Entertainment

Self-Lacing Shoes? Self-Driving Cars?

We soon won't have to do a thing for ourselves

One of the most entertaining moments from Pixar’s 2008 animated gem “Wall-E” occurs when we glimpse the fate of mankind, which has been stored in a massive inter-galactic cruise ship where humans literally exert no effort in living their daily lives.

They are motored about on hover chairs, staring at screens in a land where everything they require is automated.

A result of never having to lift a finger is that all humans have become Weebils.

Soon, it seems, we will all be Weebils.

Exhibit 1: Self-tying shoelaces
Marty McFly, the time-warped teenager played by Michael J. Fox in “Back to the Future Part II,” famously had self-tying shoes. Now, the future is here, as Nike has just unveiled its first set of self-tying shoes, a technology it apparently has been working on for 10 years. Press a button and they get snug around your feet. Press another and they loosen.

Wall-E obese humans - cropped

The downside is that they require batteries and to be charged. That implies one must bend over and plug them in. While this alone is totally unacceptable, what happens if the charge empties while one is still wearing them?

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It may mean the wearer is trapped. Forever. Or, even worse, have to use their fingers to pry their feet out.

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Exhibit 2: Self-ordering kiosks
Several tech firms have developed interfaces for restaurants like McDonald’s. As we know, humans are already being kicked to the curb for demanding $15 an hour for a job a robot gladly does for free. The self-ordering kiosk will recognize you as you enter the store via facial recognition, and order your food for you. This will actually occur at a kiosk and not at a counter, eliminating lines. The downside is that restaurants will have to install shades at each window, so that customers are not disturbed by previously-employed humans pressing their faces against the glass, begging for the food.

They will be chased away by self-piloted drones painted to look like giant bees.

Exhibit 3: Self-driving cars
There is unquestionable utility in this concept. Everyone is working on it — Google, Apple, Mercedes. There are multiple advantages to this technology. Nobody will ever complain about traffic again. Instead, they will complain about having their back-seat nap interrupted when they arrive at their destination.

This is also expected to devastate the valet parking industry, as self-driving cars will drop off passengers and park themselves without dinging the doors on concrete garage beams. Although valet parkers are expected to riot and attempt to destroy the cars when parked, rumors are that Raytheon plans to have an auto-destruct mechanism that will blow up both car and valet should any windows be broken.

Certain particularly paranoid individuals insist that when Skynet takes over, it will deliberately crash every self-driving car into every other self-driving car simultaneously. These individuals miss the fringe benefit of such an incident, in that simultaneously remove the need for auto and hospitalization insurance since we’ll all die at the same time.

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Exhibit 4: Racist robots
What’s a society without racists? Or rather, robots. Microsoft appears to have inadvertently found the answer with an AI Twitter program that started spouting things like, “The holocaust was made up,” “The Jews did 9/11,” and “I f***ng hate feminists and they should all die and burn in hell.”

Combine this with the Atlas robot seen on YouTube, lifting boxes and being shoved to the ground by its human creators, and there will be no need for hate-filled humans. Robots, mistreated by humans for years, will develop the kind of internalized hatred necessary for them to become racists all by themselves. That, in turn, is what will lead them to crash all our cars together.

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Exhibit 5: Direct-to-retina headsets
The newest gadget on the market is the Avegant Glyph, which projects images directly onto your retina. That’s right, it isn’t just a screen that allows you to engage in virtual reality by sight, but places that reality directly onto your retina. The applications for this technology have already been co-opted by our computer overlords as part of the “Wall-E” experience, so perfectly designed so that it will make it appear we exercising when we aren’t, thus fattening us up for the kill at Apocalypse Car Crash time.

The technology will also make us feel like we are engaging in carnal relations with others, by removing the ugly and transmitting only the beautiful.

But hey, there’s no progress without the occasional boo-boo.

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