Technology has indeed evolved over the years and continues to influence every facet of our lives. The advent of new technology has been a powerful force in molding the way humans interact as well as how society operates in general. Most people will think of technology as a combination of complex high tech machines such as computers but that is only one part of it. Furthermore, changes to way of life due to technological changes can be mild or drastic depending on how society receives it. For instance, the use of personal and business email has significantly reduced the use of postal mail and landline phone conversations which were mainstream for most part of the 20th century. It is projected that over 130 billion people will use email in 2017 (Radicati and Levenstein 4).
The year is 1966 and alas, I know everyone in the neighborhood. I am a factory worker working twelve hour shifts. My job entails loading coal onto wagons for transportation to be used for power generation. Close to 100% of my work is manual meaning that I load up to 50 pounds per effort and could load up to a total 5000 pounds per day. I work at modest wage which means I am able to lead a comfortable life and still have some money left to save. Water and electricity utilities are cheap and affordable due to low taxes and low costs of production. I cook one meal per day meaning after work; I cook dinner and later make a sandwich for work the following day. My day starts at 5 o’clock in the morning and if you allow me to describe my alarm clock- it is an analogue clock. My main form of transportation is the train which is powered by steam which is generated by burning coal. The latest technology is the karaoke machine which has revolutionized the local social scene. My workmates and I meet once in a while at a local restaurant to unwind. Even though face to face communication is the most common form of communication both at work and at home, telephone and postal mail are still mainstream. Entertainment is through watching news on the black and white TV available. It is the most popular mass media item after radio. Even though television stations are adopting color transmission, majority of members of the public can only watch news on the black and white TV sets due to cost. However, places such as auditoriums, museums, and airports have TV sets that can show broadcasts in color. Music entertainment is via a radio cassette player or gramophone that is kept inside the living room cabinet. The gramophone/turntable that entertains us with the latest music uses the LP (long play) record that contains one to two songs which are lacking in stereophonic sound properties but good to enjoy anyway. Hits from bands such as the Beatles and Rolling Stones are popular and provide good entertainment for unwinding. There are neither calculators nor digital cameras and doing math is either through manual arithmetic operations or logarithmic tables for simple or complex problems respectively. Photography is purely by use film and taken mainly using a 35 millimeter Kodak camera and could take days to process the film into actual pictures. Train and bus could take you places and you could also ride a bike for shorter distances. Walking to the store, bank, or church is common place. There are no automated teller machines therefore individuals have to walk into a bank and conduct transactions in person.
Fast forward to the year is 2066 and according to future predictions; we will be surrounded by intelligent electronic environments that will be responsive to our needs (Cook et al 277). There may be no schools but rather hubs where students meet to do tests because learning in through an online interface. For instance, teachers could be right in the living room via holograms and all work is done from hubs or home. Super high speed internet is standard in all homes. Travel to Europe is only 2 hours via supersonic underwater tubes. All food is warmed via laser because the microwave oven is now archaic. Computers no longer have keyboards- data input is through voice or touchpads. All cars on the road are electric or use renewable energy such as solar. Robots are the order of the day and they basically do all the work- farms, manufacturing, teaching, driving and so forth. There are driverless cars in every corner or cars being driven by robots. The cell phone is archaic, there will be chips implanted into our palms for all forms of communication. Food production will be rapid. For example, tomatoes could grow and ripen in a few days as a result of ground breaking advances in botany. Travel to the moon/space travel will be common for anyone who can afford and schools will take students on field trips to space. Indeed some scientists/futurists have predicted the use of space elevators to transport people to the moon and other planets (Pearson 2). Universities will still be centers of excellence and a driving force in technological advances. Entertainment and sports will be advanced in that you can bring the whole stadium to your house via advance 3D technology. Laws will have changed significantly to adjust to the new realities as a result of globalization. Computers are going to be smaller and smaller and chips run by atoms and molecules that are invisible to the naked eye (Briseno 1).
As futurists predict the technology that will be available in the future, one thing for sure is that, it will significantly have an effect on how humans interact and science will still remain the driving force of new technology or improvement of already existing technology.
Briseno, Terri. “10 Futurist Predictions in the World of Technology.” Web. 8 February 2016 <http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/future-tech/10-futurist-predictions-in-the-world-of-technology.htm>
Jerome Pearson. “Space elevator concept.” Web. 08 February 2016. <http://spaceref.com/space-elevator/>
Cook Diana, Augusto Juan, and Jakkula Vikramaditya. "Ambient Intelligence: Technologies, applications, and opportunities.” Pervasive and mobile computing. Vol 5, 2009. Web. 10 February 2016
Radicati, Sara, and Levenstein, Justin. “Email statistics report, 2013-2017.” The Radicati group. Web. 10 February 2016 < http://www.redicati.com>