In 2010 Pocket-lint tried to imagine what the future would be like in 2015. Today is yesterday’s future, but did we get it right? We’ve revisited three of the “future diary” pieces we wrote five years ago to find out.
Stuart Miles’ Future diary: 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.
Moving alarms or ones that give off a smell never really did take off, instead technology moved more towards waking you with light. Something both Philips and Withings promote.
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.
Errr, not only has that not happened, but the partnerships that the two companies where forming in 2010 are well and truly long forgotten. If anything it’s the complete opposite. The two companies don’t really work together at all in 2015.
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.
Spotify has started experimenting with mood based music playlists and running tracks based on your steps per minute, while IFTTT lets devices like the Jawbone UP let other gadgets in your house know that you’ve had a bad night sleep.
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.
Qualcomm’s AllJoyn system states this is possible, but nobody has implemented it yet, and Sonos hasn’t added this features to it’s multi-room offering yet either.
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.
Withings offers Wi-Fi connected scales to let you know some of that data, while the Apple Watch is being used by some doctors in the US to monitor patients vitals. Pretty much bang on then, just not in my house, yet.
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.
The TV show 24 made it to day 9, and those huge touchscreen interfaces aren't here either.
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.
Broadband speeds are getting faster and 100MB broadband is fairly standard for fibre connections around the UK. In some cases speeds are breaking 200MB thanks to Virgin Media. We do regularly call the grandparents via FaceTime.
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.
I was clearly day dreaming here.
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.
Nailed it, and my original piece was written before the release of the iPad #humblebrag
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.
People still use tickets, but contactless payments and devices like Apple Watch are changing the way we use the tube and the trains. That’s two ticks in a row. I’m on a roll.
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.
You can get tablets for £30, but they aren’t amazing. Amazon’s new Fire Tablet however at £50 pretty much does what I explain above and is worth it.
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.
Possible, but not everywhere
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.
Not there yet, but sharing information is the defacto. I’ve pretty much given up on business cards.
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.
Nope, that roll I was on is fading fast.
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.
Uber offers playlists from Spotify, while others offer Wi-Fi, but not gaming, and anyway I’m normally asleep 10 minutes into the journey.
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.
Project Natal became Kinect, became the next new hope, became something that most people don’t use for games with the Xbox.
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.
Virtually every new GPS or GPS app has live traffic now.
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.
All possible thanks to geo-location with services like Philips Hue. Sensor based doors aren’t far off, while offerings from sensors like Samsung Smartthings and Elgato Eve are able to time door openings and send messages accordingly.
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.
Cars haven't taken this route, yet.
If only to live in 2010.