Just when a person thinks technology has gone as far as it possibly can and there just cannot be anything new to develop and create, a trade show is held which proves us wrong. There are many new things just around the corner, which we will find incredible at first and will be unable to live without six months later, just as we do with every new electronic gizmo and gadget that comes out.
In a few short years, you could be brushing your teeth and decide to check your calendar to see what your day holds in store for you. A tap on your mirror will bring up your calendar. Sitting down at a laptop will be old-school. As computers get smaller and screens more flexible, it will be possible to have alternative screens everywhere. Almost any flat surface in your house will be inter-active. Windows, wall and even appliances will have a computer brain with a connection to the internet and will be “smart” – much like our “smart” phones of today. I’m not making this stuff up! Steve Clayton is the editor of the “Next at Microsoft blog” and he assures readers that this and more is on its way into our homes.
What else is Mr. Clayton talking about? Well, how about a camera which is embedded in the door and has facial recognition? This will make house keys a thing of the past. This system will let you dog in and out, but not your neighbor’s pets. If a family members brings someone home (ie. your daughter brings that “cute boy” home), the house will text a message to you and you can decide your next course of action.
My favorite “coming soon item” is something which will replace bar codes used in stores now. It is called RFID (radio frequency identification). The tags will emit a radio signal and will be able to be read from a short distance. So, you will be able to place items in a cart at your favorite store and simply walk out of the door. A RFID scanner will read the tags as you leave and charge your credit card. This technology will also be available for your home. For example, by adding a scanner to your fridge, you can immediately know what is in inside. In fact, medical labs already use this technology. The tags are coming down in price very quickly and predictions are that we will soon be using RFID tags.
I remember watching the Jetsons on TV, those cartoon characters who lived in the future. In their futuristic world they had many marvelous inventions, which we knew could never really be created in real life. It turns out we were wrong and that we are able to live like the Jetsons, and maybe even better than they did.
So, bring on the future! I can’t wait to try out all the new offerings. I wonder, though, if they will ever invent a way for the dishes to empty themselves out of the dishwasher into the cupboard?