Where’s my flying car?

Technology is awesome, but it is not nearly as good as we have been led to believe.

John Grimley

The iPad 2 was released last month, filling a niche for people who love the idea of an iPod Touch but hate how portable it is and that not everyone can see them playing with it.

iPads represent what early future predictions got right. In one shiny toy, we have access to practically limitless amounts of information, countless hours of video and more songs than we know what to do with. All of which can be accessed with the swipe of a finger.

Yet the most purchased application on the iPad is Angry Birds, a game in which you whip birds at pigs in stick houses. ItâÄôs one small game for man, one giant waste of time for mankind.

Meanwhile, programs like Skype have allowed us to connect cheaply and easily with each other from across the globe. But not even the Internet and all the lolcats on it can live up to the technology we were led to believe weâÄôd have by now.

Practically any TV show or movie made in the âÄô70s or âÄô80s dealing with “the future” gave humanity some sweet toys, things I couldnâÄôt wait to use when I grew up. I figured science would have gotten its act together and found a way to make most of them a reality. IâÄôm still waiting.

TodayâÄôs gadgets are nifty and all, but who in their right mind wouldnâÄôt trade them for a lightsaber? IâÄôd give up 10 iPads (if I had them) just to use one of those amazing glowing swords for a week. Yes, I realize Star Wars was technically set in the past, but the toys sure look futuristic.

Movies and books portrayed transportation as something that would be a fun and exciting part of everyoneâÄôs day by now. A far cry from the rush-hour slog most people wade through daily.

Countless methods have been explored in books and cinema to get our butts from point A to B. Everything from “Back to the FutureâÄôs” incredible hoverboard to the flying cars of movies like “The Fifth Element” or “Blade Runner” to “FuturamaâÄôs” elaborate series of pipes.

Our generation was obviously supposed to zip through the skies somehow, hopefully in between solving crimes with a robot sidekick or something.

Unfortunately, we still plod around in shiny boxes which, if everything goes right, never leave the ground.

Science, youâÄôve done some great things, like finding that dog fleas jump higher than cat fleas, but please move flying cars a little higher on the priority list. Maybe right below lightsabers.

Another aspect of life I assumed weâÄôd have sped up by now is eating. According to movies, by now everyone should be eating food in compact pill form.

As our days get busier and busier, I find myself wondering why no one has found a way to take three meals worth of nutrition and compress it into a convenient, easy-to-swallow pill.

Food tastes great and eating out can be fun, but between work, school and the Internet, who has the time anymore? Science has not explored food-to-pill technology to its fullest potential. Instead we get items like Kentucky Fried ChickenâÄôs Double Down, a sandwich that is bacon surrounded by fried chicken.

Technology today is good, but why settle for good when we could have it so much better? We shouldnâÄôt get complacent but continue innovating until there comes a time when flying cars or robot butlers are right around the corner.

The ballâÄôs in your court, science. Someday I plan to celebrate my birthday by testing out my brand new lightsaber, preferably after swallowing my cake-flavored food pill. ItâÄôs your job to get us there, so make it happen. Oh, and someone should probably look into that whole flying car thing at some point.

 

John Grimley welcomes comments at [email protected].