Wednesday, 13 April 2011

This is the Future.


A bloke in a shop was trying to sell me an Xbox Kinect the other day. He explained that it was similar to a Wii but instead of the control wands you used your own body as the controller.

Now I might be getting the wrong end of the stick here but as far as I'm concerned I'd be dancing round my living room like a puppet following the commands of my Xbox master.

This is the stuff that science fiction authors were writing about years ago.

The vision of life in the 21st century back then saw everyone wearing skintight silver jumpsuits and having purple hair. We would travel around in flying cars and hover shoes.

Big, clanky robots would do all the work for us and bring us our dinner while we sat in our jet-powered armchairs in front of the Smell-o-Vision.

Food would be a pill that tasted of bacon and eggs or apple pie, and we could catch a space bus if we wanted to visit Uncle Vernon who lived on the Moon.

Weirdly enough, some of these things have come to pass but have arrived gradually and in so mundane a form that I didn't realise until I was already treating them as everyday.

We deal with robots on a daily basis, from automated answer services on phone networks to the unmanned checkout in the local supermarket where a posh, faceless female voice tells us there is an 'UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA'.

If you want food pills then look at most burger outlets or ready meals. Food that has gone through such an intense industrialised process that the taste and smell have to be chemically added.

Ok, so we aren't all wearing tinfoil clothes, but at least some people have got purple hair.

Automatic doors are now so commonplace that if they don't open themselves as we approach we stand in front of them looking puzzled, as though we have momentarily forgotten how to use them.

So here we are, it's the 21st century so as far as I can see we are officially living in the future. There are people floating around in space as we speak and doors open themselves.

If science fiction is to be believed then one day we can expect the automated checkout to start blaring out 'DESTROY THE FLESHY ONES' when we try to scan our groceries.

You have been warned. Watch the skies.

45 comments:

Oilfield Trash said...

I am still waiting on my flying car.

TexaGermaNadian said...

Really great way to think about it! And yes, I can just imagine the Kinex thinking "dance monkey, dance!" :)

Fugazi said...

Haha Xbox master, I never looked at it that way before. You are now part of the Xbox machine! Me and my friend were having this discussion today actually about how what people thought the future would look like today, flying cars, floating this and that. Well flying cars do exist. Anyways before I go on too much, nice post.

Tony Van Helsing said...

OT: I believe we were promised jetpacks too.

Tex: Next stop, SKYNET.

Fugazi: Where are the flying cars, do you have one?

bobo said...

Damn you beat me to it, but I want my jetpack dammit!

Actually I would really love teleportation (the safe Star Trek kind).

Lynette said...

I know that we all look crazy by sticking our finger in our ears then talking to empty space. But Lt Uhura did it long before we had blue tooth.

Margaret said...

This is exactly why one should avoid being too fleshy.

Bushman said...

Damn I'm way too fleshy. I think the voice at the check out is flirting with me. She asked me my age today when I picked up some beer after work. Hmmmmmmm....

GodsSin.blogspot.com said...

The Matrix is real :-P and the Terminator movies are the prequels.

Colin Biano said...

>'UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA'.
SO
MUCH
ANGER

Al Penwasser said...

Sex robots. When are the sex robots coming out?

Jay said...

it should be the other way around; we should be amazed at how far we've come! :D

CkretsGalore said...

I totally rock the purple hair but the silver jump suit....I'd look more like a sausage wrapped in tinfoil.

mark fellows said...

Tony, You are so right about this post. When Wii and then motion + came out I told everyone it was by far the coolest use of technology I have ever seen. I couldn't impress upon people how cool it was. The Xbox Kinect is even cooler! We don't realize how cool this stuff is, we just accept it. You missed one of the robots though. A common robot you missed is the common printer. It is a complex electro mechanical device with a computer control, or "robot"

The Tame One said...

I've done purple hair, but WHERE'S MY HOVER BOARD?

Jewels said...

I still want that machine that just spits out freshly prepared meals without me having to do anything. Ahh...that'd be the day.

ed said...

future(as in right now) doesnt seem that great. its ok though

Gelai said...

I love Xbox Kinect!!!! Can I go there and play with you? haha!

bruce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bruce said...

"get your hands off me you damn dirty ape!"

sky-net or planet of the apes? both futures look bleak...

either way i could drop out of society, right now, if not for my addiction to bloggering..

great post!

J.B. said...

You're right. If you pay attention and think things through you will realize that we're really already living in the future. you described it pretty nicely

Mynx said...

i regularly have purple hair. Looks fabulous on me too.
I am a firm believer that one day the machines will take over the world. That is why I always say please and thankyou to the vending machines and parking boom gates
They will remember and I will be saved.

Hannah {Culture Connoisseur} said...

Thanks for the comment.

You're post is spot on...here's a self defense video for the uprising...
http://dvice.com/archives/2011/04/fighting-for-yo.php

bruce said...

LOL @ Mynx-y

btw i gave you an award at my eviltwin site the post will hit at about 4 pm gmt +5 (est)

altadenahiker said...

"Unexpected item in the bagging area." I could use that in so many ways. And probably will.

Reilly said...

Waiting on the first Dalek who will yell EXTERMINATE at me

Tony Van Helsing said...

Bobo: Too right, everyone wants to be Captain Kirk, no-one wants to be Seth Brundle.

Lynetter: Uhura is underrated as a trend setter.

Margaret: Fleshy Bad.

Bushman: Get in there!

Colin: PLEASE CALL FOR CHECKOUT SUPERVISOR (head explodes).

Al: Excellent question.

Jay: Glass half full, we need more like you.


Ckrets: You'd look great in tinfoil.

Mark: The humble printer that costs more to refill than my car.

Tame: I totally forgot hover Boards.

Jewels: All hail the Microwave oven.

Ed: It will have to do, it's all we've got.

Gelai: I didn't buy one, just got the old fashioned 360 model.

Bruce: at least with the apes there'll be bananas.

JB: Thanks for that mate.

Mynx: Wise words, think I'll start with the kettle.

Hannah: Thanks, I'll check that video.

Bruce: You two get a room.

Alta: It just cries out innuendo, doesn't it?

C Mo Gunz said...

xbox 360 kinect is pretty sweeet. and awsome post man really interesting. Keep up the good work!

Stare Dad said...

i wish robots would do everything for us.

Tony Van Helsing said...

C Mo: Thanks but I'll stick with my old 360.

Stare Dad: Be careful what you wish for.

Grafted said...

Great post, so weird when you realize this IS the future

OatmealStout said...

Nicely written!! Never thought about this but I guess you are right. This is the future!

The Empress said...

I avoid those automated check-outs like the plague but I still want one of those flying cars like on the cartoon The Jetsons.

Karen Walker said...

Interesting post. Stopping by on the a-z challenge to say hi and thanks for the visit and comment on my blog.
Karen

Jilda said...

what I really want to know......when can I vacation on the moon???? oh yeah, loved your NYC post, my first time there, because I have a very thick southern drawl, people just kept asking me to stand and talk, a couple of guys kept telling me I could have anything they had if I would just talk to them.....even in Ireland, someone asked to speak English, my drawl was so thick.

queenofenglish said...

First time to your blog -- I like the theme. I love your topic today. It's funny now, but as you pointed out, some of "the future" is here now. Makes me shudder at what is on the way.

MM the Queen of English
queenofenglish.wordpress.com

Voit said...

In such circumstances and context one just cannot forget the words of the great Jeffrey Lebowski: 'I still jerk off manually'.

Sorry for the explicitness, but I strongly felt it was unavoidable.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Grafted: Thanks for that.

Oatmeal: One of many possible futures. Sorry, went a bit Matrix there.

Empress: I try to avoid them but in the store near my work there is sometimes no other choice.

Karen: Thanks for comment. Stop by again.

Jilda: My Yorkshire accent caused great confusion in America. I was mistaken for an Austrian and a Pakistani.

Queen: Don't fear the future.

Voit: You never have to apologise when quoting El Duderino.

EmoGoth said...

Dance Central for the 360 is amazing. I played it for the first time last night and by the end we were all panting and sweaty.

nabo said...

I am still waiting for d robot that will do all my homework, projects and assignments for me :'(

as for d tin foil clothes, I am sure we can find some in Lady Gaga's wardrobe

Moobeat said...

awesome!!

Tony Van Helsing said...

Emo: I don't need a games console to get hot and sweaty.

Nabo: you are right, Gaga is wearing future clothes.

Moobeat: Dude!

Rabidmoose said...

Lol Xbox overlords.

Katsidhe said...

Oh my God I never thought about the body controller thing like that! Haha! It really *would* be like being a puppet to your video console!

Jessica Thompson said...

I really hope this isn't the future...!