Future diaries: 02 April 2015

It's Friday morning and although usually I'd be working hard for Pocket-lint all week, I've managed to wangle a day off and thus a long weekend.

It suddenly dawns on me, however, that I agreed to go shopping for my better half - light reactive blinds and bread hydrator amongst other things we don't really need. Oh well, it should make for a chore-free afternoon.

The morning turns from bad to worse as I remember that we've had a new shower fitted, gone is the great power shower, and in its stead an aqua-mistomatic 450, that gives the bare minimum amount of water to wash and de-soap yourself with, along with a timer so you don't go crazy and over indulge on the fine spray. Efficient? Yes, and it's subsidised by the government as part of their "green drive" scheme, but give me gushing torrents of water any day.

Now dressed and fed I activate a few house systems via the central control panel -  preheat oven for 1pm, heating on at 11am and set timer on TV to download "At Home With the Obamas". A tap of the car widget on my phone starts the car as well as de-ices it and as it's particularly smoggy outside I upload my route to the car's GPS, which kicks in the augmented reality HUD. However my ambitions of driving into town are shortlived as I'm reminded that the car's out of MOT and any attempt to pass the town's car RFID verification field will just mean a hefty fine, as all the information is sent directly to the DVLA. If only I'd downloaded that Carminder app...

Public transport it is then, which is actually a breeze since the installation of face recognition on the underground, meaning that all UK residents travel free - the government's sweetener for having us place all our info on its database. Personally I'd have let them have it all for £10 and a bottle of Tizer - let alone free life-long travel. A quick scan later and I'm through the turnstiles.

If the transport system has seen great increases in efficiency in terms of getting you onto the train/tube in the past 5 years, then unfortunately the same cannot be said for the actual travel aspect. Yes, there are a few swanky screens that various companies use to advertise at you, and the new standardised micro-USB (at last) embedded into the armrests so your handset doesn't run out of juice. But for the most part it's still the same experience: a scent that seems to be an exotic mix of oil, body odour and cheap perfume, and a ride which gives the impression of an imminent derailment.

Into town and the reality of shopping trips these days is that a lot of it is done online previously, however the companies still like the footfall - as well as the opportunity to lull you into that impulse buy, made all the easier since the increase of the RFID purchasing limit to £250 - and so encourage people to shop "traditionally" by offering discounts for picking up the goods yourself. It also keeps the coffee shops in business. 

The upshot of this is that I can slip on my AR shades, whereby my route is planned out, giving me information on which shops to call in at and how long it'll take. If you do happen to want to buy a little something then it's frighteningly simple to do, although cheques still officially, have 5 years left to live the majority of people are using their smartphones to pay. Following in the footsteps of Apple circa 2009, you can buy off any assistant you see - so no tills. Just bump you handset with the "work" phone of the shop assistant and it's done.

As I'm setting off for home I remember that I need to pop into the travel agents to book my trip to China so I can finish off a level of GeoConflict. Using the check-in system pioneered by Foursquare, the game requires you to complete certain levels in the country in which it's set. You don't have to do this in order to complete the game, but there are some high-value trophies and prizes to be had, as the the game manufacturers have teamed up with the relevant tourist boards as a way to encourage gamers to visit their country.

Back home and slightly fatigued I decide I just want to veg, slumping into the couch I switch on the TV streamer. Though after a morning's shopping it's probably not the best move as modern TVs now recognise who is watching, throwing up a suggested line of programmes and adverts based on your profile and your viewing habits. I receive an eclectic mix of feminine hygiene products, catfood and weed killer -  the service is certainly in need of some fine tuning.

Still, Onlive is as smooth as ever - just a flick of the remote and I'm transported into multi-player bliss - what'll it be? Blur 3 I think.

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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