News coming out of the wearable tech sector is making us a little concerned about the future of humanity and its relationship to machines.
Being science-y technophile types we’ve seen many of the so-called fictional dramatisations filmmakers have advanced as possible outcomes of a society overly dependent on technology. They call their category of storytelling ‘science fiction’, but we call it science FACT…ion. So let’s take a look at the newest wearable tech available now and possible apocalyptic scenarios for each, deduced through the medium of science faction.
Google Glass is a highly divisive product, prompting concerns over privacy as well as symbolising some microchip Mecca for those eager for the opportunity to experience truly 24/7 hands-free computing. The product doesn’t even have an official release date yet, but proponents are already theorising that the next-generation(s) of Google Glass will have to be an Oculus Rift-esque augmented reality system that fits within the Glass’s relatively unobtrusive frame. Now, we all remember the mind-blowing technology on display in Minority Report (2002), typified by Tom Cruise waving his hands around in space to manipulate floating pieces of information, but you know what else that film gave us? Adverts that recognise, track and follow individuals, shouting at them to buy haemorrhoid cream in front of the entire commuting public. Imagine yourself on a first date when a billboard starts touting the latest advances in gonorrhoea treatments, and it’s using your name. Awkward.
So far the greatest criticism against smart watches has been their unwieldy, unattractive designs, but some of the more recent recent builds are verging on elegant. Most consumers would regard such an innovation as harmless, possibly even desirable, given their close association with super-flash spies such as James Bond. Samsung even released a video showing a succession of fictional smart watches that have appeared in television throughout history. And who did they conveniently bury in the middle of their little slideshow? The Predator. That’s right – the alien killing machine from Predator (1987) that also happens to use a smart watch (or, more accurately, smart cuff) to arm its weapons and obliterate humans.
By far the most disturbing recent development is the invention of a new microscopic thread that could eventually lead to direct interface between the human brain and a computer. This will surely lead to a future dystopia closely resembling Elysium (2013), where the human brain could be used as a data storage device and set to self-destruct upon download or, presumably, browser freeze. If that alone isn’t enough to scare technological consumers into rethinking their relentless drive toward better, faster tech, remember this: Matt Damon died in that film. He died.