On one hand, mankind is at tryst with destiny. Where some countries are erupting in protests against their governments, one president is waiting to go to war with Syria because Syria attacked Syria. On the other hand however, several socio-economic issues are seeing a steep climb. Rapes, robberies, child prostitution and drug abuse, all eating up man, and eventually mankind, from the very core. Another growing concern in third-world countries is unemployment.
Amidst and ironically away from all this global unrest, Amazon chief showed off a new tech toy. A device that leads us to believe the future indeed is just round the corner. Drones. Delivery Drones.
So why the little intro about global crisis and how does it connect to Amazon’s announcement of delivering products faster?
A step ahead. But is it the right direction?
In the past, countless writers, novelists and futurists have imagined what the future of mankind would look like. Brick by brick, or rather nut by nut, they built beautiful futuristic cities filled with flying cars and human-like bots living amongst us, painting our imagination with vivid and surreal images of a glorious tomorrow.
But those are books. This is reality.
Amazon’s chief isn’t the only one who has dared to take us a step closer to that future authors had envisaged in the early 1900s. Quick to react, was Google. They said they would counter the move of Delivery Drones with Robots. Fair enough. It’s business and everyone needs to survive. But what worries me is the fact that this is not the end. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
The other part of the iceberg…
The onslaught of gadgets jumping beyond the traditional phones and tablets has been going on for quite some time now. From what I recollect, the very first device that offered us a tiny glimpse of the future was the XBOX Kinect back in 2009. Touchless controls and motion sensors…stuff made of sci-fi movies.
Standing before a tiny box, all you had to do was wave. That’s it. And your on-screen avatar would mimic the move. This completely blew me away. Then, a couple of years back in early 2012, Google introduced the next gen communication device, Google Glass. Wearable computing technology, again, a mile ahead from their traditional cousins.
At the iPhone 5 event, there were rumours Apple would announce a smart watch. That didn’t happen. But as usual, Samsung was quick to copy this, and pumped out the Galaxy Gear. A smart watch that pairs with your Galaxy smart phone. Whatever.
The XBOX ONE with Kinect was released last month with improved gesture control and a better motion sensor. Not to forget, Microsoft is also experimenting with an eye-tracking technology. Wonder what they would do with that.
The list doesn’t end here. Motorola has confirmed it is working to patent a neck tattoo. A microchip that sits in your neck to help you hear the caller better in noisy places. And the password pill, using your stomach acids to unlock your phones. As if unhackable finger-print technology wasn’t enough.
Robots, drones, bodied microchips, wearable computers, motion sensors…wow! The future looks glorious indeed. But at a cost.
The Delivery Drones Jeff plans to use for supplying important things like books, phones, tablets and toys and other life-saving products, will conveniently put many people out of jobs.
The very invention that was meant to keep us from getting distracted and think about the progress of our society, is doing exactly that. And it has gone a step ahead, as it has now intruded in our space, our bodies, and our lives, and soon we would be fighting these machines to stay what we are inside, humans.
If we are going to replicate an age written in (and for) sci-fi novels, what stops us from thinking we would not share the same fate as the society in those books? Fighting tooth and nail to survive annihilation at the hands of the very machines we created to make our lives simpler.
Before turning ourselves into advanced Cyborgs, at least let’s make an attempt to be good humans first.