What you can expect to see at the Museum of the future when it opens...
Some of this stuff is proper mind-blowing!
A while back I wrote a piece on some of the amazing buildings set to enhance the Dubai skyline in the near future. The structure I was most excited about was ultra-slick Museum of the Future, an AED 500m 3-D printed edifice that'll open its doors to the public in 2018. This week the Museum has announced a collaboration with the Chinese city of Shenzhen (basically the home of all things tech when it comes to manufacturing). Both cities plan to develop the robotics industry together - which is kind of a big deal! And got me even more excited about the MoF...yes...i'm excited!
The MotF isn't just awesome on the outside: part museum, part innovation hub, it'll serve not only to showcase theoretical advancements and prototypes of cutting-edge products and services, but to play a role in developing the technology that'll make these things possible. And with exhibits changing up at least every six months, you can be sure the Museum of the Future will keep on top of the future.
As Lovin Dubai's resident MotF enthusiast, you can imagine how upset I was to learn that I missed out on the pop-up event the MotF put on in Madinat Jumeirah while I was away on holiday. With a run-time of just three days, limited places and short visiting hours it's safe to say that I probably would have missed it even if I were in town.
But I'm still mad though.
The disappointment of my inner nerd aside, the pop-up featured teasers of what technological advances humanity could expect come 2035: the personal cloud air-con system that distributes cold air exactly where it's needed (possibly rendering the emergency office cardigan a thing of the past); a car with a built-in gym (so we can stop complaining about how riding around in cars all the time is the reason we're flabby); the PharmaCafé, a personalised spa environment with pharmaceutical capabilities; and some sort of smart government system that goes beyond all of the amazing apps Dubai Government already runs (I mean, please tell me where else in the world can you report a traffic accident via app).
But what really captivated audiences were the various human augmentation innovations the pop-up museum showcased. Some were intriguing (someone mentioned tech whereby you could eat all the junk you like and not worry about the negative repercussions); others were, to be frank, a bit frightening (someone else mentioned technology that enables you to upload and store your dreams to share with others, and not in the Martin Luther King Jr. sense of "I have a dream").
In case you totally missed the show like I did, here's a brief rundown of the most remarkable predictions and prototypes peeps apparently saw at the pop-up, enhanced by my brilliant commentary. Also featured: my extrapolations on what we might see once the MotF is running based on what was featured at this crazy pop-up as informed by my own desires and anxieties.
Apparently, these bionic knees will give users superhuman abilities to run, jump and lift really heavy things (because you should always lift using your knees, not your back). I'm not sure if you can put on and take off these 'knees' as though they were rollerblades or if they'll be implants that'll basically render you a cyborg. What might we expect to see next? Given my short stature and my proclivity for comfortable footwear how about something that'll enhance my height without killing my feet.
If you thought those gloves that let you use your smart phone while it's cold outside were pretty cool (albeit a bit geeky) Gecko Tips are teeny nano-machines you can install on you fingertips that'll allow you wearers to scale walls like Spiderman. Or those naff stuffed toys people mount on their car windows with suction cups.
Because Facebook sharing/stalking and watching other gamers play video games on Twitch (a strange phenomenon that I can kind of get having spent hours watching my brother play Nintendo as a kid), and television shows where you watch other people watch television (Channel 4's Gogglebox) simply isn't efficient enough a means of procrastination nowadays, this social media add-on technology lets you see what your friends and followers are watching in real time.
Here's a bit of technology that apparently will provide you real-time analysis of people’s emotions and offer instant feedback on what to say and how to act. Again, I'm not sure if this will come in the form of removable glasses or lenses or whatever, or if it'll be an implant. While I'm all for ameliorating social awkwardness, it makes you wonder what it would mean for human individuality, i.e., would it kill our personalities? Also, what would happen if two people using this technology were interacting together? Will it be a future full of small talk? SO MANY QUESTIONS!
If, like myself, you've tried to practice Mindfulness Meditation but failed miserably (I personally struggled with Exercise 1, where you spend three minutes holding a raisin and contemplating its existence) then this innovation, which temporarily stops your brain from receiving messages, essentially switching you off, is for you.
What I'd like to see in the MotF in 2018 based on 'Switch Off'? Well actually, as someone who is stressed and/or anxious all the time, I can't think of anything I'd like to see more. So long as it doesn't fry my brain, I can't think of anything better.
Have you ever sat in on a UN Security Council meeting and been really annoyed by the language interpreter's time lag while a foreign delegate is giving a speech? Well, even if you haven't you'd still probably dig this smart earpiece that instantaneously translates foreign languages to users.
What we might see once the MotF is up and running? Counter-technology that scrambles the AutoLinguas, of course! Why? So that you and your friends can talk about foreigners around you in your native language without being understood because, even though it's really rude, we all actually like doing it.