Welcome to the 21st Century

The year is 2015, and much like any other day of the week you squeeze into your car for the daily struggle into work. After your impossible mortgage, running a vehicle is your greatest family expense, on a par with the monthly shopping bill and sometimes more. With half a billion more Chinese consumers entering the car market every ten years, the price of fuel is at all time high and Britain’s own position as a net oil exporter dried-up at the end of the last decade, driving the cost of living to a level that made owning a car an impossibility for lower income families and rebounding on businesses who could no longer rely on a distant commuter workforce.



When the last Labour government replaced road tax with a roads toll, which automatically billed movement, based on time and road position to a mandatory GPS-powered black-box in every car it also managed to do away with speed cameras, as the vehicle would now report any traffic infringement directly to DVLC, who would debit the fine amount to the registered keeper’s credit card together with the day’s congestion and road charges.

Above the roads, other benefits of new technology, GPS-controlled remote robotic aircraft, the size of a Humming bird, endlessly patrol urban areas and motorways, their mini cams, the product of a break-through in lens technology in 2004, able to deliver hi-definition, hi-magnification images of any scene with sound directly to the local Police headquarters through a package the size of a drawing pin.

This is a brave new world, where everybody seems to know where you are whether you like it or not. The powerful information and communications device that now incorporates your 5G mobile phone, reports your position, accurate to thirty metres, every sixty seconds and your car is a little more accurate. If you use the train or the underground or the bus, your Oyster card reports on your whereabouts and direction of travel and a million cheap minicams, are looking at you along every street and every time you complete a transaction.

Your national ID card is also your key to your workplace, having been synched with your workforce authentication number. To open the door of your office, you place your thumb print on the small reader and swipe your ID card, which cross-checks the two, challenges you for a one-time PIN number instantly sent to your comunicator and then lets you in when you speak the number. It’s the same for your terminal, which makes remembering passwords a thing of the past and the RFID tag implanted in the workplace identity card around your neck, which records your movement around the building.

Outside your office window, you watch a tiny robotic aircraft drift slowly past in a surveillance hover, as it scans along the street below and you wonder if it knows that you are watching and who you are and what breakfast cereal your wife buys for you from Tesco each Friday. Maybe it even knows where your wife is now but you don’t have to ask, the minicam in your living room can tell you that via your phone or through the web-based terminal on your desk if you type in your house IP address and password. At least you know your children are happy at nursery school, after all, the camera in the classroom can tell you that.

Welcome to 2015 it’s closer than you might think!


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