Nov 042010


I am standing in a living-room-of-the-future.

You can navigate the TV using hand movements, instantly swishing and touching to get subtitles to any international programming. Yes, a la Minority Report – but from across the room. Doesn’t every good living-room-of-the-future have a nod to Minority Report? (cc:Qwiki)

Meanwhile, on the patio-of-the-future, just off the living-room-of-the-future, a hologram of a lady tells me that the glass-sided windows of this loft are coated with a self-cleaning glass. Dirt beads up and, when it rains, it’s washed away. “Oh those rainstorms in the tropics!” she says with a slightly stilted laugh.

This isn’t Tomorrowland. It actually has a more Disneyland-sounding name if you can believe it– FUTUROPOLIS. People live and work here, crafting futuristic crazy research like this. Welcome to Singapore’s rare impractical side: Government-subsidized research conducted mostly by welcomed immigrants who can’t find this kind of science-fair-project cash elsewhere.

Elsewhere on the FUTUROPOLIS (sorry, it’s almost impossible to type that word without caps) demo floor, we see advertising that can detect if you are male or female and serve ads accordingly. A wall of motion-sensored fans blows when we walk past (above). We also pass a skeleton on an elliptical trainer. I have no idea what that was demonstrating, but I thought it was funny. (cc: Craig Ferguson) There’s also a bar of the future where you can take pictures that appear on the tables in front of you. You can add icons and hearts and scribble on them and send them to neighboring tables. Dating 3.0.

To be fair to Futuropolis there are some potentially commercial– and life altering– applications like the hospital linens that detect when someone has been lying in the same spot too long and send a flashing BED SORE ALERT! (also impossible to type in lower case) notice to nurses.

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  One Response to “How Singapore Could Become the Most Important City in the Emerging World”

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