We’re all looking forward to the future. There’s so much potential for new things we’ll experience, new things we’ll own, new things we’ll be able to do, the possibilities are endless. But I’m a realist, I’m almost 30 years old and I don’t know how many years I have left on this planet. The average life expectancy for my generation hovers somewhere between 70 and 80, so let’s assume I’ve got 50 years at least left on Earth.
So this is my Top 10 list of inventions that I’m pretty sure I won’t see in my lifetime. This could be major things that haven’t been invented at all, or just specific additions to inventions that might be existing by the time I die, but not perfected.
So, let’s get to it, shall we?
Now do I think we’ll be on Mars in our lifetime? I sure as shit hope so, but I firmly believe we’ll still be in our solar system for the remainder of this century and a little longer beyond that. We first landed on the Moon in 1969 and almost 50 years later we’ve yet to go further and reach Mars. By that logic and math, it seems very likely that we won’t be much farther in our solar system by the turn of the 22nd century. Could we have colonized on the Moon and Mars by then? I think it’s possible, but in terms of exploring what’s beyond our own solar system, I think we’re a long ways away before we’re at that point.
For example, Mass Effect has us colonizing on the Moon by 2069 and we actually send a team beyond our solar system in 2075, but lose contact with them. In 2103 we’re colonizing on Mars and in 2137 we’re beginning to really reach past the Asteroid Belt. in 2143 we’re ready to go beyond Pluto and in 2148 that’s when the mass relay in Charon is discovered and we rapidly increase technology so that in less than 20 years we’ve fought alien races and have now become part of the Citadel, recognized as a major race in the galaxy.
Honestly, minus the mass relay discovery and on, that’s a pretty realistic representation in my eyes, I don’t think it’s out of the question that in 150 years, we’re starting to look past our own galaxy, the math and logic is there. But in my lifetime, we’ll certainly still be in our own system still.
Obviously we’re now in the midst of really starting to work on virtual reality technology. But for perfected virtual reality, like the Holodeck in Star Trek, I don’t think it’ll be completed in my lifetime. Scientists however have predicted we’ll have something similar to the Holodeck completed and available to the general public by 2024, however without touch. That to me is where I think we’ll be working on this for a long time before completion, at this point it’s very possible to be able to be fully-immersed in virtual reality in terms of movement and sight, but actually interacting with everything as if it were reality, that’s a much more difficult invention to obtain and one I think will take much longer than 50 years to perfect.
Now I have to be very specific with this. Solar energy obviously already exists and people have access to it. What I specifically think will not happen in my lifetime is the complete conversion to solar energy, not to mention it being affordable for the average person. I think oil companies and other energy industries will try to coast as much as they can and keep going until their resources are no longer available at all. Greed is a major factor in this invention not being fully accessible and available, I truly believe that in 50 years we’ll still be fighting for a cheap option to power our homes with solar energy, rather than our current sources of energy. As Lewis Black says as well and I love this quote: “The reason I won’t see solar energy in my lifetime is because every day the sun goes away and doesn’t tell us where it’s going.”
How often do you forget things? How cool would it be to have a way to upload personal memories and information so if you do forget something, you can recall it? Even better yet, how cool would it be to download those memories and re-experience them in virtual reality? Your first kiss, your wedding, your first child being born, the Maple Leafs winning the Stanley Cup (might not happen in my lifetime…), how cool would it be to have uploaded those memories and be able to access them again at will? But with where we are, I don’t see that being possible, certainly not in this century. Looks like I’ve gotta actually have a memory still. Aw man!!!
Could time travel be possible in this century? I doubt it, but maybe. But specifically, time travel without consequence? That’s a much taller task. To be able to travel back in time and have it be impossible to affect anything, as in not being acknowledged by anything in the world, whether alive or not. No one sees you, not even the ground recognizes your existence, you just float around and watch as many historical events take place, or old memories, or anything of interest. It’ll certainly reduce cheating on your significant other, that’s for sure, they’ll be able to literally fact check.
Doesn’t it suck that you can only store so much in a box? Isn’t it so cool to think about having a backpack that acts like a RPG hero’s backpack where he/she can carry 50 swords, 2000 potions and so much food, it’s amazing there’s no mess in there from all the crushed tomatoes? This kind of technology might just be impossible, my brain cannot rack around the idea of a small space that has infinite space inside. Obviously as well, the whole reach into the box and grab what you want wouldn’t work, there’d have to be a way to say “I want this specific item.” and it comes out of the box. What a cool invention this would be, but we are centuries, maybe even a millennium or more away from something like this.
Of course this was going to make the list! A machine that can just make any food you want?! Why would I not want that?! Now the real questions for such an invention are how does it work financially. I personally don’t think an invention like this would come as a single-price and that’s it, I imagine it more as a buy it and then pay for whatever you create in it. But let’s assume one day it’s literally just buy it and then make whatever you want. Want a Big Mac right now? Boom! Want a three-course Christmas meal? Bam! Obviously today we’re starting 3D printing of food, so we’re well on our way, but we’ve got a long way to go and I’m not convinced something this cool will be here before I die.
I’m aware we already have this, it just takes a bit to do that. What I mean is a literal real-time translator, one that translates your words to the point the other person doesn’t hear your English or whatever your speaking and only hears the translation. So you can literally walk into a room and speak to anyone in their native tongue without them having to wait for the response after listening to your gibberish that they can’t understand. I think out of every invention (minus solar energy), this is the one that might actually be finished in my lifetime, but I think the task of a perfected translator that silences your own words so they only hear the translation, that’s a much taller order to speak of. Pun completely intended.
This is the dream invention for so many people. No longer do we have to wait for the bus to show up, for the plane to land, for our car to reach its destination. You get up, turn on the teleporter, pick your destination and just go. The risk of this invention is so high, you know a lot of people are going to die before this is perfected, not to mention we’ll have to redo the world process again as we go bigger. We’ll start from a small distance, than from place to place, city to city, before finally being able to go anywhere in the world AND THEN we work on planet to planet. But just think about it, you can get to work in seconds, you don’t have to fly 14 hours from Canada to Japan, you’re there instantly. I think the one possibility is a queue system, where you might wait a few minutes at most until your specific destination opens up a teleporter for you, as having several people enter at the same time would cause several insane problems. But a few minutes instead of a 14-hour trip? I think we’re all okay with that one.
To me however, this is the big one. We can always dream about these crazy future pieces of technology, but at the end of the day our number one worry is our own lives, specifically our health. By the time I die, there will still be diseases that haven’t been cured, not to mention new ones we have to find a cure for. Hell, I might even die by one of these diseases we haven’t found a cure for yet. In the next 50 years, how will cancer be faring? HIV/AIDS? ALS? Don’t forget about diseases many live with and can suppress but not outright cure, like diabetes and asthma, not to mention diseases most of us are immune to but can’t cure once diagnosed, like polio. There’s still a lot out there, both physical and mental diseases that go without a cure. And unfortunately for a lot of us, we will be diagnosed with one that does not have an outright cure for it. Hopefully a lot of these have straight-up “take the shot and you will be cured over a short period of time” level of cures, but in the next 50 years, the list of diseases without one will still be not a short one.
And that’s the list! Thank you so much for reading this, hope you enjoyed it! Don’t forget to leave your own lists and picks in the comments below and share this post along with the others you enjoy with your friends!