Friday, January 23, 2004

Predicting the Future

They had an item on Breakfast this morning about how we'll all be staying in self-sustaining hotel 'pods' when we go on holiday in 2020. These pods would be multi-level buildings that sit on legs so they could be moved fairly easily if the need arose and wouldn't impact the local environment too much. I'm sure there were some other completely pointless reasons, too. Unfortunately, they don't have any details on the website so I can't tell you any more than that.

"What a load of crap", thought I. I mean, predicting the technological advances of the future has always been dodgy. Forty years ago, did anyone predict the internet? Or mobile phones? No, the imagined advances were always much more exotic than that. By the year 2000 we should have been living in space and have an artificially intelligent robot to do all the housework for us.

The people who said all these things can probably be forgiven for imagining them. After all, they had lived at the end of fifty years of fantastic technological advancement, with powered flight becoming common, the power of the atom having been harnessed and computers having been created. And they were just starting to explore space, too. It's hardly surprising that their thoughts ran in that direction.

But that's not how it turned out. And I can't see that this idea of hotel pods will be any different.

However, having said all of that, it can still be a lot of fun trying to predict what life will be like in 20, 30, 50 years time. And there's no reason not to use it as blogging material, so why not give it a go yourself? What do you think will be different in 2030? What will the greatest technological innovation of the next 26 years be? Will life be better or worse for it? Just post your ideas in the comments and I'll pick out the best ones at some point next week.

Then all we'll have to do is wait and see whether we are right.

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