Saturday, October 24, 2015

Family Tech: We are living in the future – let’s enjoy - October 23, 2015

I glanced over at my son playing on our gaming PC. He was speaking into his headset, talking to other players. They were from all over the world of various ages and backgrounds.

I was struck yet again with a sense: we live in the future.

The video games are not the only trigger for me. I have a new app on my phone, FlightRadar 24, which amazes me.

It shows all airplanes overhead. Select one and it tells you its type, airline, flight number, origin, destination and route. If a plane declares an emergency, it alerts me if I want to follow its story.

What’s really cool is if I aim my phone at a plane overhead, it identifies it for me.

All this is done using a database of aircraft under Air Traffic Control, but also the GPS sensor in my phone telling it where it is, plus the other sensors that tell the software where the phone is pointing to and how it is oriented.

There are also devices like Microsoft’s Kenect 2 for the XBox. It has a series of cameras and microphones that could almost be living in the future. It recognizes who is watching TV at a given moment. And it understands hand and arm gestures.

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