Reading About Tomorrow Today

Bruce Von Stiers

The folks at techTV have a lot of fun letting us know about all things technical. They have so much fun that they want to share their vision of the future. So they have come up with a book that features articles about things for the future. The title of the book is techTV Catalog of Tomorrow. It is subtitled Trends Shaping Your Future. The book was edited by Andrew Zolli and published by Que Publishing.

The book is broken down into four sections. Our Tools is the first section, followed by Our lives, Our Society and Our Planet. There are 288 pages in the book and the entire book is in color. The book also has a 13 page Index at the end just in case you want to find something in a hurry.

The book has over 40 individual contributors. They range from short story writer, Cory Doctorow, to Joanne Silberner who is a health policy correspondence for National Public Radio. There is also a Foreword by Paul Saffo and a Preface by Howard Rheingold.

In his Introduction, Andrew Zolli mentions talking to an older man who thought that the “world had moved on, not quite delivering on its promises.’ The soothsayers paint a bright and wonderful technological future. But will it ever come about? The writers and articles in this book seem to think so.

In the first section, Our Tools, there are articles on Bioscience, Computing and Nanotechnology. In the Bioscience area there is an article titled New Vaccines…Eradicating the Plagues of Mankind. It was written by Vivian Marx and deals with some of the current diseases in the world and what is being done, vaccine wise, to get rid of them. Cory Doctorow and Charles O. Stewart III have an article on wireless computing in the Computing area and Michelle Penn wrote an article called Cellular Robots… Your Body, Your Robot for the Nanotechnology area. This last article is fascinating in that its about injecting robotic devices into the bloodstream to eradicate disease. It’s really cool and kind of scary what Michelle envisions for medical healing in the future.

At the top of the page for most of the articles is a timeline. It starts at the year 2000 and ends at 2020. The estimated timeframe the article refers to is shown in the timeline in yellow. There are also arrow markers for a starting and ending time frames. Almost all of the articles have a sidebar called Want More? The items listed in the sidebar are web sites where you can get additional information about what was presented in the article. A few of the articles have additional sidebars to provide information related to the topic that wasn’t directly covered in the main body of the article.

In the Our Lives section you will find articles on future shopping and automated households. You will learn about the Prada store in Tribeca which has some ultra modern touches. And Zahra Safavian’s article on the electronic homes makes reference to the George Jetson abode. There is also an article from June Cohen on what museums in the future will be like.

Other articles in the book focus on military robots, classroom education and geothermal energy. You will see the future of deep sea exploration through the eyes of Wendy Shultz. Learn about John Smart’s vision of citizen surveillance in the near future and Gareth Branwyn’s take on the next crop of artificial organs.

techTV Catalog of Tomorrow is an exciting look at what the future holds. The articles in the book are concise and not too technical. Will the things in this book actually come to pass within the next 20 years? Who knows for sure? But if there weren’t dreamers out there, we would still have house sized computers doing minor calculations and we wouldn’t have put a man on the moon.

Look for this book at your local book retailer. You can also get it through the Que Publishing web site. It can be found at The list price for the book is $ 29.99 US.


© 2002 Bruce E. Von Stiers