Chapter 1The Future Is Here

Films frequently combine imagination, inspiration, and aspiration. Many films depict life as we wish it to be. The cinema can portray new worlds and new possibilities. Over the years, science fiction has portrayed a world with self-driving cars, robots that clean your house, and smartwatches that can be used as communications devices. In the 2002 science fiction movie Minority Report, a person could walk into a store and be recognized. There were multitouch interfaces for screens, retina scanning, personalized advertising, and electronic readers. There were smart homes that could sense when you walked into the room and adjust the lights and music to suit your mood. Crime prevention was also automated with computers.

Fast-forward to the present. Today, you can see the prototypes of self-driving cars on the roads in many cities around the world. At the 2014 Consumer Electronics show, BMW revealed a modified version of the M235i Coupe that can brake, steer, and accelerate without driver intervention. The iRobot Roomba vacuums your floor, and the company offers a higher-end autonomous robot that can be controlled by a person and used to deliver aspects of healthcare in hospitals and remote inspections in manufacturing plants.

Qualcomm, Samsung, and others announced smartwatches that act as minicomputers and extensions of your phone by receiving text messages, placing phone calls, and sending calendar reminders. Meanwhile, tablets and electronic readers ...

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