The future is now… again

This post originally appeared April 22, 2012, on the Contact – Infinite Futures SF blog.

Last year, I mentioned how challenging it is to be a science fiction writer in the 21st century, because every time you think you’ve invented something cool and futuristic, it already exists.

Here are a few more things that don’t exist yet — but they are coming soon. Sooner than 2060, the decade in which my Stellarnet Series takes place.

Wearing Your Computer On Your Sleeve

In Stellarnet Rebel, the main characters wear “bracers,” which are micro-thin, flexible, waterproof devices that wrap around their forearms. The bracer includes apps, camera, microphone, and icon-based “touch and drag” interaction like a smartphone. People pretty much wear their bracers all the time, even when sleeping or in the shower. They can also be used to play Kinect-style physically-interactive MMORPGs.

How would that work? Maybe something like these “tattoo” electronics? Note at 1:40 when the narrator says, “Other demonstrations have shown the wearers controlling video games.”

And those Net bracers, programmable clothing, and other wearable electronics might be powered by flexible solar cells thin as spider silk. Power is a non-issue when you have a high-efficiency version of something like this.

When I started writing Stellarnet Prince last year, I invented goggles for my alien characters to wear when visiting Earth. The purpose was not only to protect their eyes, which were adapted to much lower lighting conditions on their home world, but also to give them augmented reality.

Google to Sell Heads-Up Display Glasses by Year’s End

Google has revealed details of its research into augmented reality glasses

When Stellarnet Prince is released in November, no one will believe I didn’t rip off this Google video. And if you haven’t read the first book, Stellarnet Rebel, yet, you can enter the giveaway to win one digital copy (pdf or epub, your choice). Click here for more info.

~ J.L. Hilton

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