Okay, it's my birthday, March 12th 2020. I'm 45. I get up early and look at the small but enticing pile of presents from my family and loved ones. Before they wake, time to work out. I attach a couple of electrodes to my body and switch on my Wii- 3rd Generation. Within a couple of minutes, I'm working out. The energy I'm producing is transmitted to the smoothie maker, and while I exercise, a refreshing smoothie, made from seasonal and local produce, is blended for me. As I move into my warm down, the energy I've produced switches on my toaster, and as I finish, a post-workout snack is ready- home produced bread, of course. I gain extra Wii Points for working out on my birthday, and for using the energy positively.
I turn on my solar-powered power-shower and wash. The energy produced by the water moving down the drain switches on soft ambient lighting in the bedrooms, which gradually brighten as I shower- a natural light, and a gentle alarm clock. When I emerge, my wife and two children are up, and my birthday celebration properly begins!
As I unwrap the presents, the children collect the paper and it's put in the recycle bin. I have a new over-the-helmet sat-nav visor for wearing on my bike- I'll be able to test it out this morning on the journey to work. It's powered by my cycling action, and automatically switches off if no cycling happens for one minute.
I kiss the family goodbye and cycle off to work. Motorcars are few and far between on the roads these days. It's mostly cycles, segways, and a tram system which is slowly replacing the London bus routes. At work, I take out my solar powered laptop, safe in the knowledge that it has at least 8 hours of battery life charged up already from yesterday.
As my working day begins, with a few birthday congratulations, I reflect on the progress that's been made in the past ten years, and think back even further to a magazine article I read in the mid-80s in a Commodore 64 mag. It was written by Jeff Minter, chief programmer and entrepeneur extaordinaire of Llamasoft. It was written at a time when CD walkmans were the cutting edge in new technology, and he wrote an imaginative piece in which he sat on a beach, like a zen buddhist, designing the next generation of games on what we would nowadays call a laptop. I was so excited reading that in 1987, and so hopeful that it would come to pass. The truth is, Jeff Minter's vision, exciting as it was, wasn't nearly as exciting as the real future. The future for gadgetry will be amazing. It's up to us to make sure that we power it in a sensible and sustainable way. Sustainable resources are the future.