars. Sometimes I wonder if auto makers could create cars that can withstand a 60 mph crash into a brick wall and sustain no injuries. Rubber or air-filled bumpers around cars would seem bulky but would do the trick. It’d also be nice if there was some sort of electronic device that could create a force field around cars – an auto buffer zone, if you will.

71. I’m actually surprised no country or jurisdiction hasn’t thought of this – consolidated licenses. Why carry around a driver’s license + credit card + library card + car registration + EBT card + auto insurance card + debit card when all the necessary info can simply be scanned from one all purpose driver’s license. One card to rule them all. It could happen.

72. Back in the day, when I was a young ‘un and went to concerts frequently, I’d often forget where I parked my car. Either my memory was poor because I drank at concerts or the venue’s parking lot was atrociously huge. Someday, I hope, they’ll improve holographic technology where you can just press a button on a remote and a holographic light or sign will be emitted from your car about 10 feet in the air so you can get home quickly.

73. History repeats itself in one long Moebius strip of dissention and dissatisfaction. There will be a rapid and massive increase in memberships to polarizing institutes like the New Black Panther Party, the NRA, the KKK, the Aryan Brotherhood, the Muslim Brotherhood and similar groups.

74. They say the world is getting smarter. I beg to differ, given the proliferation of emojis, symbols which express your feelings on the internet without you having to scribble a word. As a matter of fact, do they even teach script or penmanship in schools anymore? But I digress. Someday, they’ll come up with super intelligent smart watches. The usual fare – time, calendar, temperature, TV and movie schedules, GPS and internet will still be on there, but now they’ll include medical diagnostic tools such as EKG, CT Scans, brain activity, adrenaline and cortisone levels, blood sugar and alcohol levels, whether you’ve had too much to eat and drink, blood analysis, stress levels, pulse oximeter, lung and O2 capacity, heart, liver, kidney and other organ diagnostics, muscular health, you name it. Are you really having an anxiety attack? Your trusty wrist-worn machine will let you know. Having a heart attack? Your all-purpose device will automatically deliver a shot of nitroglycerine to your body. Pretty cool, huh?

75. Personal karma reader. Human beings, by their very nature, can be a deceitful lot. Not everyone is like that, of course, but wouldn’t be cool to have a way of knowing if the person you’re talking to is sincere or a shyster? Is that guy you’re dating serious or just looking for a quick hookup? Is that merchant at the clothing store trying to scam me out of my hard=earned cash? Is this car really a lemon? Well, just one glance at your PKR will tell you if the man you’re talking to is trustworthy or lying through his teeth. A special, heavy duty PKR would also have to be designed for news reporters because, when they interview politicians, their readers are sure to glow red to the point of exploding.

76. Movie pill. Forget about the silver screen or that 76″ flat-screen, 4K LED TV. Just pop one of these bad boys, lie down in bed, and watch the latest flick in your mind’s eye. Soon to come, the music and internet surfing pills.

77. Road Rage I. It’s as common as snow in the Himalayas. Be careful who you give a finger to in the next lane. He just might be carrying a Smith & Wesson something or other. One very annoying thing about U.S drivers, though, is their lack of road etiquette. Many times, while driving, the car behind me is so close I could see the color of the driver’s eyes. Yes, I’ve been tempted to grind my car to a halt, leap out, and yell at them, “Back dafuq up!” Since that little display could cost be a bullet in the chest, I thought that, perhaps, when a driver pulls up too closely behind me, an LED sign would come on in my back windshield which read, “Warning! You are too close!” or something along those lines.

78. Road Rage II. Have you walked across the street, the traffic light obviously in your favor, but you don’t know if the jackass pulling up towards you at 40 miles an hour will stop? This irritates me to know end. Screech! There they are, at the very last minute, close to sending you sailing over the hood of their automobile. For such careless, mindless, inconsiderate folks, there needs to be some way to forcefully slow drivers down when they’re approaching an intersection too quickly, especially since the light is against them. One way would be to have some powerful, electromagnetic traffic-tracking device that could slow them down, or even better yet, a barrage of bullets flying towards them from a hidden cache of military-grade weapons. Okay, that’s gruesome, but hopefully it conveys my disappointment with these thoughtless drivers.

79. Touchless Switches. In this day and age of multiple viruses and the like, it’s good to know that there are efforts in place to help reduce the growing number of bacteria and other microscopic nasties which can endanger peoples’ lives. For instance, in the local mall, the soap dispenser and faucet are touchless. The water does suffer from extreme low pressure and the tiny about of soap bubbles being dispensed couldn’t wash a snail, but that’s a minor quibble. Hopefully, and germophobes will agree with this, any public devices we are forced to touch directly, like door handles, toilet levers, elevator buttons and traffic-crossing switches for pedestrians, will be equipped with some kind of electric eye that would detect a user’s presence and activate when the user simply passes his hand in front of said devices.

80. Self-sterilizing machines. This prediction is directly related to No. 79 above. Can you imagine the amount of germs that spread between users at your local 24 Hour Fitness Center? Naturally, if treadmills and Nautilus machines could self-sterilize between users, that would definitely cut down on cross contamination. Yeah, athletes are supposed to wipe off the machines before and after use, but how many folks actually do that? Other self-sterilizing items could potentially include taxi and police car seats, public toilets, restaurant seats and tables, and the massaging chairs at the mall (I use these a lot, but without the massaging effect in use).

81. Capture Net. Forget Robo Cop. I can see this being used in the future of law enforcement. Imagine the scenario: a squad car is in hot pursuit of a stolen car or even a thief on foot. The police car pulls up behind the getaway suspect, then – WHOOSH – deploys an unbreakable net from the grill or hood of their vehicle which flies up and out towards their fleeing target, completely encapsulating and immobilizing them from continuing on any further. Think of the innocent pedestrians that will be saved this way. The police would probably need the designs from Peter Parker who, I’m sure, would be more than happy to show then how his FWIP! trick is done.

 

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