Back to the future, then and now…

Posted: May 31, 2006 in General Area

I was watching Back the Future II, when Marty and the doc fly to the year 2015. Its amazing to see how much they (the movie makers) expected to change by the year 2015. In the future, according to them, we have flying cars, highways in the sky. Waiters have been replaced with automated CRT CGI people. Want a pizza? stick it in the "hydrating machine, 4 seconds later a full size pizza appears. Kids have hoverboards, some hoverboards have rockets. Telephones in your home are video conferenced, and have direct print support to your office. majority of appliances are voice activated. These are just some of the few things we see from the movie. So how much has really changed and been implemented? Well a microwave is still the most conventional way to heat and prepare food (err well at least for a bachelor like me). It IS the fastest way to heat my type of food. We do have flying cars, but there basically small project planes converted to be able to drive, although they dont look sporty when driving on the road I imagine, but at the least, we know were on our way. Nasa is in development of a"Skyway" for flying cars to travel on, but with the addition of the creation of "air traffic laws" that would set us back another 10 years at least. Waiters have yet to be replaced …but in certain parts of the country, KFC, and Del Taco have adopted computers with LCD screens, you just punch in your order and someone prepares the food in the back eliminating the need for a cashier. As for the video conferencing, VOIP companies are taking the home phone market and this is something that will be a joint task for the broadband companies and the VOIP companies working together to provide clean, no stutter, sharp, clear sounding video conferencing to every home in America…were sort of "on our way". We do have some people that take advantage of using video cameras to talk to people, but even with a very fast internet connection, I have yet to see HD quality video, with High def sound over a 30 minute conversation, now add my Web design team in Florida, my Creation & Product design team in the UK, me at my home, and a few of my employees at my office in Irvine, all together, THAT would be impressive…btw that has to be affordable as well, I probably through off any possibilities with that last one. For the rich or Corporate big brother, there is this option, it seems good but is not anywhere near affordable for the average "Best Buy" dood. As for the direct print support from your office, that is pretty easily done with a VPN, or with a program like PC anywhere, or gotomypc, and sharing a printer…although I dont see why you would need to do that, when you could just email, and print from where your at, the application they used in the movie, was for the boss to send Marty Mcfly, a message that printed out in a horrible font "YOURE FIRED", the message then appeared in almost every room of the house through what seems as wall mounted printers. That I dont want to see happening, imagine changing a toner in a printer mounted in the wall, or coming home to a pile of messages from your office, 90% are spam with adds like BUY VIAGRA TODAY! ..I don't want that and I imagine you don't either. Last but not least, the hoverboard, well there are some antigravity devices in theoretical development, and I imagine in some secret undergroundmilitary airbase, the anti gravit idea was "soooo 1990ish" , but for us mainstream people, the closest well get to a hoverboard is this bad boy. These are basically plywood with lawnmower engines attached vertically, filling the material with a cushion of air, so technically, your just riding on a cushion of air, like a puck on an air hockey table.

I dont think that by 2015 that it will be so much different from today, well have some different things, sure, LCDs will be phased out by OLEDs, E-paper may start to become affordable and be used in more practical situations. Hopefully REAL high speed broadband will have been rolled out to every home, I think the highest we have here for home use in Southern California is around 5mb down 256kb upm which is what I currently use, and I think you actually only get around 1.8mb down. Compare this to Japan that has 10mb down 2mb up speeds, we are WAY behind. With the future, certain amenities should get cheaper, your home phone, internet, and television, and cell phone bill, will most likely be all one low payment, for example. We probably wont see the flying cars within the next 40 years in practical use. Computers will be faster, maybe not in raw clock speed, but with more cores, running more efficiently. (I'll rant later about my complaints on the whole "dual core" cpu's and gpu's). By 2015 I imagine well have incorporated some type of "bio material" for use in CPUs, kind of like using actual living cells to transfer data, instead of atomic level pipelines. Anyways before I rant about the futures possibilities, Ill leave you with this, we are in a time of great change and advancement, but compared to what will occur within the next 100 years, what were doing today is barely setting the stepping stones of our technical evolutionary progress. In the last 20 years we have seen the greatest increase in technology, but I can still remember using a green monotone monitor, typing hundreds of lines of code, just to play pac man, which goes to show, that were still very young in our advancement.

-David

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