Future diaries: 29 March 2015

The alarm goes off, it's early and the thought of having to chase the damn thing around the room one more time is nauseating. Still the fact that it smells of fresh baked bread is appealing, if not frustrating, knowing that I can't eat bread at the moment due to the health drive I'm on.

I glance over to my bedside table. The weather looks to be good, the headlines scroll across the screen telling me that Google and Apple have merged to become one big super computing company that will have a yearly turnover the same as the UK.

Realising that this is big news in my world, my alarm starts playing music to get me up and ready. It's a novel idea and one that backfires occasionally. Last week it played "Rainy night in Georgia" when it realised that I hadn't paid my heating bill on time sending me into a mini depression only Holly Golightly would appreciate.

Walking from the bedroom to the bathroom the music follows me, automatically switching off once I've left a zone, as the system can sense where I am about to walk to next, leaving  the bedroom silent apart from my wife sleeping.

In the bathroom I go through my daily health check that gives me the vital statistics of the day. Weight, heart rate, cholesterol and recommended daily calorie count are all displayed for me like some game on the mirror. It's pretty simple stuff really; a sensor embedded in the mat on the floor transmits data like weight, while a finger tip reader grabs the rest from me. At the moment I can opt to have it sent to my doctor, but I think that would cause me too much hassle.

It's not standard in every house, but I'm testing it for the site so get to play with new toys before most. The company behind it says that it should make me fitter and healthier; the two bottles of red last night probably won't help.

Dressed, I head downstairs for breakfast. My house is as yours is now. I might be 5 years in the future, but architecture hasn't changed that much in residential property, this isn't a sci-fi movie you know.

Getting into the kitchen and it's more information with a large notice board come touchscreen displaying the families diary appointments for the day as well as TV shows we might want to record. I opt for Master Chef and 24: Day 14 of course.

Breakfast this morning is with Nanna and Grandpa. My daughter presses the button and they soon appear at the end of the table. They are, of course, in their house in France rather than locked in a cage behind a curtain, but our TV with HD video conferencing over our 100MB line doesn't care about that.

Pancakes. Yum.

The kids jump in the car with mum to school, and I head to the office. I've worked at home for most of my career, but now more and more people do, so it's not that unusual anymore.

It's nice, as when you do have to get on the train into London it's not nearly half as crowded, even commuting isn't that bad. A few video calls here, some stories written there, it's time to head into town for a launch event.

I get to the station just in time, the trains, now run by a company from Switzerland, are impeccable in their schedule, not that much quicker, but new trains are promised - when? Probably 2020, but we can hope. They are always promising faster trains. We aren't talking magnetic yet, certainly not in the UK, but that train from London to Beijing is coming along nicely.

Back in 2010 the idea that trains would provide big screens Total Recall style to watch on your journey was the most plausible way to go. Here in 2015 with a nationwide LTE network, that replaced Wi-Fi as the standard for connecting, and we've all got our own devices. The train is littered with tablets of all shapes and sizes with people watching movies, surfing the Internet, catching up on news and generally getting information overload wherever they go.

Final stop Waterloo, which thanks to the new ticketing system introduced last year is now a lot quicker to navigate. Tickets are a thing of the past thanks to RFID tags and a bit like a security gate in a shop I've just got to walk through the barrier at the end for my journey to register. Think EasyPass in the States where you just get billed at the end of the month. It makes it so much easier. Remember the days you used to have to buy your ticket or even top up your card each month.

A 15-minute tube journey later and I've managed to watch the remainder of the film I was streaming on my tablet. It runs the latest Google OS - Chrome OS 5.0 - and lets me access all my music, movies and information via The Cloud. Thin and light, it's not got an internal hard drive, as all the software and data is stored remotely. It's great as if I lose it I don't lose anything, and anyway at only £30 it's not the end of the world if I do.

Train rides done I'm in Soho ready to see the latest and greatest.

The bar is some cool new place that's only just opened and where the bar tenders are in fact robots.

We aren't talking Nexus Six from Blade Runner level of intelligence here or even ASIMO, but enough to make the best Vodka Martini's in town - better than the American Bar at the Savoy, supposedly.

I have to admit, the first sip is pretty tasty.

Product launched, and contact details of a new PR man beamed to my smartphone by shaking his hand, puts the evening in the success pile. Finding him in the venue wasn't that hard thanks to my phone. Augmented Reality has come a long way since the first apps for phones in 2009, and now I just fire it up and it scans a room and brings up all sorts of photos of people who've been casual enough not to protect their data.

It's time to head home via a curry house with some friends - I'm starving.

A taxi home seems the easiest, laziest option as I've missed the last train and am pleased to find one that's got a games console in the back with a stack of games to play online, so the journey goes quickly. It's some gaming classic that I've not played before and annoyingly I've still got to use a controller - at home it's the latest version of Project Natal. The driver, while he knows his stuff is getting the latest traffic data so we avoid the jams and thankfully he isn't in the mood for chatting. Damn I haven't played Gears of War 3 for ages.

Fumbling out of the taxi, up to the front door and it automatically opens for me thanks to a sensor in my phone. The lights turn on, dimmed of course due to the time. I thank my lucky stars that I'm not my daughter and that my phone isn't currently texting the wife to tell her what time I've got home.

A cheeky scotch later, I realise it's 3am and that with the amount of alcohol I've had, the car isn’t going to let me drive the kids to school. Damn.

If only to live in 2010.  

If you enjoyed this article, then head over to our Future Week homepage where you'll find a collection of features on what gadgets will be like in the year 2015.



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