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FUTURE TECH by Charles Piddock


From Personal Robots to Motorized Monocycles

by Charles Piddock

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: July 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4263-0468-2
Publisher: National Geographic

It seems as if people have always longed to peer into the future, although some have made better guesses than others about what may lie ahead. Based on futurology—the discipline of predicting future innovations and resulting lifestyle changes, largely by studying current science and technology and past patterns of change—this effort takes an appreciative, uncritical look at robots, transportation, bionics, nanotechnology and future life in general. It concludes with ten specific predictions for 2025—for example, digital jewelry that automatically introduces the wearer to passersby. Interesting color photographs appear on almost every page and entertaining text boxes with additional related information add appeal but sometimes overstep accuracy: “After World War II almost everyone predicted that people would zoom around in atomic airplanes.” While it’s at its strongest at presenting potential new technology, the text makes no effort to predict how these innovations may affect the world at large, resulting in a surprisingly wide-eyed,1950s Popular Science–style of reporting. Although not all of the predictions may come true, most of them will likely entertain and provoke thoughtful consideration. (glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10 & up)