I am living in the future. The future is now. Most people are living in the past. Those who use words such as "glasshole" simply are adverse to change or do not have the vision to see that we will all be using such technologies soon or be relegated to the non-trainable generation often associated with grandparents. I used text messaging aggressively before it was vogue. My family organized our lives and social schedules with T9 SMS while those around me decried "put your phone down." Little did they know how active and involved my life was because of those texts. Today those same people we see typing away endlessly and making fewer phone calls. Five years before it took off, I begged for using technology, such as iPads, as learning tools in our schools. People shunned my suggestions stating, "that will never happen." Now politicians are running on platforms based on getting tablet computers into every students’ hands.
There are many futures I have missed either from lack of skills, such as mechanical engineering, lack of money, or lack of time. For instance, I’ve missed the 3-D printing revolution. I’ll be a participant but as one who lived in the past. 3-D printers have come. Commonplace 3-D printers, like our now disposable inkjet printers, will soon be in everyone’s homes.
I am participating in one of your futures. I very much participate in the Internet of Things which connects our physical world to the virtual world. Today I installed a Nest Protect which is a smoke and carbon monoxide detector far more sophisticated, yet kept incredibly simple, than traditional smoke alarms. The Nest Protect speaks in addition to its alarm so if you have several in the house, they all go off via wireless interconnection and speak the problem location, "smoke detected in the hallway" or "carbon monoxide danger in the den." The Nest Protect has motion detection so it turns on a night light when someone moves under it. This motion detector talks to our Nest Learning Thermostat so that the thermostat can automagically adjust the temperature in the house based on whether or not people are home. Both the Nest Protect and Nest Thermostat are connected via the Internet to my cell phone so that I can set the temperature of the house while I’m anywhere in the world, I can know the home is safe, and I know when there is activity in the house.
Another one of your futures that I am participating in is the Quantified Self. I use the accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, GPS and other sensors in my various devices to track myself. Those living the past reactive with "creepy" and "loss of privacy" but I am enhanced. The quantified self has memory beyond the fallible human mind. My applications tell me exactly where I was and when. I never have to ponder, "what was I doing last Thursday?" My health is improved because I am aware via the tracking of my self. Loss of privacy? Not really but that’s a different post. Join me in your future! It’s a neat place.