In my personal warmup for the AFC and NFC championship games on TV, I watched the movie “Minority Report.”
The Tom Cruise movie was directed by Steven Spielberg, and was released in 2002. That has quickly become part of a dated era that precedes smartphones and social media. The sci-fi action thriller itself was set in 2054.
A brief recap: The plot revolves around a “precrime” police unit that arrests murder suspects before they actually commit their acts. The arrest premise is based on visions from a trio of “pre-cogs,” who can actually view the crimes in advance and transmit those thoughts to the precrime unit. Cruise’s character is a member of that elite unit, but he later finds himself in setup that a makes him a target of the unit he has championed.
But what got my attention was how many elements of the future as seen by “Minority Report” that are actually part of our current reality. Some examples:
- Autonomous vehicles: Cruise’s character and others travel in self-driving cars. Per a recent CNBC.com report, these are expected for consumer adoption in 2021.
- Retina scans: Already common in government agencies, the security clearance technique now is used in ATMs and to police welfare fraud.
- Personally targeted advertising: When he’s fleeing authorities after being set up, Cruise’s character sees his image as part of commercial solicitations on nearby walls and billboards. These are happening now in stores and mobile devices. Also, a similar method of virtual recognition is used at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
- Virtual reality: This is really about to take off. Facebook is preparing to ship its Oculus Rift headset, which will revolutionize gaming and other facets of consumer technology. Also, The New York Times is using a giveaway cardboard VR model to showcase its efforts in that area.
Except that this is 2016, not 2054. The future is arriving faster than we think.
— What other examples of futuristic technology are you seeing in 2016? Leave a comment below.