During our “The Thing From the Future” activity in class last week, my group ended up with the following cards:
Arc: Transform (a decade)
I came up with the idea of a sort of homing beacon that is implanted into each family member which can then be traced by a smartphone app or something similar. A few non-implantable inspirations for this come from some movies (because of course).
The whole idea behind this device is that having this sort of tech with people you care about (family) brings a sense of calm to the user. Knowing where your loved ones are at all times helps you make sure they’re okay and aren’t in trouble. With that in mind, let’s develop the implant and transformative side of this artifact.
The implant isn’t too hard to imagine (although making something that small and non-intrusive, while still being powerful enough to get a signal to a satellite would be a challenge in of itself, but I digress). Implant one of these into each member of your family, and now you’ve got a good way of keeping track of them.
Now, if you’ve made it this far, you might be thinking, “What about security?! That data would be so dangerous if put into the wrong hands!” Those wrong hands could include some hacker selling your info to a hitman, or your crazy ostracized uncle that you’re afraid of becoming a hitman. Either way, that’s scary stuff. The transformative nature of this tech is what would be the most revolutionary. A transformation of security and calmness about privacy would certainly be a welcome one in the world we live in. No more disconnecting your Google Home or covering up your webcam. It’s a world where your privacy is never compromised.
Is this hard to imagine? Kind of like Omelas? Well, due to this round being the quickest of the three our group was able to go through, I didn’t have much time to think beyond the original concept, but after giving more thought to it, I have some fun sci-fi dystopia ideas:
The implantable chips also record DNA data, which allows you to find your closest biological relatives without the need for both individuals to coincidentally take the same sort of DNA test from the same company. Now you can know how you truly are connected to everyone around the world. This brings an even deeper meaning to “Find My Family.”
The bio-chips don’t just read your location and send that data, but can write data to the tracked person, like giving them thoughts or impulses to go to certain places or do certain things. Large corporations purchase the location data and write algorithms that give you cravings for certain foods when you’re in a certain radius of that store’s location.
Society becomes very feudal again, based on family lines, and certain families have to hide underground, where the signal can’t reach, in order to avoid being hunted and killed.
This was an incredibly fun exercise, and now if you’ll excuse me, I have a couple more rounds to play of “The Thing From the Future” so that I can go and create my own sci-fi universe and make millions from the books that I’ll write.