If you have a smart phone in your pocket right now, then this page from 1990’s Mondo Magazine thinks you are. Right now our idea of the future is a holographic glowing panel that you can move with a flick of your hand. But fifteen years ago we thought the future would be full of portable gadgets, and we had no idea that they would fit into a piece of metal no thicker than a pancake.
In this image I can count 14 of these pieces of cyberpunk tech that our phone can do. Of course it makes phone calls, plays music, and has a camera, but here are a few things we didn’t imagine our phones doing when we got our first flip phones:
Money: I can take a photograph of a check to make deposits to my bank account without ever having to fill out a deposit slip. Apple Pay means I don’t have to carry a wallet on me if I don’t want to. Level up not only lets me pay with my phone, but also helps small businesses by keeping their credit card transaction fees low.
GPS: How many people ever look up directions to their destination before they leave their house anymore? With apps like Find My Friends we can psychically know where friends and family are at any time…it’s only a littlecreepy.
Apple Powerbook 180: Now this is the thing that makes our smart phones so remarkable. We have incredible computing power in our pockets. We have access to lifetimes' worth of knowledge. We are living in the Matrix. You now know Kung Fu.
There are still some things that the phone in your purse can do that were at the outer limit of our wildest techno fantasies. With Periscope where we can watch in real-time anyone broadcasting on earth. We can stream 1080p movies on Netflix. Word Lens can look through our camera at words in another language and overlay translations in our own tongue.
Remember this next time you complain that your phone is a few years old, and that you want the latest upgrade. Acknowledge that you’re already living a future that your past self would not have believed. Our cars may not fly yet, but they’re better drivers than you are.