Our Second Brain or “ThingBook”
In the future nearly every visible thing will be cataloged and indexed, ready to be instantly identified and described to us. Want to go shopping? In the future we won’t need big retail stores with aisles of objects on display. We’ll be able to shop out in the world (see image, above). Do you like that new car you saw drive by? Or those cool shoes on the woman sitting across the room? All you’ll have to do is look at it and your mobile handset or AR-equipped eyeglasses will identify the object and look up the best price and retailer.
Like Google for our bodies, future technologies will allow us to monitor our body’s vital conditions and compute the outcome of our actions on-the-fly. So you’ll know right away what it’s going to take to work off that Burger and Coke.
Curious about the future of social networking? Whuffie is a conceptual social Metric based on what others think of you. In the future this Metric might actually be usable as real money. Why not? Celebrities are used to getting things for free based on their popularity. This is the same idea taken to its democratic extreme. Socializing will take on completely new dimensions when we can see everything public about a person right as we are talking with them. Think dating is difficult today? Imagine the hoops we’ll have to jump through when everyone in the bar can see your complete dating history the minute you walk into the room.
The term “whuffie,” by the way, is a word coined by author Cory Doctorow in his book Down And Out In the Magic Kingdom. It refers to the measurement of respect or karma a person gains or looses in their lives. In Doctorow’s future, humans have implants in their brains that visually project their whuffie, which has replaced money as currency.