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Dear Thursday: Living in the Future

[Ed. Note: If you haven’t weighed in about my new book title yet, please do me the tremendous favor of doing so. Trying to decide over the weekend.]

Future Living Room as imagined in a 1979 Book: Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century (click to make larger)

As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of the fact that we’re “living in the future.” Which is why I found this walk-down memory lane with the 1993 AT&T “You Will” ad campaign so very awesome.

As Gawker points out, they got a ton of stuff right: GPS, checking out books online, webcams, and movies on demand — and they only got a few things wrong: mostly the size of gadgets and computers, the importance of phone booths, medical history cards, and perhaps most importantly, that AT&T would bring us all this futuristic stuff — I guess they didn’t see Garmin, Netflix, and a score of other scrappy companies coming.

Now all we need is a new “You Will” campaign, but what company would have enough hubris these days to claim that they would be responsible for all the cool stuff of the future? Oh wait, Microsoft! And sadly their vision of the 2019 ad looks pretty boring. Our technology will be much prettier, interactive, and in some cases, like the one-card digital wallet, smaller. But there’s nothing I’m dying to have — and you know what, still no electronic medical histories! Sad.

Still, I find this subject all sorts of fascinating, b/c my second novel is set in an alternative 2060, and I’ve had a lot of fun imagining a lot of futuristic ideas, including Pearls — round cars with no formal front or back seats, human GPS, formal Debt Slavery, and privatized everything — even the highways are owned.

I really, really hope we’re not heading for the future that I’ve imagined — though, I would kill for a driverless car. Think of all the reading you could get done!

But of course writing this book, has gotten me to thinking. Where do you think we’re headed gadget-wise and society-wise for the future? Future guesses in the comments, and if any of your predictions come to pass, expect a big mention in a future post. Pun so intended.


[Source: Gawker]

The AT&T “You Will” campaign and Microsoft’s “2019” ad after the jump:

AT&T “You Will” Campaign:

Microsoft “2019” ad:

. photo credit: whoever, whomever