12 things that’ll seem ludicrous in our lifetime / news.com.au, daily telegraph, courier mail, sunshine coast daily, Hong Kong Radio 3, ABC Far North

We so often look forward to what we might have in the future, that its fun to stop for a minute and think about what we won’t have in the future, and this week News.com.au’s Gary Nunn reached out to ask exactly that…

WITHIN our own lifetime, people will scoff at the thought of sitting on a flight for 22+ hours across the world.

It’s one of many things that’ll rapidly seem unfeasible to the upcoming generation.

Elon Musk recently revealed plans for a next-generation spacecraft that could fly to “most places on earth in under 30 minutes and anywhere in under 60 — with the cost per seat the same as a current full economy fare.”

What else will become ludicrously outdated? I spoke to some futurists whose predictions show that some disruptive innovations may be coming sooner than you think. Here’s a list of what could become a quaint thing of the past before you’ve even begun withdrawing your pension:

IN THE COMMUNITY

1) Schools being used just once a day

“As population density increases in urban areas, infrastructure like schools will double down on their resources” says James Fogelberg, former ‘Head of What’s Next’ at Adshel. “Schools will be used twice in one day. They’ll offer parents the option of sending kids to either morning or afternoon and even evening school.”

2) Leaving your house to vote

The blockchain will create the security and opportunity to vote digitally in elections. It’s already happening — overseas Australians were able to vote online in the postal survey on same-sex marriage.

Futurist Dave Yeates says: “The blockchain works with currencies like Bitcoin right now, but it’ll change how we digitally certify both ourselves and our ballot papers. That’s right: no more awkward queues at school voting booths.” Shame about the traditional democracy sausage then (more on meat later).

3) Stopping at traffic lights

Business futurist Morris Miselowski says: “Forget traffic lights, speed limits and roundabouts. In a world where vehicles, roads, and infrastructure are constantly chatting to each other, we’ll soon be able to figure out how to dynamically adjust the traffic lights, road conditions and available parking to best suit the traffic it’s trying to cope with at that moment.”

 

IN THE HOME

4) Paying for your own Wi-Fi

“In the sharing economy, wificoin and other blockchain technologies will mean sharing Wi-Fi with your neighbours will become common, leading to you paying four times less than you currently do” says Matt Hoggett, co-founder of Prezzee. “It’ll also enable you to earn money via micro-payments. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

5) Using a mobile phone

Futurist Bachir El Khoury says you can say goodbye to your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy: “In five to ten years, people will look back at smartphones as we look back at the Nokia brick phone. It only took ten years to have the iPhone, and now only ten years after having the revolutionary touch screen, we speak to them! Phones will be replaced by smarter sensors and devices, such as glasses (Microsoft Hololens) and in particular virtual retinal display technology.”

6) Typing and reading

Brain machine interfaces will mean you can plug your brain straight into external technology devices, says Morris Miselowski. “Within a couple of decades, we’ll not only be able to get information out of our brain and into technology, but we’ll also reverse it and input information into our brain. Turn on lights, open doors, command a wheelchair, learn a new language, see a new sight, or if there’s too much going on in your head, maybe download some of your thinking into offsite storage.”

You can forget about being attached to your smart phone. In a couple of decades we might be able to plug our brains directly into technology, or at least wear it in a much more convenient way.

7) Doing your own tax return

“Don’t worry about telling the tax department what you spent last year, they already know. All your transactions have been collected, audited and analysed by artificial intelligence. All your deductions, refunds and obligations have been worked out by your robo financial adviser” says Morris Miselowski.

 

MEDICAL

8) Human surgeons

Within the next thirty years, it’s likely that a robot will perform your triple heart bypass, according to futurist Sankar Gopinath. “The development of minimally invasive, smarter, automated, precise, and effective medical technologies means that nano-robots could be used for complex operations where a surgery is deemed critical but dangerous. This tiny equipment can help doctors diagnose the problems with much less blood spillage.”

9) Human doctors

Instead of visiting doctors, we’ll swallow them, according to Morris Miselowski: “These tiny hair-width nanobot doctors, ingested or inserted, are your own on-board specialist team of medical researchers, diagnosticians and physicians. Programmed to deliver tailor-made medicine to just the right cell, or perhaps take a good look at your colon or bowel and send real time information back to your doctor; they’ll even perform minor internal procedures.”

10) Single use toilets

“We’ll look back at our toilets and be amazed they were only used to transport waste.” Danielle Storey from the Eastern Innovation Centre is developing a system whereby toilets “become diagnostic tools for early disease. We’ll self-manage our health rather than awaiting a doctor’s opinion.”

 

FOOD

11) Eating meat

Author Richard Dawkins predicts that we’ll “look back on the way we treated animals today as something like we today look back on the way our forefathers treated slaves.”

12) Awkward bill splitting in restaurants

“We’ll read the menu on our phone while we’re there (often seeing video or chef comments, or a cooking demonstration), order in an app and pay for it all digitally often without speaking to a waiter. In China this is already the norm and mostly done through WeChat” says Morris Miselowski.

Podcasts:

Hong Kong Radio 3, Phil Whelan, Tuesday 31st October 2017, (15 mins 35 secs)


Kier Shorey ABC Far North, Monday 6th November 2017 (13 mins 20 secs)

#CES2016 – the 6 trends that will dominate the year ahead ( #2016trends ) / Austereo, ABC Local, ABC Far North

_DSC0661 CES (Consumer Electronic Show) 2016, Nerdvana, has ended for another year and Las Vegas has said goodbye to 170,000 visitors and 3,631 exhibitors all itching to get a glimpse of the year ahead in tech gadgets and retail offerings and also looking for the dots to connect to figure out what’s lies further ahead.

There were a number of clear categories this year and in this weeks regular ABC and Austereo radio segments I explored some of these and also what may be next and after next.

The overriding theme for me this year was that we have crossed over the threshold away from having and owning to using and doing.

This new ambient state of being assumes technology exists and is readily available, just like electricity, gas and water, which means we no longer get as excited about the form factor of it anymore and instead it’s all about the experience – what can it do to make my life more interesting, easier or better.

So here are my top 6 CES trends and what they mean to you…

1. Cars of the Future – this display has gone from a garage sized hall a few years ago, to a mega display that brings many of the existing automotive players to town and even more interestingly the “wannabees’ like Apple and Google as well. No surprise cars are going autonomous eventually, but on the road to autonomy will be a whole heap of interesting incremental changes including electric cars, cars that park themselves, everything connected cars including Apple Car Play and Android Auto and every third-party provider of new shiny auto industry toys.

Get set for the biggest revolution in cars since we first saw them on our roads just over 100 years ago.

2. Virtual Reality – this year marks the beginning of this new retail category and is definitely 2016’s Christmas stocking stuffer. Manufacturers including Samsung, Sony, Occulus Rift and others have brand new shiny headsets being released in the first half of this year, with pricing ranging from $30 – $600.These digital magical carpets will allow you temporarily escape the physical world and enter a “world of pure imagination”. For the first time you’ll be able to experience the internet, touch knowledge and feel facts as your mind and a headset takes you anywhere to experience anything without your body ever leaving home.

As great as Virtual Reality is Augmented Reality will eventually be the bigger industry and dominant technology, because long-term we don’t really want to walk around in a completely artificial digital world with the real world hidden away, what we want is for both the real and virtual worlds to co-exist.

3. Drones – last year seemed to be dominated by them, but wait there’s more. We’ll be droning about drones for at least another year as the CES goes wild for drones with ever conceivable and even some far-fetched drone uses including a manned drone available from Ehang capable of taking a single person up between 350 metres and 3 kilometres for a flight length of 23 minutes, but before you get too excited you’ll need 2 things, first $250,000 and second to get a government authority anywhere on earth to let you fly it.

This year we’ll see and hear lots of companies like Australia Post, Amazon, Pizza Hut and others trialing this delivery tech and eventually one of them might make it work, but there’s still a tonne of government regulation to get through and business models to prove.

4. Video Streaming – one of the larger breakout sections this year was video streaming pushed along by Netflix’s announcement to extend their services to 170 additional countries. This year we’ll see You Tube try to step up to the commercial video streaming plate, as well as see new tech including 4K and 360 degree videos and virtual reality.

Behind all of this is the forever fracturing of free to air and centralised content distribution.

It is now about whatever, whenever and on whichever device, as the tower of Babel falls and the world becomes a universal always-on TV set pulling content from everywhere and making it available to evrybody.

5. Smart Homes – The world of science fiction is fast becoming science fact as the world of objects steadily connect themselves to the internet and Internet of Things appliances abound. Samsung announced their new smart fridge and it seems every other stand boasted about its tech’s ability to remotely and intuitively turn things on and off and open and shut for you.

Give it a few years and this tech will seem as ordinary as social media is today.

6. Personal Robots – I’ve been waiting for this one since I read my first sci-fi novel, watched the Jestons and saw my first Star Trek episode, we may not yet be at the human looking android robot stage yet, but this year we will see the first retail available set of personal robots ranging from those that do not move at all but do speak and interact with you, to those that have some moving parts, to those that zip around your home.

This is early days for this industry sector and it is not so much this years offerings that excite me, but the possibilities of what the next few generations of robots might be and do.

As always lots more to talk about and in these on air radio segments I cover the CES in more detail, so have a listen now..

Phil Staley – ABC Far North – 18 Jan 2016 – (17 minutes  55 seconds)

Glynn Greensmith – ABC Local – It’s Just Not Cricket – 16 Jan 2016 – (17 minutes 0 seconds)

Anthony Tilli – Southern Cross Austereo – 11 Jan 2016 – (6 minutes  16 seconds)