Flying was a pleasure meant only for birds or for fools jumping off a cliff with homemade wings. The stuff of fancy and fantastical tales. In 1903, a couple of brothers put that kind of talk to rest with the first flights of their Flyer in North Carolina.

Computers in the home was something only seen in science-fiction films until a few kids got together in one of their parents’ garage and created a little thing they called the Apple I. According to Forrest Gump, that little “fruit company” has done quite well since those days.

Staying on that theme, folks used to think that teleportation was only possible in Star Trek, but just yesterday I was beamed from my local transporter to our secret moon base in no time flat! It was really — uh oh! I’m not supposed to talk about that yet . . . just forget you read that last paragraph, please.

Nothing to see here. Moving on.

The point is that when it comes to technology, fiction can often become reality. The fiction of being able to automate our homes became a reality a few decades ago, but it was something only the very (and I do mean very) well-heeled could afford. Since the advent of the smartphone (there’s that “fruit company” again) and the proliferation of cellular networks, we have had greater access to each other and our world than we’ve ever dreamed. As smartphones and apps have grown in popularity, so has the need to use them in ways many of us couldn’t have conceived of before. Today we not only can make calls ...

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