Whether you love or loath science fiction you have to give it credit for preempting technological advances.
So here’s a quick quiz using a sci-fi stalwart; Star Trek. Can you name the modern day equivalent for these four Star Trek gadgets?
If you said mobile phone (‘Handheld communicator’), GPS (‘Transporter Console’), Bluetooth (‘Communications Earpiece’) and iPad (‘PADD’ or ‘Personal Access Display Device’) you get full marks!
You have to love the app that makes your iPad look like a PADD. Now that’s backward compatibility 🙂
What I find most fascinating is that Star Trek originally aired almost 50 years ago! Which makes me wonder; what other sci-fi based prophetic claims can we expect to come true?
One episode of the 1997 TV series ‘The Outer Limits’ (“Stream of Consciousness“) is an interesting blend of science and fiction; specifically it centers on a world where people are connected to a network and can access all information via an electronic implant. Crazy? Perhaps not; British scientist Kevin Warwick reportedly experimented with a similar thing in 1998, only a year after “Stream of Consciousness” aired. Also consider that 10 years ago the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) OK’d this type of technology and that we think nothing of pacemakers, a technology that keeps many people alive. Lastly I’ve seen the term ‘body Internet’ used several times. One use suggests implants can report insulin levels, via the Internet, to researchers (and ultimately doctors) to improve diabetes treatment.
We are at the very beginning of an historical change in the evolution of human communication – the way we connect has altered, the game has new rules and that change creates enormous opportunity. The combined advent of the social Web and mobile technology allows us to fulfill the innately human desire to belong and connect like never before. Individuals, businesses, brands and communities, in every part of the world, are increasingly sharing where they are, what they are doing and what they are thinking. This is taking place in real time and to an unlimited number of people via the new and inherently viral Internet. By leveraging countless layers of connections a single message is now magnified and exposed to a global audience. The world has changed.
But as we see and hear each other in a whole new light, as the world becomes increasingly connected, it is ever more complex and new problems are created. With more people now on Facebook than existed on the planet two hundred years ago, with generations sharing the minutia of their daily existence and with an abundance of choices in how to connect and circulate information there is a sense of confusion.
We now live in a world where our grand children will know significantly more about us than we will ever know about our parents and this raises questions. How will our message, our very identity, perhaps even our legacy be interpreted? The social Web provides a mechanism for global free speech but it has individuals concerned about just what information is available about them online. It has companies wondering how to control brand integrity, how to keep corporate information secure and how to effectively market via multiple new channels.
And these problems impact a worldwide audience. As we acknowledge these concerns we recognize the need to organize and represent every person and every organization simply and accurately.
Of course we are decades away from being able to mentally download instructions on how to fly a helicopter but is it crazy to imagine that computers will control aspects of our life? When will your reputation be impacted by what you say and do on the Internet?
Another question to consider; Brian Solis, “globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media”, states “Social influence is one of the hottest trends in social media” so at what point will your Klout score impact your ability to get a job? Is a resume useless?
I think these questions are rhetorical and aren’t based on a prophetic claim; you are already connected to a network, in fact many networks, and your daily existence increasingly depends on that fact. This isn’t science fiction, it’s the here and the now. Many are blind to it, others confused by it, some simply refuse to acknowledge it. Morpheus, what do you think?
“Unfortunately no one can be told what the [future] is, you have to see it for yourself. This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Remember, all I’m offering is the truth, nothing more. Follr me…”