Tuesday, January 19, 2016

List Day: 5 Exciting and Not-So-Exciting Technologies

  • Self-driving Cars: I can't wait until self-driving cars are both affordable and completely autonomous. Extended road trips are the worst part of any vacation, and the trip to Virginia Tech down I-81 is probably much more enjoyable while sleeping (and microsleep doesn't count). I might even go shopping in ridiculously crowded places, because then I can just tell the car to drive around the block for 20 minutes and pick me up later.

  • Hoverboards: Fire hazards aside, the first generation of hoverboards is a huge disappointment, because having wheels involved seems to be directly incompatible with the prefix, "hover". However, a real hoverboard doesn't interest me in the least bit, unless the technology can also levitate high enough to safely cross busy roads without waiting for the walk signal.

  • Teleportation: I don't want to teleport because I could never be sure that the version of me on the other side was actually me and not an exact replica (old movie spoilers!). Just focus on getting me somewhere incredibly fast in my self-driving car instead.

  • Internet of Things: The Internet of Things is stupid and insecure. I don't want my fridge to be able to send email, and Amazon Echo can barely understand me when I ask it to play a song. Wiring everything in your house and dumping it onto an unsecured Internet connection just sounds like a horrible idea all around.

  • Virtual Reality: With the Occulus Rift about to come out, I feel like we're in the exact same place we were in the early nineties, when there were lines around kiosks at Springfield Mall to pay ridiculous prices for the privilege of walking around a monochrome line art world. I'll be excited to try it out, but don't think it's going to be world-changing for quite some time to come. My biggest fear is that game designers will use VR as an excuse to add more jumping platform puzzles to video games, and these are intrinsically awful any time the number of dimensions is greater than 2.

What future technologies excite you?

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