Future – Nanotechnology
By engineering at the molecular level, you can make things that behave in strange and potentially very useful ways: a swarm of tiny bots could be injected into your bloodstream for remote-controlled surgery, or the technology could even be used to reassemble matter, turning your garbage into anything you want.
Today – Karakal SL-70 £65
Karakal uses nanoscale bonding in the graphite layers of its SL badminton racquets to make them strong and light – this one tips the scales at just 70g.
Future – Teleportation
Instantaneous point-to-point transport is a popular way to cover the huge distances demanded by interstellar travel. It’s probably impossible for matter, but scientists have already shown that information can be teleported – a principle which could power the communication and computing of the future.
Today – TripIt £free
Okay, instant transport is a tall order. But forward TripIt your emails from airlines, hotels and more, and the Android app’ll build you a nice itinerary to speed things up.
Future – Stasis
Who wants to live forever? Well, some people do, which is why there are lots of rich dead people in vats of liquid nitrogen. For the living, going into a deep hibernation could be a way for people to stay alive far beyond the normal human lifespan, sleeping while they fly the immense distances between the stars.
Today – Lacie Xtremkey 16GB £55
In the event of water, dust, or alien invasion, this USB drive will hold your data securely until such time as you want to, er, ‘regenerate’ it.
Future – Neural Implants
In the future, humans will interface with their gadgets directly, controlling them with their minds as if they were extensions of themselves. The man-machine interface is the gateway to upgrading our bodies – starting with machine-augmented strength, and ending with uploading human minds into powerful computers.
Today – Mindflex £80
Hone your man/machine interface by guiding the Mindflex console’s floating ball through a maze, using only your thoughts.
Future – Witricity
When it comes to powering our tech, we're still helplessly tethered to our lithium-ion apron strings. But not for long – wireless electricity is headed our way in the shape of inductive charging through magnetic fields, radio waves and infrared lasers shining on solar cells.
Today – Energizer Qi charger US$70 (US only)
Qi wireless charging pads are the closest tech on the witricity horizon. This small docking station provides up to 5W of power for future Qi-compatible phones and cameras – and the couple of lucky gadgets today that have Qi sleeves (iPhone and Blackberry Curve).