If all the crazy and awesome innovative designs we've seen lately come to fruition, the future is going to be a pretty interesting place. If melting buildings aren't your thing though, check out this vision of the future proposed by Corning, makers of everything from cookware to high-tech specialty glass products.
In this utopian world, glass is everywhere, and every surface is an interactive touchscreen. A smiling teenager uses the wall of her bedroom to choose an outfit to wear before heading to school with her sister and father, who smiles indulgently when she uses her tablet to change the glass dashboard display of the family car to a pink heart-filled theme. In the classroom, the teacher uses the glass wall display to explain color theory, then moves to a tabletop display, where the children pull circles of color to mix and match.
Corning also has grand visions of interactive glass displays being used in hospitals to help diagnose illnesses and collaborate with other physicians around the globe. A trip to a state park which has long walls of glass between visitors and the forest includes a thrilling look at what the forest might have looked like when dinosaurs roamed between the trees (we hope the glass walls are just there for display purposes, and that the entire park isn't walled off from visitors). Later, the happy family laughs over video the children took of their day with the dinosaurs.
Many of the innovations shown in Corning's vision of the future aren't far from reality now. Windows that adjust their tint with a swipe of a finger, tablets that connect to a shared network, and photovoltaic glass solar panels that could cover roofs and provide much-needed green energy don't seem like much of a stretch. Others seem like something out of The Jetsons. Even if only some of the innovations Corning suggests actually get to mass market, it will certainly make for a fascinating experience. Though it does give new gravity to the suggestion against throwing stones in glass houses!
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