People love their tech toys, but there is a huge gap between what they desire to own and what the tech industry is churning out. Yes Bruce Wayne’s Quadcopter and Marty’s Hover board is definitely out of question but there are really some cool stuff that have captured our imagination in the realm of science fiction which could be a reality by the year 2020. So step aside all you doomsday naysayers, this word belongs to people who want to live exuberantly, where there is no limit to possibilities.
Let’s begin with the Driverless Car - It was the year 2001 just before the twin tower attack. A story revolving around a casino heist became the talk of the town (yes, we are talking about Ocean’s Eleven). This movie is not only famous for the incredible casting coup but also for the fact that it is the first movie to showcase the capability of a self-driving car in the climax scene where a minivan (supposed to be loaded with stolen cash) approaches the tarmac and the bad storm inside the van only to find empty seats and a camera attached to the steering wheel. Everyone marveled at the genius back then, yet these days we read a news piece or snippet every once in a while about how some reputable tech companies are trying the driverless car. And it is no more a miraculous phenomenon.
Another movie which is known to showcase reasonable futuristic gadgets is the Iron Man trilogy along with the Avengers series. Of all the fantastic and freaky technological stuff that these movies demonstrated, the one that is a possible reality is the Holographic Screen or Display where we see Tony Stark swiping multiple screens, tapping videos, hooking up to other objects using bluetooth and controlling them. These are quite farfetched but the BMW 3-series already has the technology embedded in their windshields on a lesser scale. So by the year 2020, we can definitely see much more advancement of this technology. Augmented reality technology and IoT (Internet of Things) are converging fast and we will probably see an Iron Man type head gear soon too!
The next big thing that is already making inroads into normal lifestyle is the Biometric Face Scanner. Remember Minority Report which came in 2002? The movie had demonstrated this technology where we saw CCTV cameras capturing a person’s image and in a matter of second all details about that person was displayed on a screen. We don’t yet have this on the mainstream front except for a few sophisticated defense communities, but all smartphones and tablets have some sort of rudimentary face scanning technology that can be used for logging into the system. This technology is still primitive and can easily be hacked into but we are sure that by 2020 we may see a much advanced face scanning system available for more common usage.
What we discussed till now is on the personal level. Let’s see what is in store on macro level in terms of futuristic technology. The reboot of Total Recall movie starring Colin Farrel showed us the protagonist commuting from Hong Kong to London everyday via the Hyperloop. This mode of transport uses tunneling out through the core of the earth on both ends with a tube inside that will use Gravity to move from one end to another in matter of minutes. This is really not possible by 2020 but Elon Musk of Space X Industries is already trying to build a prototype for the distance between New York and San Francisco. China is already requesting other countries to give them permission to create such an infrastructure. We have to wait and watch. But this technology is already gaining acceptance among governments but will need some extraordinary amount of money to build the infrastructure.
Finally, it is imperative that we speak about the Flying cars which are a norm in any sci-fi movie where we see cops chasing bad guys on flying pods. But in reality we do have cars which can take off and also run on the road and they are in a very advanced stage of production. All that is left is the policies and standards required to be laid down by the government as airspace is quite complicated than other aspects and involves national security, safety concerns and some other rules of engagement to make it more consistent. All in all the future looks incredible and it is going to a blast for all of us who love technology. Let us be more responsible so that Technology serves our purpose and not the other way around.
Do check AlmaMapper for when these become a reality!
Credits: Varun Rajagopalan