By Dick Pelletier
Technology promises radical change in relationships.
We are in the midst of a sea of change, in which not only are many traditional relationships failing, but unexpected new arrangements are beginning to appear; gay marriages are becoming increasingly popular, and many people are consciously choosing to live alone. How does technology affect relationships? Telephones, cameras, and camcorders have long been instrumental in bringing people together. Today, many spend time chatting on the phone or the Internet – trying to develop or strengthen friendships.
Now technology is entering a bold, but controversial new step. In the UK, University of Redding’s Kevin Warwick, and his wife Irena will soon link their emotions together with chip implants. Tiny silicon chips will enable the couple to “read” each other’s feelings wherever they are. Every feeling – positive and negative – will be shared.
This technology will not be endorsed by everyone. Many believe sharing every feeling is too invasive – some feelings need to be private. But we live in a time when over half of all marriages end in divorce, so researchers in their search to fill needs, examine where technologies might help. (cont.)
By 2015, wall-size, 3D voice-interactive screens with huge-bandwidth Internet capacity will bring life-size images of family members and friends into our homes. This will be a boon to the elderly who have precious little contact with people. Interactively talking with an image on a screen could be a life-saver to some.
By 2020 or before, electronic contact lenses will produce computer-generated overlays on what we see in the real world. If your partner’s physical appearance is not quite up to standard, you can digitally enhance what you see, or replace it completely with something closer to your dreams.