Life is hard, especially the living-it part. That’s why technologists are hard at work making the user experience something that anyone (with enough disposable income) can enjoy (for as long as the battery lasts). You’ve already seen Google Glass and the Nike FuelBand, but that’s so Wearable 1.0. Join me on a day in your far better, connected, game-ified, quantified digital life.
A vibration on your finger awakens you. It is your Circadian Ring, which syncs with your pillow to monitor your health and influence your dreams. You miss your dream about dancing with a panda at a falafel cart, which you’d found in the Absurdist Lite catalog, so you fall back asleep–but are reawakened when the ring triggers a montage of wildlife mating videos on all your bedroom walls. A photo of your startled reaction is automatically posted to your social networks, along with this update: “I lack discipline and have been docked five Awesome Points.” Seven friends click like–it’s the future, but Mark Zuckerberg is still trying to monetize that data.
You put on your enhanced glasses, attach the GestureBand to your right forearm, affix the FlagpinCam to your lapel, slip on a TasteMaster tongue ring, and it’s off to work! Your neighbor’s terrier is yapping, but you don’t hear it because you’ve blocked it from your LifeFeed–just as you’ve noise-canceled the squeaking of the subway wheels and all sounds from humans under 18 months old. (Those under 18 years old are at half-volume.) Directions guide you to the subway entrance; you’ve never paid attention to where the subway is, because why bother with all those great directions? Instead, you play No Words With Friends and restore two more Awesome Points.
You glance out of your glasses into the unenhanced world and notice an attractive passenger in the subway. Facial recognition determines that you two are connected on LinkedIn, but you know that’s meaningless. Bummer. At 2 p.m., your display flashes a cancer mitigation alert and orders a kale-carrot smoothie from a nearby food cart. You pick it up (two Awesome Points) and drink it (eight Awesome Points, but only after the TasteMaster tongue ring verifies consumption).
By 6 p.m., you notice a minor feeling of sadness. Your display activates a HappyMoments highlight reel of you sitting during happier times; the images were taken by coworkers’ FlagpinCams and cross-listed with your Circadian Ring’s NeuroMeter. Now you feel awesome. Now you feel confused, because that awesome feeling didn’t come with points.
Your route home is redirected to a happy hour where there are three Friends and 12 ProbableFriends (you’ll search their Interest Graphs later). But, alert! Your ex is at the bar too. You set a 50-foot No Contact Zone, but it’s breached, which sets plan B into motion: You’re guided toward the nearest attractive person whose NeuroMeter is reading “very lonely.” You two can select from a menu of JealousMaking(TM) options–but you see that this stranger’s Circadian Ring has more Other People Touches than yours, and now your NeuroMeter announces that you’re feeling inadequate.
The system springs into a preprogrammed mode: Your tab is settled at the bar and you’re directed toward the nearest exit while an auto-generated highlight reel of today (minus the last part) is uploaded to your favorite social networks. The resulting reaction from your friends earns you one extra Awesome Point.
Illustration by Alvaro Dominguez