As we remind you all the time, the future ain't what it used to be. We have no jetpacks or robot butlers, and we've still not upgraded from Land Wars to Star Wars. The dreamers fell short ... but it turns out that some of the pessimists came pretty close to the mark. In the same way that no one in the '50s thought "millions of strangers across the world accidentally saw your dick" could ever become a realistic problem, our near-future will be filled with annoyances that sound completely ridiculous to us now.
Here are seven incoming issues that will make you yearn for an ape and/or machine uprising. At least in such a case, you wouldn't have to put up with ...
7 Your Fitbit Could Be Used As Evidence Against You
Any denizen of the digital generation knows that anything you say on the Internet can and will be used against you, especially if it's embarrassing fan fiction. However, that's a logical extension of using written material as evidence, as we've done for centuries. The newest way to incriminate yourself online has far less precedent: the data collected from wearable technology, such as the Fitbit.
You can run, but you can't hide (the fact that you just killed a hobo).
Yes, your clothes could send you to jail. It may sound like Law & Order: The Jetsons, but there's no real reason this kind of data can't be admissible in court. In fact, it's already happening. A woman in Pennsylvania called 911 and claimed that a home invader raped her, but her Fitbit contradicted her story (she was awake and walking around when she said she was fast asleep). Her own fitness watch helped prove that she'd pulled the whole story out of her ... you know, and now she's facing misdemeanor charges.
So wearable tech can help bring criminals to justice. That's good, right? Well, here's where it gets fishy. There are already "alibi apps" -- programs that covertly record all your interactions and surroundings to prove you weren't (for example) holding a chandelier in the study when Colonel Mustard got whacked. Sounds innocent enough, until you remember that there's a term for people who intentionally go around establishing alibis: "guilty as fuck." Using this app is a little bit like going up to a cop and saying, "By the way, I'll be at the movies this afternoon when my wife gets murdered."
"I was at the ... *looks at watch* OJ Simpson retrospective. FUCK!"
The idea that people are already thinking ahead to use their trackers as alibis means that these things will have all sorts of clusterfuck legal potential. What happens when someone pays a hobo to hold their smartphone (or straps it to a dog) while they go out and do crimes? Or what if someone borrows your Fitbit to incriminate you? These things will happen at some point. Hey, maybe that's why everyone becomes a couch potato in WALL-E. In the future, being fit won't be worth the hassle.
6 The First Commercial Space Shuttles Won't Have Bathrooms
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The future of travelling will involve shooting into the stratosphere instead of rolling along the highway, but that doesn't mean all family vacation traditions will change. "You should've gone before you left" is still going to be a common phrase, except that in the future, it's going to be much direr. Why? Because in space, everybody can see you shit.
He's not being propelled by a jet.
All of the companies designing prominent commercial space shuttles have clearly forgotten Newton's Fourth Law of Motion: Everybody poops. None of these shuttles include bathrooms. A trip to the International Space Station can take between six and 30 hours -- that's a hell of a long time to "just hold it," dad. Hell, even the earthbound high-speed Hyperloop being developed by Elon Musk lacks a comfort station. Oh, or windows. If you thought making eye contact with the person sitting in front of you in the train was awkward, wait until you're trapped in a windowless, toilet-free metallic cylinder with someone for hours.
Getting carsick is another tradition that won't be changing any time soon; in space, it'll simply get much more intense. There will be no windows to wind down and no side of the road to stain. If you're shuttle-sick (and let's face it, you probably will be), your little chunder-cloud will be hanging around, becoming another passenger of the craft. Developers admit that clearing out the odor and presence of space vomit will be extremely important, as nobody wants to play Space Invaders with the contents of your bowels.