A taste of the future

A taste of future tech trends is on display in Dubai in the Google house, raising the spectre of whether the high-tech future is a dream or a nightmare.

Depending on one’s approach to new technology, the Google House in Dubai will make the resident feel like either George Jetson or John Connor. These two fictional characters – from the utopian future of The Jetsons cartoon series and from distinctly dystopian Terminator film series – represent opposite extremes of the tech experience.

Most of us will be somewhere in between in our reactions to the two-storey home that provides a taste of how technology is likely to change the way we live – such as a voice command to your tablet while cooking that calls up the appropriate recipe.

There are always early and late adopters of technology, but most of us get on board eventually. Who would want to go back to the days of washing clothes by hand or beating a rug rather than vacuuming? Would anyone now abandon their mobile phone to go back to landlines?

The bigger question is whether the smart house could usurp roles traditionally performed by one’s spouse. Google Trends, for example, can be used while getting dressed so that what is selected is the height of fashion. But can a computer ever truly replace the withering glare that says: “Really? You’re going to wear that?”

Published: May 7, 2014 04:00 AM