Just as we can sit and discuss the nature of the future that may await us and our planet, it’s very likely that generations previous to us have done the same. Whilst many of these predictions have likely come and gone, many may be yet to arrive whereas some may never be realised at all. Here are some events that happened in 2012 which you could imagine have been pondered upon in the past.
10. Space Cargo Delivery
Whilst the thought of human venture into space was most likely considered impossible until the advent of the 20th century, the prediction that we’d be relaying cargo deliveries back and forward out into the great unknown must have arisen at some point since the moon landings in 1966. We’ve been carting stuff around our own planet for the best part of a millennium in the name of international trade, and so I suppose it’d make sense that when we get to space we’d inevitably have to do the same. As of last year, NASA have been running missions to various space stations with the sole intention of restocking supplies and equipment.
9. Artificial Retinas
Thought to be one of the more incurable of human ailments, blindness has been noted as completely irreversible (in most cases) throughout history. The idea of implanting an artificial retina into the skull of someone who is completely blind sounds like something from a James Cameron movie, right? Had it been suggested a half century ago I highly doubt that the technology would have been forecast to take much of its shape by 2012. Though still in its very early stages, this transplant treatment was carried out on two blind British men last year- and helped them to regain a fair amount of their vision.
8. Self Driving Cars
Despite being one of the most un-imaginative ideas amongst what I like to call the ‘classic’ future predictions (hover-boards and robot butlers comprising the rest of the list), 2012 saw the human race take one stride closer to attaining this as a reality. Three US states made the autonomous vehicles legal last year, leading to the anticipation of more following in the near future. Now legal in Florida, California and Nevada- self-driving cars are expected to greatly reduce the amount of road traffic accidents occurring on our nation’s roads and highways as a result of their GPS, radar and sonar capabilities.
7. Robot Attends School
With the advent of skype, facetime and other various video calling technologies, professionals have been able to hold conference with each-other from opposite corners of the planet. 2012 noted the application of this idea to the field of education when a six-year-old boy from New York State began sending a robot to school in his stead as a result of his dangerously potent allergies. Of course there were those who were sceptical to begin with- yet the ‘experiment’ continues to prove effective.
6. Cyborg Athletes
2012 was of course an Olympic year, with the ancient games landing in London, England during the summer. As if there wasn’t enough to celebrate over the course of the games, last year’s event boasted its own little piece of history when South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius became the first amputee to race alongside able bodied competition. He was able to do so as a result of his advanced prosthetic ‘cheetah’ legs which remarkably allowed him to compete alongside some of the world’s fastest men.