What Will Life Look Like in 100 Years?

One of my favorite attractions at Disney World in Orlando is the Carousel of Progress. Appropriately enough, this was an entry from GE at the World’s Fair some time ago. The premise is that you sit and watch five different animatronics “plays,” where the main character talks about how great the technology in his life is and can’t understand how things could get better. But they always do.

For instance, one of the plays talks about how he has an icebox, and now he no longer has to get ice every day, or indoor plumbing, or electric lights. It’s funny, but we all do that. Living in 2014, there are so many things we look at, and we can’t imagine how our lives could get better.

When I was a kid playing Atari®, it was the best thing. Now, my kids play Xbox® with graphics that are so lifelike. The video camera I bought in 2004 was state of the art. Fast-forward and it seems so big and heavy compared to the models we have today. I love my iPad®. How long until that goes the way of the Sony® Walkman?

Innovation is with us all the time and continually makes our lives better. Some of the things on the horizon like driverless cars and space travel seem so science fiction; however, we have companies like Google and Virgin Space looking at those items now. I’m sure we are all looking at these ideas as crazy just as those around the last turn of the century looked at the automobile as a replacement for the horse and buggy. Outrageous–it will never happen. It will, but the question is when.

Google_Glass_Explorer_EditionThis week, I had the opportunity to try Google Glass for the first time. These clunky, very expensive items are very cool and have a ways to go. But what possibilities there are! Imagine walking up to a machine in a plant and seeing all the health information about that machine…or seeing a video of how to do the maintenance. As you face a different machine, the information comes up for that. Wow! So many possibilities…

What will life look like in 100 years? I find myself telling my kids how lucky they are with the technology they have today. In my day, we didn’t have anything close to this. Although at the time, I thought it was the best. I can’t imagine what my kids will tell their kids someday about how life is better. And I’m sure it will be astounding.

Paul Adams

Paul has spent more than 20 years in manufacturing with GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, focusing on product development. His deep industry experience comes from countless calls, meetings and visits to manufacturers around the globe to help solve their business challenges. Today, he works in Global Professional Services, which allows him to continue working with GE’s manufacturing customers at a more downstream function. Wonder what challenges he’s helping manufacturers solve today? Connect with Paul on LinkedIn.

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