For those of you who only follow this blog and not my author page or my personal page (I post funny stuff) I wrote a novel last year called “One Nation.” It is a dystopian novel set in during the fall of 2041 into winter of 2041/2042. The democratic and republican parties have been replaced by the fascist Freedom Party. An affluent woman finds herself under investigation by the National Police. As she and her husband find themselves shunned by their friends and colleagues they have to decide if they if they can salvage their life in America or if they should run.
Since this novel is set twenty-four years in the future one of the challenges I had in writing this was trying to anticipate what the technology would be in the future. Was I right or wrong? We’ll know for sure in twenty-four years.
I will only be discussing the future tech from my novel. If there is any other future tech anyone wants to discuss feel free to comment. I can research further and comment back. And if anyone hasn’t read “One Nation” yet rest assured that this post shouldn’t serve as a spoiler.
When I wrote the rough draft I had littered the landscape with Humvees. Then it occurred to me that much like the Humvee had replaced the iconic Jeep from World War II something newer would have to replace the Humvee. After some research I found the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. It isn’t officially called the Joltvee. I hope the name catches on.
I actually got the idea of the Orwellian identity chips from an episode of CSI: Miami I saw ten years ago. If you are familiar with the show’s format a dead body turns up and they use SCIENCE to solve the mystery. In the episode I remember a girl had an RFID chip implanted under her skin that held all her personal information. Farfetched? Not as much as you would think.
Google glasses are a very real thing but I don’t think they have taken off like Google hoped it would. Likely we will need Apple to make the idea popular… because until Apple makes it we ignore it. Regardless, we are going to have some augmented VR system that we will use in our environment. The Google glass overlay or something like it makes sense. I had to find a way to ditch the iGlasses midway through the story. The idea of wearing something with a camera and a microphone would have impeded my characters escape from their peril.
This is simple in concept. We watch programs through OLED TVs now. What if we can wallpaper our entire houses with flexible OLED screens? I can see that happening in the future. Every wall covered with screens that will feed your images from programming or just simple scenery like bucolic meadows or golden beach sunsets. Even more, with transparent OLED displaying information on your car windshield.
Self Driving Cars
These are coming pretty soon (and, given my commute in the Dallas area, can’t come soon enough). The Teslas can already drive themselves with minimal input from the driver and Google has been working on a self driving prototype. Uber is experimenting with their own self driving cabs (and getting pushback from the California legislature). The cars will get smarter and pretty soon everyone will have one.
Last week I bought a Google Home. It serves as a personal assistant and at some point I can have it control aspects of my home. I probably need to write a separate blog post on AIs and how much they have advanced in the last ten years alone. Even now between my smartphone, Google Chrome and other connected devices all the tech is doing a good job of managing my life. I’ve noticed that if I forward a flight itinerary to my Gmail account Google will keep me up to date on my flight status. Some people are frightened by the Orwellian nature of this but I am fine with it. Tech is everywhere and unless I am fleeing the country like Jennifer Hanson does in “One Nation” it’s easier to have an AI assisting me in life.
When I was interacting with Google Home this week she surprised me with a question. She said, “By the way, that reminds me… what is your favorite animal?” I was shocked for a moment. I said “Cats?”