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Aug
26

Where is my flying car?

By · August 26, 2010 at 12:25 am

Wired magazine recently featured a cover
story called “The Future That Never Happened”.

We grew up with the promise of a fantastic
future full of dazzling inventions.

The Wired article explained why we don’t
have flying cars, food in a pill, self driving
cars and jet packs.

I asked my co-workers if they had any
unrealized futuristic technology.

Sunrise anchor Bruce Kopp said,
“Windshield wiper blades that never wear out.”

Kerry Williams from our promotions department
recalled the hologram TV from the Jetsons.

Sara Galer, our Senior Web Producer said,
“A hard drive that plugs into your brain,
like Keanu Reeves in Johnny Mnemonic.”

Photographer Kyle Duell wanted time travel…
to the past.

Every day in the kitchen, I think about my
invention-yet-to-be.

The smart refrigerator.

Not impressed?  Consider this.

All food will be scanned as it enters
the refrigerator. 

My smart fridge will keep an inventory
of all items and will warn you when
food is about to go bad.

The door will have a touch screen that
is connected to the Internet and your
personal video and music collection.

This screen will also show you the current
contents of your chilled food palace.

With a simple touch, the screen will then
show you various recipes that work with
your current inventory of food.

If you need ingredients, the smart fridge
will beam the list to your favorite mobile
device.

I went to Clark’s Appliance on the south
side to see if they had anything close to
my smart fridge.

The salesman at Clark’s said they once carried
a refrigerator with a built-in television.
It cost over $6,000 and did not sell well.

Downtrodden, I asked if there are any other
futuristic kitchen appliances.

He introduced me to induction cooking.

To quote from a GE brochure:
“Induction cooking uses a high-frequency
induction coil below the cooktop’s smooth
surface that heats the cookware by a magnetic
field.”

Please note the high-tech words:
“high-frequency”, “coil”, and “magnetic field”.

I immediately perked up.

The salesman put a paper towel on the cooking
surface. Then he put a pot on the paper towel.

We brought water to boil faster than any
gas or electric stove I have ever seen.

Even while the stove is active, you can
touch the cooking surface and not get burned.
In fact, the paper towel was totally unaffected
by being in direct contact by the “burner”.

I have never heard of induction cooking, but
the salesman said it has been around since
World War I.

So to find the future, I had to look to the past.

Maybe one day, I will have my smart fridge.
All I really need is the following timely message.

WARNING: BEER LEVEL DANGEROUSLY LOW.
Todd Donaldson
Please leave a comment. 

What invention or technology has
gone unrealized?   What are we missing?

I need to unplug my computer brain and go to bed.

Categories : 13 Tech Blog

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