Glimpses of the Future
We are now truly in the midst of the digital age, where new technology is developed faster than we could have imagined 10 years ago. Tech enhancements are becoming part of everyday life; be it in our cars, our fridges and the palm of our hands through the ever-developing smart phone. Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities…
An Orbiting Skyscraper
New York design firm Clouds Architecture Office has some beautifully outlandish ideas on what our cities of the future might look like.
The firm has proposed a tower that, instead of being supported by the ground and reaching up into the sky, would instead hang suspended from an asteroid.
Named Analemma, the proposed skyscraper would be the tallest building ever created, and would travel thousands of miles each day between the northern and southern hemispheres in a figure-of-eight loop – including a daily pass over New York City.
The lower end of the tower, closest to the planet surface, would be given over to offices, and above that would be an agricultural area, with sleeping quarters approximately two-thirds of the way up. The designers note that the top of the tower would get 40 minutes’ extra daylight each day due to the curvature of the earth.
The skyscraper would be powered using space-based solar panels, which would be constantly exposed to sunlight. For water needs, it would have a “semi-closed loop system”, filtering and recycling supplies while replenishing them with “condensate captured from clouds and rainwater”.
We’d love to know who is going to clean those windows!
Floating Hotel Rooms
This concept is actually in planning and due to open by the end of 2017. Japan’s Dutch-themed amusement park Huis Ten Bosch is planning a spherical capsule hotel room that will float across the sea overnight, allowing adventurous holiday makers to gaze up at the stars through its glass ceiling.
It’s not just aimless drifting either, as Huis Ten Bosch has bought a 4-hectare island in Naruma Bay, about six kilometres from the ferry port in their replica Dutch town. Currently uninhabited, they’re intending to turn it into a resort.
What some may consider outlandish plans are not unusual for Huis Ten Bosch, which currently has a hotel staffed entirely by robots – including robot dinosaurs – and life-sized replicas of traditional Dutch buildings.
Although flying cars have been a staple of science fiction for decades, investment in the concept is finally emerging. Google founder Larry Page has invested millions into two flying car start-ups, while Chinese company E-Hang has a prototype design.
Airbus plans to test a prototype of a flying car by the end of 2017, a move that could be a big step towards easing congestion on urban roads.
Last year Airbus formed a division called Urban Air Mobility to investigate ideas such as a vehicle to transport individuals or a helicopter-style vehicle that can carry multiple riders. The aim would be for people to book the vehicle using an app, similar to car-sharing schemes, from 2021.
Uploading Consciousness to the Cloud
In theory, we’re only a few decades away from digital versions of ourselves.
Russian entrepreneur, media mogul and billionaire Dmitry Itskov predicts that in the year 2045, humans will be able to back themselves up to the cloud. Yep, he believes you’ll be able to create a digital version of your human consciousness, stored in a synthetic brain and an artificial host.
Itskov plans to live forever — and he plans to take all of us along for the ages, as holograms. His project, called the 2045 Initiative, is named for the year he predicts he’ll complete the final milestone in digitizing human consciousness. While substrate-independent minds (mind-uploading) may be a new reality to the next generation, the human desire for immortality certainly isn’t.
Only time will tell if this is truly possible…