Monthly Archives: April 2013

Nora Roberts’ Eve Dallas novels: How close are we to 2058 technology?

New York

New York image courtesy of mconnors, Morguefile.

One of my favorite authors, Nora Roberts, also writes under the name J.D. Robb for her futuristic “In Death” series. These books have a central character called Eve Dallas, a tough, seasoned and beautiful cop who is married to Irish billionaire bad-boy-turned-good-and-seriously-gorgeous Roarke. Eve and Roarke are one of the best literary couples ever created; they are good, strong characters who understand each other on an elemental level and act as each other’s rock in life.

For those who are unfamiliar with the books, I’ll go into the backstory a little. In 2058, the people are still the same, but the gadgets of everyday life have changed somewhat. Cars and buses can fly, and cars may be driven by hand or on automatic pilot. Homes often have AutoChefs (vending machines capable of storing and cooking food), tele-links (similar to video phones), drying tubes rather than towels, voice-operated televisions, gel furniture in living rooms and privacy screens that slide over windows. Holograms may appear as people or take over an entire room. Some people wear wrist units or carry PPCs (Personal Portable Computers) with video capability. Robot droids appear as animals or even in human form, and the cops carry stunners.

Some of this technology I’m seeing already. I’ve seen videos of self-driving cars, but I think the FAA might raise an eyebrow or two about flying cars. Apart from overcoming aerodynamic forces such as weight, thrust, lift and drag, you’d have to keep impatient drivers from banging into each other — messy. But wouldn’t it be great to have one of these for your morning commute? I’m ┬áin. You could just settle in, tell the car where you want to go and read a book or sleep on the way there. Nice.

Holograms could work. 3-D holograms still appear to be in our future, but the 2-D ones aren’t bad. Shades of Star Wars, anyone? Remember Princess Leia’s hologram at the beginning?

And I’d love a PPC. According to the Nora Roberts website, the PPC is similar to a laptop, but I always pictured it as being closer to a smartphone since it has video capability.

Anybody want an AutoChef? Naturally, I’d stock mine with healthy foods (You may giggle, but hey, somebody’s got to do it) and the four basic food groups: chocolate, chocolate, chocolate and chocolate. YEAH, BABY!

Voice-operated technology is here, but I haven’t seen it on televisions yet. Would you have to yell at the TV to turn it on or off during a party, with all the background noise? And what if you had laryngitis one day? Would remote controls still exist?

Hmmmmm. I think we’re on our way to the technology of 2058, but we’ve still got a ways to go yet.

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