[This will be the last post before the Mayan apocalypse tomorrow.]
There have already been some very interesting blog posts on other sites predicting the trajectory of technology in 2013. Worthy of special mention is this excellent overview from Frog Design as well as this one from PSFK.
An interesting feature of all these predictions is that they are an amalgamation of current business trends and futuristic American movies. Sci-fi movies provide a direction while business (especially retail) provides the funding. Think of it as a sort of merchandise-celuloidal complex creating our collective future.
The central flaw of practically all the predictions linked above is that they are heavily influenced by American science fiction. American science fiction, however, is a mere shadow of and several decades behind Japanese science fiction. I want to correct that today by basing my 2013 Technology Trends predictions on the advanced research occurring in the Japanese futuristic anime industry.
1. Giant Robots – 2013 will finally see the arrival of giant robots. These should more properly be thought of as Gundam or giant suits of armor rather than robots (in the US our pre-occupation with robotics has seriously undermined our edge in this technological frontier) but for the sake of brevity I’ll continue to refer to them as robots for now.
Suidobashi Heavy Industries put their first Mech up for sale earlier this year (youtube link). Over the next year, we can expect to see giant robots only getting bigger and dropping in price as they go into mass production.
You should definitely trade in your Prius for one of these rugged commuter vehicles. Not only will you be able to walk right over most commuter traffic, but you’ll also find your daily commute is much more enjoyable and comfortable as the anti-grav features kick in. Giant Robots are also good for settling disputes with your neighbors and with your home owner’s association. Even in rest mode, they become interesting conversation pieces when placed on your front lawn.
You can see a future vision video (much like Google’s vision video for Project Glass) on how giant robots will be used in the near future here.
2. Wormholes – Created by a race of aliens known as The Ancients, the wormhole travel system was discovered by the US Airforce about fifteen years ago and will be declassified and integrated by the TSA into commercial aviation routes in 2013. Layovers on Beta Pictoris b and Kepler-42c are imminent.
3. Zombies – The US Cloning program will face a setback in 2013. For the past five years, all major political figures as well as Hollywood A-List celebrities have been cloned in order to assure the smooth transition of power in government and entertainment. Have you ever wondered how George Clooney stays so young? Cloning.
In 2013, however, impurities introduced into the manufacture of clones (currently managed by the Umbrella Corporation) will turn clones of US House members into voracious and infectious brain eaters. The US Congress will quickly turn the American populous into a rabid, ugly and mindless horde incapable of rational thought and obeying only raw emotions and appetites.
Only those who never leave their homes or watch cable news will be safe.
4. Tablets – I think tablets are going to be really big in 2013. Over the past several years I’ve noticed a subtle trend in which cameras have been flattened out and had phone-calling capabilities added to them. Why phone companies rather than camera companies are driving this is a mystery to me, but more power to them. Between 2010 and today these cameras have been getting bigger and bigger and are now even touch-enabled! In 2013, I predict the arrival of 22”, 32” and even 55” touch-enabled cameras called “tablets” that people can comfortably carry around with them in their cars (or in their giant robots). These tablets can even double as mirrors or flashlights!