Americans think 'Star Trek' is the future, not 'Star Wars'

A survey shows Americans have little idea what the Internet of Things is, but that the story that most aligns with their view of the future stars James T. Kirk.

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This is your future. WatchMojo/YouYube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

When I think of the future, I think of large, lazy people all hypnotized by Google to remain large, lazy people.

The people of America, however, aren't necessarily as optimistic.

I base my case on research that has loomed exclusively before my eyes that Americans aren't even familiar with the term "Internet Of Things."

This may be because Americans are rarely familiar with terms invented by engineers until it's too late.

However, this survey of 2,051 humans aged 18 and over, performed only two weeks ago, offers that a fulsome 73 percent of Americans have never even heard the phrase "Internet Of Things."

They don't even conceive it to be some sort of modernistic follow-up to "Game Of Thrones."

This research was performed on behalf of SOASTA, a company that exists, coincidentally, to ensure that your things perform perfectly on the Internet.

When the researchers patiently delved into what things might be Internetted, there was special excitement about cars (39 percent), home appliances (34 percent), heart monitors (23 percent), and pet monitors (22 percent) being controlled from your little phone.

This reveals Americans' sense of personal priorities. Who can be surprised that we care about our pets almost as much as we care about our hearts?

Poring over the numbers, I wanted to see whether Americans have a true vision of the future. So I was moved to see that these respondents had been asked which sci-fi stories most accurately depicted how Americans see the world becoming.

The leading light was "Star Trek," with 12 percent saying, yes, we will soon be accompanied by people with pointy ears and flying off on journeys to meet our friends and enemies in outer lands.

To my past-addled mind, this was interesting news.

Especially as just this week we have heard about NASA making progress toward a warp-drive ship. Then there was the development of a matter scanner, not at all dissimilar to one seen many years ago in the hands of Bones on "Star Trek."

I had thought that, given our unstable but sweetly romantic world, "Star Wars" might live large in American imaginations. However, a mere 3 percent said they thought this movie depicted our future.

More preferred were "The Jetsons," "Minority Report," "1984," "Her," "Wall-E," and "Total Recall."

You must decide how many of these offer a hopeful view of the future and how many have, at their heart, the utter destruction of humanity as we know it.

It's always useful to ask whether technology improves our lives, rather than merely making them easier.

Thankfully, this research asked which areas of personal life could be most improved by the Internet of Things.

Thirty-one percent said "working out." A mere 8 percent said "religious services."

Yes, if technology is to truly take over our souls, it's got to work even harder than Google is working on it right now.

 

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