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Saturday 22.09.2018 | Name days: Maigurs, Mārica, Māris

Photo: What we imagined for 2013 ten years ago

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Predicting the future is hard, but that doesn’t stop us from trying. Wired looked back on life in 2013 circa 2003, and even more – they have spinned it forward once again to tell you what life will be like in 2023.

1.Apple redefined the desktop, laptop, and MP3 player. The next insanely great thing: an LCD arm cuff that includes a PDA, wireless Internet, a mini iPod, and, of course, a phone. The iPhone bracelet’s motion sensor allows you to scroll through apps and files with the flick of a wrist, its clasp holds a digicam for use during video calls, and its wireless ear clip lets you listen and speak to callers. And everything can be done via voice recognition or touchscreen.

And then, Apple gave us an iPhone after all! We got the name right, and even seemed to know about FaceTime. But the form factor details? Not so much. While you can wear an iPod nano as a watch, or make a call with your iPhone, if you want the watch-plus-phone combination that we teased you with 10 years ago, for now you’ll need to pick up a secondary gadget that can transmit to your phone, like Pebble.

Here’s the thing, the screen on a watch is simply too small to display lots of data. Samsung has already demonstrated a pretty convincing foldable OLED display prototype. Given 10 more years, we can easily see one screen serving multiple purposes by taking on multiple form factors, depending on whether you wanted to simply glance at it to read a message, or unfold it to write your reply.

2.Whether counting calories or minding your lactose intake, you can never know too much about what you’re eating. This handheld food scanner’s neural network divines ingredients and quantities, giving an instant read on your favorite foods. Fido’s artificial nose also sniffs out bacteria like E. coli and allergens such as peanuts or milk. Tell the scanner what you want to avoid and it barks a warning.

The closest thing we have to this as a consumer device is the Lapka, a sensor bundle that plugs into your iPhone to tell you (among other things) whether or not the food you’re eating is organic. Meanwhile, scientists at UCLA have created a cellphone adapter that can test for E. coli, and another that can scan food for common allergens. The all-in-one device, however, remains elusive.

How will the food scanner of the future work? In a nutshell, there’s an app for that. Our phones will continue to cram in ever more sensors, with software that makes them all just work in a variety of ways. So it’s not hard to imagine one that features an extensible probe to determine the chemical composition of the food we eat (and just about anything else) with a pressure-sensitive surface that can double as a gram scale.

3.Earplugs promote a good night’s sleep, but they can also drown out your wake-up call. These programmable noise cancelers weed out only the sounds you can afford to miss. A microprocessor neutralizes certain audio input — mating alley cats, your Osbourne-esque neighbors, a partner’s snores — while sound recognition technology lets you teach the plugs what you really want to hear.

While we don’t have noise-cancelling in-ear headphones that will let your alarm noise through the gate, we do have the Snoremaster Pro. The Snoremaster Pro reduces noise by about 20 to 25 decibels, and thanks to a hidden battery, plays white noise on top of it to drown out the rest. As to hearing your alarm? Good luck with that.

Smart sleep sensors like the Jawbone UP or the Lark bracelet can wake you up with vibrating alarms. So why shouldn’t earplugs do the same? We’re doubling down on noise-canceling earbuds, but to make them truly Wired, we’re betting they’ll be able to wake us with vibrations. Going even further, there’s no reason they wouldn’t have an internal gyroscope to track our movement in the night, and thus the quality of our sleep, and then wake us up at exactly the right time during our circadian rhythm.

4.Serious athletes demand data — and they shouldn’t have to take their eyes off the prize. Simple solution: wraparound specs for runners and bikers, or goggles like these for swimmers, that track performance on an on-lens screen. A gyroscopic ankle strap logs speed, temperature (both body and external), strides or strokes, altitude, distance, heart rate, calories burned — then transmits the info to the eyewear’s translucent light-emitting polymer display. Visualize world records.

Today, Smith’s I/O Recon goggles can display your vital stats like speed and vertical distance and jump analytics, and even will let you read incoming text messages while you shred down the slopes — which is , by the way, a seriously bad idea. But to get the most out of them, you still need to link them up with other devices, like a Contour camera or your iPhone, via Bluetooth.

You know what beats reading a text or seeing your speed when you’re ripping downhill? Having it read to you. Sure, Google Glass may be great for walking around (may be). But when you’re performing high speed feats of athletic prowess requiring split-second timing, you want to keep your eyes on the road — or the slope or the track. By 2023 smart glasses will either show you your data, or read it to you on command. Moreover, tomorrow’s sensor-filled specs will have everything built in.

5.By 2013, shades have become retro cool, but contacts do a better job of blocking the sun. Using the same silver halide microcrystals that make polychromatic glasses work, these UV-filtering lenses change hue in bright light. Available in practically any color, they switch from, say, clear to deep gray during a magnificent sunrise.

While you can get novelty contact lenses that change color with UV light, for actual class 1 protection there’s still not much on the market other than a handful of models from Acuvue.

Look, this was a dumb idea, okay? We admit it. You know what you’ll wear in 2023 to protect your eyes for the sun? Sunglasses.

6.Surround sound was just the beginning. Flexible, super-thin light-emitting-polymer displays have evolved to the point where your dream home theater is now a room within a television. The slim, pliable flat panel — a seamless wall covering that extends around you — pulls in whatever you want to watch via wireless satellite feed.

Flexible OLED displays are totally a thing! And both Samsung and LG are expected to release them in 2013. While we may not have room-filling splendor — yet — it’s on the way.

Experts say that by 2023, we’re going transparent. Sure, this has been the stuff of sci-fi movies forever, but transparent displays are finally (kind of) on the way. You could see one, um, on display at CES last year, while researchers at Microsoft are predicting that they’ll be on the market within about seven years.


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