Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Things I miss

.. but do I need them?

In the second half of the 19th Century they thought that everything had been invented. Nothing new would appear. Since then planes were invented. The atomic bomb. Men went to the moon (Did they really?) The Internet came about. And useless gadgets.

Men has progressed impressively since then.

Everything invented now?

Now, at the start of another Century, Millennium even, we no longer believe everything has been invented. We have learned from history, it seems. We know that the more we know the less we know. Eh?

We see enormous problems with this world (global warming, fossil fuel running out, diseases like aids and cancer) and scientists are working hard on all sorts of solutions. And humans have proved that usually they eventually will find a solution to a problem.

So, not everything has been invented yet. But it's not just about finding solutions to existing problems. There will also be completely new stuff. Things we now think of as highly improbable will be turned into reality.

Let's make things better

In the coming years, decades many solutions to existing and non-existing problems will come to us. Inventions that we will not be able to live without although we do not have them at present. Look at the cell phone: many people can not leave home without it nowadays. Twenty years ago you could only haul one around if you were strong enough.

Daily live will be impacted in ways we will only understand in retrospect. We will wonder: how could we have ever lived without the micro encapsalon player?

Let's make my life better

All this progress that is looming at the horizon is wonderful. One day I will be old enough to say that I won't need all this modern stuff. But until then I say: "Let's make my life better"

There a quite a few things I sure can use in the coming years. Better: tomorrow. Best: today.

Here's is a small list.

  • Synchronized calendars: work & home
    It happens quite often that I arrive home after a day of hard work to find it empty. Wife and kids gone. Quick thinking tells me I haven't forgotten her birthday. A good look on the calendar and a quick Google of the back of my brain tells me that they are on a visit or to a sports club or something similar.
    Similarly it happens that I come home hoping to be able to plunge on the coach and be a perfect coach potato for the evening only to find out that I am supposed to go somewhere or entertain a boring salesperson in the evening.
    If I had only known this in advance! I could with fully synchronized PDAs and Outlook at work and home. I will be warned at work what awaits me at home.`This would make my home coming better.
  • Unified plastic
    First there were coins. When you had quite a few of those you were loaded, heavy with copper and gold. Then came the paper bills. They were lighter and worth more. Great!
    Then they came up with plastic cards with could get you money (a step back again), but could also pay directly (a true step forward). And then there came credit cards, cards to access the building I work in, air miles cards, train cards. Nowadays I am loaded again with a multitude of plastic cards in my wallet. More cards then coins.
    I could sure use a solution that brings all this together into one thing. Something that is scanned automatically when I enter a building or a train and with which I can pay without bringing out my wallet.
  • a wireless house
    And I mean completely wireless. No strings attached, so to say. Think about your stereo and your 7-way surround sound system and the miles of cables that come along with them.
    Look at the back of your computer there are still quite a few power plugs and monitor cables and other string attached.
    Cut the wires and set me free.
  • A simple remote to do it all
    If you are really modern you remotely controlled curtains and lights added to your TV, DVD player and stereo. You will probably never find the correct remote and when you do you will have a hard time find out which button to press for the desired function.
    Make me an all in one remote with which I can easily pick the apparatus to control and then have the most appropriate options at my fingertips.

And yes, there are more. Many more of life's little agonies that will be solved. And then in two, five or twenty years no one will ever understand what my problems are about. Then everyone will have a micro encapsalon player and can not imagine to have ever lived without it. Then living today seems like living in a cave.