The size of things to come

The future is all we have to look forward to.

Future technology is about one thing: miniaturization. Everything is getting smaller–chips, storage devices, salaries. The only exceptions are Windows code and Bill Gates’ bank account. Thanks to this trend, we have all sorts of fascinating devices to look forward to in the future. Here are just a few of them.

SoSo Oreo 8?

The ultimate in personal digital assistants, the 8? will enhance just about every job you do with the palm of your hand. In addition to traditional PDA chores such as address book and calendar, the 8? will work as a cell phone, e-mail reader, universal remote, electric shaver, stun gun, and water bottle.

As is appropriate for the ultimate PDA, the SoSo Oreo 8? will plug into the ultimate cradle (sold separately). Not only will this cradle interface your 8? with your desktop PC, but also with your home theater, auto dashboard, and toaster. It also serves as a battery recharger, and can put the 8? into a power-saving sleep mode with a gentle rocking.

Gojira TTD 3.1416

Now that everyone in the world has accepted CD-ROM, CD-RW, and CD-ROT as the default standards for data storage, we’ve realized the basic flaw in the design. CD drives can’t be smaller than CDs.

The geniuses at Gojira International have found a brilliant solution: smaller CDs that will fit into tomorrow’s smaller CD drives. The smaller CDs, or TTDs (for Teeny Tiny Discs) will measure only one centimeter in diameter (the numeric designation 3.1416 refers to the circumference). The implications are profound. While today’s CDs suffer from their inability to fit into a shirt pocket, the TTD will be capable of slipping through a hole in one.

Despite its diminutive size, a TTD 3.1416 disc will hold a full 2.8GB of data. This astonishing level of density will be achieved through a combination of blue light lasers, data compression, and Gojira’s new, patent-pending WOM (Write-Only Memory) technology.

Four-i Geek

Dip Computers is working on the portable computer to end all portable computers. The Four-i Geek will put everything–Pentium VI processor, 160GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM, and full multimedia–into a pair of glasses. Eventually available with and without prescription, the Geek’s lenses will double as LCD displays, allowing you to read your e-mail or balance the books while you walk the dog, talk to your children, or drive the car. With a few commands, you can switch your wallpaper to “transparent,” allowing you an only slightly-obstructed view of the world.

All user input will be through voice recognition–usability studies have suggested that keyboarding on eyeglasses result in smudged lenses. If you say, “I read your report of the 18th and find it totally lacking in signs of intelligence,” the Four-i Geek will enter that text into your e-mail message. If you say, “Do a full backup of my hard drive, then defrag it before shutting down,” the system will enter that into your e-mail, as well. If you say, “Oh, my God! I think I just hit a pedestrian!” the Four-i Geek will create new reports proving you were across town.

The Smart Shoe

Aimless Technologies is going back to basics, putting the now-ubiquitous cell phone back where it was 35 years ago–the shoe. Available in wingtip and sportier varieties, the Smart Shoe will allow hands-free discussion–just put your foot in your mouth and keep talking.

This “sole of the new machine” will run on special, easily-changeable, “soft” batteries woven into socks. Unusually rugged, these batteries will last for 18 hours or 38 miles.

Would you believe it if I told you that within six years, 93 percent of American citizens will wear and use the Smart Shoe? Would you believe 43 percent? How about some employees of Aimless Technologies?

Consumer Positioning System

We’re all familiar with global positioning systems (GPS) that give us explicit, satellite-guided directions every time we drive one of the few cars with a global positioning system. Now CannedMeet Inc. is preparing to do GPS one better with the Consumer Positioning System. Who cares where you are when you always find a Disney Store?

Just hop into your car and say “lunch,” and your dashboard CPS device will give you directions to the nearest McDonald’s (and your Four-i Geek will give you an error message). Say “I really need some good, stylish clothes and I don’t care what they cost,” and you’ll be guided to Neiman Marcus. Get cut off by another driver and yell “Stupid, mindless swill!” and you’ll find yourself at a multiplex.

You won’t always be sent to these particular places, of course. If CannedMeet has changed food contracts, for instance, saying “lunch” might bring you to the nearest Taco Bell. And if the company has also just signed with Amoco, it may be a Taco Bell in the next state.

When can we buy these wonderful gadgets? All of the devices discussed above have been officially announced and are currently being marketed. You can expect to see them on store shelves just as soon as someone figures out how to make them.

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