What if we didn’t have to hate Mondays? What if the technology we are integrating into our everyday lives eventually merged together to create a digital support structure which would make Mondays – or any other day – more tolerable? “Impossible,” says the skeptic. Well, allow me to describe a possible scene:
We don’t wake up to an alarm clock anymore. Our home knows what time we want to wake up in the morning and provides subtle responses. The curtains slowly open, the temperature climbs a degree or two, the coffee maker gets started, and once our bodies have subliminally primed for action Survivor’s ‘Eye of the Tiger’ starts the show.
Our wearable technology has been keeping track of our appointments for us and starts advising us on the local weather and traffic patterns. There is still plenty of time to enjoy our morning before we have to dress appropriately and leave on time. The latest happenings around the world are then displayed for our browsing on our bathroom mirror. Perhaps a social network post or some email arrived which requires a response? While pouring the cup of coffee our home promised us, we telepathically dictate the message. It’s time for a new song: flip through the catalog on the coffee table and select some new tunes for the playlist being synced to our phones.
It’s getting to be about that time. Better wave goodbye to our home and leave. It reduces the power consumption as we close the door by adjusting the thermostat until it knows we are on the way back home, and remembers to shut down everything we just left on in our excitement to get into our autonomous vehicle. That’s right, our car is part of our team and knows what we know: it knows the weather, the traffic, and our destination and appointment time. The music following us from our pocket picks up where we left off from over the car’s speakers. The most time and cost efficient route is executed while we take the opportunity to apply the make-up or shave or some other activity.
Finally, we arrive where we need to be on time and fully prepared to greet the day. For some reason, everyone we interact with seems to be having a tougher time of it all.
This future sounds fantastic, but it is far closer than we can imagine. Dozens of emerging technologies are being born with this premise: that technology should make life easier and it should work collaboratively with other devices to achieve the goal. Consider Athom’s Homey bot which talks to you and other devices (such as lights, thermostat, music, and more) in your home to create a living tech-sphere. Also, tado° is a great app which allows your phone to adjust the thermostat to save money while away. And on the horizon, Ubuntu is preparing to launch a mobile operating system which promises ‘device convergence’, a philosophy which promises to unite your computers, your phone, and many other essential devices.
Slightly more experimental, many companies are working on wearable technology. Almost everyone has heard about Google’s Glass, which deliver “augmented reality” to users via a heads-up display. However, slightly less well known are Motorola’s Moto360 watch which dialogues with an Android phone and Apple’s rumored iWatch. Wearable technology has been a hot topic lately in technology circles since the public is demanding new, convenient ways to meld their digital lives with their conventional lives. These three contenders are in the lead to break into the market, but there is still plenty of room for a dark horse.
The rest are perhaps the most exciting far-off parts of our hypothetical. As early as a few years ago, Corning Glass has been working to make glass panes which perform intelligent functions; bedroom windows which un-tint when it’s time to wake up, bathroom mirrors which act as displays, and kitchen surfaces which act as cutting boards and heating surfaces. A company known as g.tec is commercializing a variety of ‘brain-computer interfaces’, such as writing, drawing, and interface control. This company’s efforts are on track to making touch-screens a thing of the past. Finally, Google Chauffer allows cars to automatically drive around city streets. Google has been hinting at a 2019 release, but other car manufacturers are trying to beat them to the punch.
So fear not fellow Monday-goers, yesterday’s technology has made our Mondays what they are today, but soon enough it will give rise to the technology which will make our Mondays what they should be.