Gaze into bleak world of 2018 tech
Traveling in a time machine to visit the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show is not as glamorous as it sounds. For one, the future's so bright, you've got to wear radiation-repellent sunscreen -- and it smells like rubbing alcohol mixed with Tabasco sauce. It's disorienting.
But mainly, many of the products being touted at the vendor kiosks make no sense until you begin to investigate the problems they are trying to solve -- and that can remind you, more often than not, that ignorance is bliss. So here are some more highlights of what the future of technology has in store -- peer into the abyss at your risk:
Obsessive Zoom: Your typical parent of the future is just as devoted to capturing their child's every waking moment on video as those in the present day. But unlike 2007 breeders, members of the next generation suffer from stronger attention deficit disorders and weaker upper-body strength.
Enter this new camera accessory that promises to better save the day for posterity -- a motion-sensing device that finds and auto-focuses on your child no matter where he or she goes on the world stage. Though designed for parents, it's also a must for overbooked stalkers who find themselves spread almost as thin as the celebrities they harass.
Simply attach a tiny RFID tag anywhere on your child's ballerina costume/ clarinet/papier-mâché tree trunk, and let your camera's omnidirectional lens track your precious cherub more doggedly than Jack Bauer hunts down terrorists on "24." Incidentally, as a side note for "24" fans, a conference-goer told me that the fictional special agent is still having very bad days in 2018 -- 17 total -- but the lack of sleep and bathroom breaks has apparently taken a heavy toll on his appearance.
Slanderers LLC: There's no such thing as bad publicity. And in a future where would-be employers judge you not on your résumé, your experience or the purity of your urine, but by how many hits you've gotten on your MySpace page, that axiom has never carried more weight.
After an endless barrage of thinly veiled publicity stunts by Donald Trump, Rosie O'Donnell, Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise, Paris Hilton, Simon Cowell and whoever can still summon up the nerve to kiss Madonna live on the MTV Video Music Awards, the public began to catch on to the benefits of being talked about -- under any circumstances.
Slanderers LLC is a PR firm in reverse that will spread vicious rumors about you throughout the Internet and blogosphere until the weight of your fictitious misdeeds reaches terminal velocity, and people actively seek each other out for the sole purpose of judging you.
The company vows not to rest until you're booked, crying and taking calls for the entire hour on the "Animatronic Larry King Show."
Home-Grown Grown Homes: Though the ice cap at the North Pole is now more of an ice yarmulke, some still insist that global warming is all hype. Are coastal towns really sinking into the sea forever, or is the sea just temporarily retaining more water? After all, it is filled with all that salt.
Regardless, insurance premiums dictate that practically no one build traditional homes near the shoreline these days. Fortunately, bioengineers have plans to repopulate what's left of the Gulf Coast suburbs with special, reinforced tupelo gum trees that sprout up from the swamp in the form of two-bedroom, 1 1/2-bath, kudzu-carpeted single-unit treehouses.
Over a 30-year mortgage, as temperatures and waters rise, so too will the foundations of the homes.
If successful, landowners will be able to maintain rights to their submerged lots, and "keeping up with the Joneses" will primarily be a function of getting enough sunlight.