LETTERS FROM THE FUTURE
Hello 2016 humans. This is 2066 calling. I know it’s weird to be receiving a message from the future. To be honest I’m not entirely sure how it happened.
My name is Arcturus, and I’m a data engineer. I was trying to establish an uplink with the Elon Musk Mars Base, and my signal slingshotted around the sun to create a local wormhole. Suddenly, to my amazement, I found myself accessing 50-year-old internet. After lurking for a while and laughing at your archaic obsessions with your phones and your pets, I decided to post a few messages.
#1: MEMORY GLASSES
This week, your internet has been buzzing about Snapchat’s new Spectacles. The main question under discussion has been, are these cool or not? The answer is: of course they are not, you dummys. Wearing huge cameras on the side of your face makes you look like an insect.
But let me tell you, glasses-with-cameras will turn into something big. By the time the Specs hit their third generation, you will all start wearing them. By that time, the privacy advocates will give up, so it will become normal to capture everything you experience each day.
For us future humans, this created a new problem: how to edit the footage to capture what was most interesting? At first we used AIs to highlight moments that matched a users’ interests: “it seems like you like French bulldogs. Here is the time you saw a French bulldog” etc. But the real breakthrough came with brain tracking.
You can track your brainwaves with an EEG right now, but the electrode helmet looks like something you’d only wear in an ICU. Over a couple of decades, we shrunk the device down to some jewel-like sensors on the arms of your sunglasses. These capture brainwaves that can be interpreted to record your emotional state. It’s like a mood ring, with a memory.
The result is that your daily video can be automatically edited, so that you only relive the moments that match a particular feeling. Most people choose to review just what made them happy or horny, but there are also goth types (yes we still have those) who want to wallow in their moments of melancholy.
These camera-EEG devices, which we call Memory Glasses, make every day more fun. But they really come into their own over a longer timeframe. No more reminiscing about college being the best years of your life: now you get to replay the good parts as many times as you want. The latest trend is to put the
glasses on babies. Imagine how cool it will be for their elder selves to experience all the things that made them laugh when they were babies? Only without the awkward sensation of pooping in their pants…
So, yeah, get excited about 2016’s Snapchat Specs if you want. But remember that, despite your many fine qualities, you’re just monkeys watching a boulder roll down a hill, unable to imagine that one day there will be a similarly shaped thing called a wheel, and that this wheel will eventually be part of a very groovy device called a car.
See you in the future, retro-humans!