Science fiction writers throughout history predicted outlandish encounters with aliens, hover crafts and more. Yet, some of these writers’ grand ideas that were once the unthinkable have been realized. In 1865, Jules Verne wrote about visits to the moon in his novel From the Earth to the Moon. More than a century later, in 1969, the first astronauts landed on the moon. Other novelists wrote about cyberspace, the Internet, the World Wide Web, cloning, genetic engineering and robots – long before the technologies existed. Today, Intel Corporation is leveraging the imagination of such writers in its labs.
At Intel, science fiction writers are envisioning the technology of our future in a forward-thinking project that reaches outside of the box to drive innovation. Intel hired four science fiction writers this year to forecast future, cutting-edge processors and help inspire new uses for its fast-changing chips on the market in an anthology called “The Tomorrow Project.”
When Intel designs the chips that go into your devices, such as phones and televisions, the company plans about five years in advance. Looking at the future through a science-fiction lens, helps Intel to identify how people will be using the chips in the future.
Brian David Johnson, a futurist and future caster at Intel, says that in five to 15 years the use of sensors will increase. Sensors feed information from your surroundings and your behavior into your devices. Sensors, like GPS, exist today. Yet, future sensors will include cameras and soft sensors, which is built-in software that gives recommendations based on what you like and where you are.
The science fiction writers take the technology being developed in Intel’s labs and other labs around the world to develop people-centric stories around the ways the public can use Intel’s technologies. In fact, you can read these stories in Intel’s book The Tomorrow Project by Douglas Rushkoff, Ray Hammon, Scarlett Thomas and Markus Heitz. The book is also available as a podcast.
Future casting is important, because it captures people’s attention and helps answers questions about the ways we want to live in five, ten or fifteen years, says Johnson. The technology of the future is just an imaginative science fiction story away.
Click here to learn more about “The Tomorrow Project” and its science fiction writers.