A blast from the future

A MILLION MILES FROM NORMAL – By Paige Nick

STUFF YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU NEEDED

More than twenty years ago movies like Back to the Future predicted we would all be whipping around in flying cars by now, or teleporting ourselves from the lounge to the kitchen wearing clothing that makes us invisible. So we might be running a bit behind in that regard, but as far as other futuristic inventions go, we seem to be right on schedule. There are more crazy doodads, whatchamacallits and dingbats coming out every year than we know what to do with. Forget the Jones’, these days we’re far too busy keeping up with the Gates’.

At the end of last year, an Italian denim company brought out a pair of jeans that will update your Facebook status for you. They have a vinyl pocket with a miniscule Bluetooth device built into it, which talks to your smartphone, allowing your pants to share updates with all your peeps. Because if you’re the kind of person who needs their crotch to update their status for them, then you probably have peeps

All you have to do is remember to put your pants on in the morning and your jeans will let all your friends, followers and stalkers know your location and your mood, using an advancedhappiness level monitor. For now your pants can only select one of eight different moods tobroadcast to the world, but give them a couple of months and I’m sure they’ll up it to twelve. And in less than a year it will be twenty, and then within two years your jeans will be driving your car and chewing your food for you too.

Is technology getting out of control? Perhaps. There’s a company out there in the madder world that will take your ashes once you are no longer, and load them into fireworks, so that your friends and family can ‘let you off’ into the night sky. They’ll do it with your pet’s ashestoo. Which seems cruel if you know how much dogs hate fireworks. The company’s theory is that you came into this world with a bang, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go out with one too.

But the Japanese are by far the maddest and most prolific when it comes to crazy inventions.Japanese scientists recently invented a robotic hand that uses a silicone brain to beat you atRock, paper, scissors every single time. It’s pretty impressive; in fact, I’m not sure how we’ve managed to function on this planet for the last two thousand years without it.

In an attempt to not be out-crazied by the Japanese, the Americans just brought out the latest hot-fad gadget that’s setting the techie world atwitter. The Smart Fork (which also comes with a spoon attachment) measures every fork-full of food you put in your mouth, and letsyou know if you’re eating too much, or too fast. I think it’s a good idea in theory, especially considering the out of control obesity levels we’re experiencing, but I’m not entirely sure I want my fork telling me what to do.

Especially when they develop more advanced versions and you can programme it to beverbal or even disparaging. Then instead of just vibrating to gently remind you that youmight be overdoing it, your fork will be able to shout at you, ‘Oi fatso, really think you need that?’ Even worse, what if they become like those fancy GPS systems you get these days,where you can download a famous person’s voice. I definitely don’t want Johnny Depp orDame Judy Dench telling me I’ve eaten too much pasta.

And let’s not overlook the momentous technological advancements that have been made in the bedroom. There is now a wi-fi enabled sex toy for all those frequent business travellers or people in long-distance relationships. So you can still have sex even if you’re a million miles away from each other. You each hold one device and it senses your actions and transmits them. Basically, as each lover pleasures themselves with their toys, their partner feels those motions in real-time, so you can have virtual sexual encounters. There are multiple pressure and speed sensors for the ladies, and for the gents, well, a gentleman never tells, so I don’t know, but it looks like fun in the pictures.

And just because it isn’t creepy enough, it also comes with an app that features a video conferencing function. Clearly we haven’t learnt our lesson about leaky sex tapes from Paris Hilton, Linsday Lohan and all the Kardashian sisters yet.

So sure, technology can be on our side, but I get the feeling that we’re always destined to take it one step too far. And that whenever we do, there’ll be some geek just standing by,wearing a pair of pants that will tweet about it.



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