If the world hasn't imploded by 2020, we can only hope we're living in some sort of super-connected, sci-fi wonderland... which isn't that much of a stretch, considering how ridiculously fast mobile technology is advancing. Instead of firing up Minority Report for a glimpse at this future, you can always turn to Telstra's more down-to-earth interpretation.
Telstra's gone all out with a video showing how our everyday lives in 2020 will be driven by thin, fast phones, supercomputer fridges and intelligent bins. Google Glass (or an offshoot of it) will be common place and checking timetables for your local mode of public transport will be a few swipes of a see-though bus shelter away.
The video was accompanied by a press release featuring comments from Telstra CTO Dr Hugh Bradlow. Here's a snippet:
"This will be a world where each device in the home, car and environment talks to each other. Imagine your smart fridge automatically generating a shopping list which is filled by your local supermarket and delivered to your door, or hopping into your self-driving car that determines the quickest route to work, finds you a car park and parks your car simply via voice control."
Not flying cars though, just regular ones. I think we've just about given up on that one anyway.
Bradlow says 2020's "digital economy" will be powered by NFC, "intuitive" UIs and various types of sensors that will empower our "smart" devices.
Fingers crossed the universe (or evil conglomerate) doesn't play the real-world equivalent of this Magic card.
The release goes on to say that there's been a "five-fold" increase in electronic communication over the past 10 years, with Australia's current count of 50 million connections between "people and devices" ballooning to 240 million by 2020 and hitting the ridiculous figure of a trillion by 2030.
Anyway, let's talk about the video. I'm not entirely sold on transparent screens — sure, they look awesome in movies and TV shows, but I can't imagine anything worse than trying to discern an on-screen widget from a distant tree in the background.
I do think being able to stick a fancy band-aid on my wrist to deliver a medical report to my doctor is neat, though, and watching movies via my glasses on the train would be as convenient as heck.
I'll point out now that if you love Postal Service, this video could very well put you off Such Great Heights. I know Telstra's been using the tune for its ads for a while now, but hearing it loop for nearly three minutes did odd things to my brain.