Why is the future transparent?

Everyone has seen it by now. The artistic conception of the future involves transparent electronics. Clear glass gizmos ooze sexiness and shout high technology. Anyone who watched Avatar was probably wowed by scientists whisking data from a transparent screen onto a transparent mobile device and reading it on the move. Very cool, eh?

The future is here.

(Note: for some reason, I don’t seem to be able to embed these videos today, so I’ll have to make do with a simple link until I figure out a fix. http://youtu.be/Xi4VBmxZlLY)

Transparent USB keys sound pretty neat. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy looking at flashing lights that seems to hover in mid air an inch away from their computer?

Microsoft posits a very inspirational vision of a transparent and highly mobile future.

(Youtube link: http://youtu.be/bwj2s_5e12U)

These are all outstanding ideas, but there are a couple concerns that I cannot keep from hammering away at the back of my mind:

1.  We have a hard enough time keeping track of fiddly little thumb drives as they slip into the bottom of our trouser pockets or in a small pouch in our laptop cases. Now we want to make them invisible? This may be a ploy to keep us buying a continuous stream of storage devices. A moment of absent-mindedness may carry a greater risk of leaving a cell phone on the restaurant table, too.

2. I hope oleophobic coatings are greatly improved by 2019. The sleek clear displays and memory sticks probably loose a little bit of their sexiness once they become smudged with fingerprints and oil from that delicious balsamic vinaigrette salad you had a lunch.

Regardless, I’ll have to start saving up some funds to get my hands on some of these. And to pay to replace the phone I lose forever in the house the first time I put it down.

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