In 1987, the first RoboCop film was released. The film, set in a dystopian near-future version of a crime-ridden Detroit, featured a visionary hero that was part man and part machine. RoboCop himself, though appropriately named, was completely misunderstood. And even though this super soldier would go on to repeatedly save the the day, the heart of his success was his humanity. Robotic parts aided the man become the hero he always was.
In 2014, a reboot of the original film, also titled RoboCop, will be released. The technology will be newer and the action more realistic but the same truth will lie within the hero, irrepressible humanity. Through any explosion or underhanded corruption, the humanoid cop will prevail and mankind will be better off for it. Life on repeat.
The main difference this time around is that audiences will no longer be wowed by wondrous powers of this conflicted man-machine hybrid. 2014’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), has already come and gone and the key takeaway for us ordinary citizens is the ‘wearable tech,’ From Google Glass to smart watches to completely integrated home systems, the regular consumer is no longer impressed by fictionalized, tech-infused heroes of the big screen. And why should they be? In today’s society, we are all RoboCop.
Perhaps we can blame Robert Downey Jr. for his accessible version of Iron Man or perhaps we it is the fault of Steve Jobs for making tech a tool for the common man but irregardless, tech is an integral part of out lives. At night, we charge our own batteries as we charge our iPhones, Kindle Fires and Macbook Airs and we emerge each morning ready for the day. As we lose steam, we drink caffeine while we digitize our amazing beverage through instagrams, tweets and posts. If our real life isn’t digitized, it doesn’t exist. And it will only get worse.
With each passing day, technology is advancing and the more it does, the more we expect from it. We like to think that the soon-to-be “IT” item, Google Glass, is creepy and that we’d never waste our money on it but, like smart phones did once, the exception becomes the rule. If CES taught us anything, the more tech you can wear, the better off you are. Pretty soon, it may feel odd to have jeans that don’t count your steps, buttons that don’t warn of waning thread counts or hats that don’t warn us of our body temperature. Humanoids rising.
Just wait for Google Helmet. Like RoboCop, Iron Man or any motorcyclist, the smart helmet is next. Don’t believe me? Just look at Daft Punk. During last night’s Grammy Awards, the helmet wearing French duo performed with Stevie Wonder, hung out back stage and won big awards. More impressive, they didn’t say a single word. Not even when accepting awards. Who knows what is going on inside those helmets but thing is certain, Daft Punk looked cool. Maybe, like RoboCop, those helmets are physically infused parts of them but more likely, it is simply the next step in wearable tech.