We are fortunate to live in a world in which many of the things that were once science fiction are now every day science fact. For example, look at the communicators used on the original Star Trek that aired in 1966, a mere forty-five years ago. These devices were small flip top units that allowed Captain Kirk and his team to communicate with each other. Now fast-forward to today and take a look at the cell phone in your pocket that you use every day.
Today’s devices are often smaller; yet do far more than anything that the Trek writers of the sixties imagined. A normal smart phone can of course call people, but it can also text, play games, check the weather, take photos and videos (some in 3D), and browse the nearly unlimited source of data that is the internet… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Many phones now are toying with AR (augmented reality) programs that superimpose data over real-time video images. So the question is: What will the technological devices of the future do?
To help find out the answer to that question, the microchip masterminds at Intel have turned to the same source of inspiration that many inventors used… science fiction writers. Intel has always been of the bigger-faster-better-stronger philosophy of technology. It’s what they excelled at in creating faster and faster microchips. However, today’s technology-infused consumers aren’t as concerned with how fast or powerful the technology is so much as what it can do. People want technology that is useful and makes their lives easier.
To this end, Intel created ‘The Tomorrow Project’, a compilation of short fiction from writers Ray Hammond (The Modern Frankenstein), Douglas Rushkoff (Cyberia), Markus Heitz (The Dark Time), and Scarlett Thomas (PopCo). These writers were given the simple instruction to write a short story that incorporates how people might use technology in the future. You can download the entire ‘The Tomorrow Project’ anthology, or the individual short stories, as PDF files from Intel’s official site.
Is this a brilliant strategy from Intel that will bring us the technology of the future? What is your outlook on how you’d like to see technology used in your own lifetime?