Friday, February 01, 2008

The compleat Wired future artifacts gallery, 02006

Back to the futures...

[mood ring] | Wired 14.01

[love tester] | Wired 14.02

[mars transit] | Wired 14.03

[tax return] | Wired 14.04

[operation game] | Wired 14.05

[bookshelf] | Wired 14.06

[contact lens] | Wired 14.07

[calorie burner] | Wired 14.08

[report card] | Wired 14.09

[tooth phone] | Wired 14.10

[organ farmers] | Wired 14.11

[3d printer] | Wired 14.12


An eerie thing I notice about some of these artifacts from the future, as we proceed back in time through the archives (diddly-doot, diddly-doot, diddly-doot), is the way some of them are echoed in actual news reports a few years later.

Last month, University of Washington researchers announced bionic contact lenses enabling a lit-up visual overlay. The accompanying photo was strangely reminiscent of the "Found" artifact from issue 14.07, above.

Image: University of Washington via Eurekalert! (AAAS)


Not sure if anyone at Wired, which also reported the announcement, noticed the resemblance to their earlier feature, but I think it's kinda cool.

[Back to the 02005 collection | On to 02007...]

2 comments:

stuart said...

Today, one of my eagle-eyed Intro to Politics students spotted a post by Finnish blogger Sami Viitamäki, relating to the above.

It's reassuring to find that I'm not the only one who noticed the similarity of the University of Washington's bionic contact lens announcement to Wired's "Found" feature in issue 14.07. And Viitamäki blogged it a week before I did.

As improvements in image search unfold, I'm looking forward (as it were) to many more moments like this -- where the unfolding reality catches up with visions already at large, and the two can be compared side by side.

Which ought to offer interesting fodder for learning about the potential and limitations of foresight -- literally; like a sort of visual counterpart to long bets.

John said...

Stuart, I came upon your post a little late. Wired's artifacts feature is often a little ho hum to a futurist, but I really like the one-picture approach for provoking fresh thinking, laying down a what if, and taking a somewhat more subtle, but mind-changing approach to forecasting and/or scenarios. We futurists can use images like this as a method, so I am glad to be reminded of these.

John Mahaffie