by Johanna Mischke

September 5, 2011

September 8, 2031

When I look back on 2011, I have to smile about how laboriously people still fiddled with their technical devices. Just think about the beloved smartphone of the day—how complicated it was to operate on the go, how limited its display! Or those indescribable laptops that, despite having finally reached a manageable size and weight 20 years ago, felt like an eternal ball and chain.

Today, when I open my universal hologram display with but one gesture, I find it hard to believe that, back then, people settled for whatever they were given in terms of technical devices. For instance, how did they put up with needing different contraptions for each function? Who uses a separate navigational device these days!? And, remember when various devices simply couldn’t be combined because of differing communication standards and/or incompatible software? And when they could be used in combination, remember how long it used to take for the devices to network? These days, nobody will put up with waiting to be able to access all the information at once. I shudder to think about all the unsorted, user-unfriendly knowledge that used to whiz around the internet back then.

Another phenomenon of 2011 makes me shake my head: How could people back then stand the annoying and dreaded jumble of cords, often referred to as “cable clutter”? And constantly having to charge your devices… what energy hogs those were! Could anyone back then have imagined that, today, we would power our devices with our own body movements or bodily warmth, or with the aid of Wi-Fi signals in the air?

And the devices of two decades past were also pretty dumb. Cell phones rang at the most inappropriate times and appointments had to be typed into a calendar and not, like we enjoy today, simply and logically extracted from email conversations and recorded automatically. And it was almost impossible to make the devices “understand” which people, appointments and information, and their times of day, were priorities for me. It was incredibly unpractical.

I also remember like it was just yesterday that, back then, the health care system was on the verge of complete breakdown. How would have things gone if we hadn’t eventually been given the tools to take some of our own health care into our own hands? I am so happy to have a detailed overview of my vital data every day and to be able to act quickly and precisely should my numbers show signs my condition has worsened.  I can get help and advice from home and thus decide with my doctor whether I need to make an office visit. Sure, I miss the gossip magazines in the waiting room a little bit, when I think about it…

About the author
At present, the author is in her 20ies and hopes that the afore-described improvements in technology will soon become reality. Does your company already have in the works solutions like the ones mentioned above, or are you doing research on such advances? We would love to hear from you via a direct message on Twitter (@WearableTech); a phone call: +49 0 81 52 90 99 047; or Skype: wearabletechnologies.