It’s 2010 and there are still no flying cars: The effects of advances in technology

December 10, 2010 — by Justine Huang and Dylan Jew

Flashback: It is the year 2000 at Saratoga High. Senior Erick Rector (now an English teacher) is walking around the halls with students carrying CD players and bulky cell phones that only have calling and voicemail features.

Flash forward to 2010: freshman Jeffrey Chen and his friends are listening to music on iPods, texting friends and accessing YouTube and Facebook from their phones as they walk the same halls.
What are students going to be doing in the next 10 years?

By then the world will be moving closer to the stereotypical future world envisioned by sci-fi writers. Things that once seemed impossible, like flying cars, are finally becoming a reality.

“I think we’ll be able to fly in hovercars in the future,” said junior Vivian Liao. “Like in the novels that write about futuristic inventions.”

Terrafugia, an aviation company near Boston founded in 2006, has created a small airplane capable of driving on roads and flying. It is considered the first reasonable “flying car” and will be available for delivery some time next year. However, with its fold-up wings, it is better classified as an airplane than car.

The cell phone is one prediction that has fulfilled past sci-fi fantasies. Mark Twain described a limitless distance telephone in his short story “From the London Times of 1904.” Cell phones received Internet capabilities at the start of the 21st century and continue to provide more services with every generation.

Most companies that make smart phones have already begun incorporating Internet, e-mail and music into their products. Recently, Visa has announced that future cell phones may even replace credit cards.

“Having credit cards installed in cells phones will lead to everything being put together in an all-in-one type of gadget, which is really inconvenient,” said junior Kellie Chiou. “If you lost it, it’d be like losing everything you have.”

Technology has allowed for faster communication of ideas. It has made it possible to do multiple tasks at once. With devices such as Apple’s iPhone, people can check their bank account balances, contact friends, post videos and pictures to the Web, play games, access the Internet and many other activities.

“All this new technology has made us more efficient,” said Tang. “We can do almost anything with our phones now, instead of having to wait until we get on a computer.”

In schools, technology has become a necessity for completing assignments and projects.
Research papers are expected to be loaded with information, due to easily accessible online databases.

Apple has taken advantage of the educational side of technology by implementing their special Education Pricing, which allows faculty and students alike to receive special discounts on Mac computers and Apple products that are used in schools.

There are a few downsides to this tech revolution, however. People will take quantity over quality due to multitasking. There is a lack of patience because of the expectation of instant gratification resulting from the speed of devices.

“Relationships become less personal with technology,” said junior Sarah Lensch. “With Facebook and texting, there are less face-to-face interactions.”

Networking and technology have grown at an exponential pace in the past decade. Based on this tremendous growth, the future can be predicted to be even more spectacular, with gadgets that are easily accessible, simple to use, and able to perform multiple operations for the user.

“With the rapid advances in technology allowing us to get more done conveniently and quickly,” said Chen, “the world is becoming much more fast paced. The future is going to be crazy if we keep increasing our speed.”

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