The following essay was submitted by Peter Mack from Gateway High School as part of the Future of Technology Scholarship competition.
In the not so distant future, the year 2040, our lives will have changed very much as we will see in Peter Mack’s life. Peter is 44 years old, married to a women a year younger, they have two children a boy and a girl. Peter’s children will live to 150 due to technology on gene tweaking created in 2020.
We will now look at a day in the life of this man. Peter wakes up looks over at his wife sleeping and knows that she has tossed and turned all night, he can see that by the panel on the bed also indicating her bio rhythms are low and pollen count is high. In the future everything will be connected through apps. This one reads the body and surrounding environment while the couple sleeps giving feedback on pulse, body heat, how deep a person sleeps, etc. All of the tools, computers and even clothes Peter and his family wear are constantly sending data back and forth to each other which can be read through various screens in a house, work, phone, computer and other devices. Peter’s family can upload this information to medical apps giving them daily feedback. Here is a short sampling of what they are educated on daily: what to eat; how many hours to sleep; what exercises will build the most muscle; reminders to adjust position if slouching; to get up and move around if they sit too long. The children’s apps interact like a game they win and lose points all day.
Peter knows to get out of bed and get going as his wife is headed for a rocky morning and he better be at his best. He steps into the ionic shower, water is no longer used since mankind has had a breakthrough in cleaning the body. He sets controls for lighting, fragrance and air velocity to wake him up and set his mood for the day. He picks an arrangement to uplift him, help him concentration, so he feels energetic, this eliminates the need a cup of coffee.
The family home is set up so simple and repetitive tasks have been taken over by robots, for example: sweeping, cleaning, laundry, and repetitive work is done by apps inter-connected with each other helping Peter and his family live their lives more fully. Peter and his wife orchestrate the robots through apps on the technology they carry with them all day. This allows his generation to work towards more important and higher level of thinking. In this future time mankind has become less materialistic due to the vast opportunities and information we can access.
Peter has already called into work through a computer to switch on his daily feed and studies. Work is now more of an extended learning, people pick professions that have topics they want to master since simple tasks are not a concern. Days are now filled with creating, training and expanding their mind.
In 2014 mankind has discovered ways to create more efficient energy, materials for building, and new frontiers to explore. Peter’s wife along with her other scientist friends and peers have found and continue to look to places other than this planet, such as the Asteroid Belt since asteroids have lots of materials such as iron, metal cobalt, platinum, and nickel. In our solar system there are millions of asteroids circling the sun just outside of Mars’s orbit. Peter invents machinery that is utilized in space to collect material to bring back to earth. He is looking at how the machinery can produce sustainable energy and fix itself so it can stay in space for decades. He knows that just one asteroid a kilometer thick is estimated to hold: 30 million tons of nickel, 1.5 million tons of metal cobalt, and 7,500 tons of platinum. This amount of platinum alone is worth $150 billion. The reason nations on the planet earth are going this far to get these resources is to not completely diminish earth’s resources. Peter is excited about this opportunity since space holds an infinite amount of material that could be used to create and build structures back on earth and even on new terrains in space.
For Peter and his family transportation is of little concern. The energy they use for cars, long distance, and mass transportation are produce in ways that are positive and clean for the planet. The cars him, his family, neighbors and friends use are all electric, bio-diesel or another non-polluting resource. Amsterdam has switched all of their cars over to electric. As NASA predicted it now only cost tens of dollars to send humans or cargo into space. In many places like the United States there are complex system of long distance high speed rails. A high speed rail connecting Boston to Washington and another connecting Los Angeles to Vancouver was created so you do not have to travel the long hours in heavy traffic. In order to achieve this goal wind power, ocean power and solar power is harnessed. Peter thinks back to when we knew very little of space-based solar power in the early 2000s. These solar panels in space are orbiting the earth at a speed that they can collect energy for longer periods of time because it revolves around the earth at the same speed it spins. Since the energy from the sun does not have to go the through the atmosphere it will be able to gain more energy per amount of time than a regular solar panel on Earth. In the Oceans there are buoys, propellers, and wave/ tide to energy converters. Countries will use offshore areas to place buoys that generate constant energy due to waves. The Buoys are on a pole attached to the bottom of the seafloor, the buoys will be able to float up and down as waves go by. In these buoys there are electric coils that will generate energy every time a wave passes. At the same time there are propellers under the water that spin just like wind mills on land. They use the currents in the ocean to gather energy.
On his way into work Peter thinks back to when he was born, the year 1996, and is amazed at all the disruptive technology that came into existence which propelled mankind into freedom from mundane task, equality due to less drain on resources and easier production of fuel, food and even breakthrough’s in desalination of water. Wars fought over resources no longer exist. Mankind has entered a whole new era, world peace is in sight. Space is the new frontier and new territories to live are being discovered. Peter knows that he has played his part in helping planet earth move forward in a gracious and masterful way.