The future of our world is always unclear, especially in terms of how technologically advanced we will be. According to Back to the Future II, we should have self drying clothes, flying cars, and watching everything in 3D (well maybe we are part of the way there). Anyways, filmmakers have been known to have very rich thoughts on what our future world looks like in terms of technology, aesthetics, and culture. Generally, in the future we all wear slick one piece jump suites as seen in the new Mac ads (to which Jerry Seinfeld has a good reason for this fashion choice in this video around the 1 minute mark), and all of our cars take on the look of that space ship from Flight of the Navigator. One of the things I have noticed in film is that in these advanced societies, everything is shiny and void of fingerprints, corruption, or dust. Why is that? Apple has been known for their more futuristic design and glossy screens that look like they could fit in a world of flying cars, but all the ones I see are simply filthy. Are people just cleaner in the future? No, we just wised up, and here are the two reason why the future is going to be shinier based on technologies that exist now.
1) In the future, the things we will actually have to touch will be protected by a special polymer that will fend of our greasy paws. Sound like science fiction? Think again, and you don't have to look further than Apple's new iPhone 3G S. When I got my first iPhone, I was driven mad by the amount of fingerprints I had on my favorite new toy. No matter what I tried I could not stop it from getting smeared with natural oils and grease from hands and face. Enter the oleophobic screen of the new iPhone 3G S. Basically this polymer applied to the phone minimizes those nasty little oils and even helps in evaporating the little that get through. Outside of the phones impressive speed, this is no doubt my favorite feature. So how is this going to keep the future so clean? Imagine it on the side of every building, on every window, and all of machines. There is a more in depth discussion of oleophobic polymer over at Gizmodo with Bill Nye the Science Guy.
2) Minority Report is not my favorite movie, but the technology in the movie really gets ones mind going. Most of the technology is based around holographic images, with no hardware needing to be touched at all. Surely we are years away from such advanced technology. Well, don't tell that to the guys at Microsoft's Xbox team. Project Natal is a new revolutionary way of gaming that will require no chords or controllers, just motion control. The system will respond to human movement in respect to what is going on the screen. Imagine this technology applied to say a computer. No more keyboard and mouse. The future will be pretty clean if we aren't touching anything. Check out the video below.
I don't know about you, but I am pretty excited about a shiny clean future.