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The RELEVANT Guide to Tomorrow’s Technology

In the last few weeks, the web has been clamoring over demo videos of cool new technology. Some say, will change our futures forever. Some are, well, skeptical. Let’s just say we’ve been burned before. (We’re looking at you Segway.)

So, in the interest of tempering expectations to reality, here’s our rundown of what you can look forward to in the near future’s most-heralded tech innovations.

The Myo

What is it?
This hands-free armband uses sensors to detect muscle-fiber twitches to let you control Bluetooth devices using only arm jesters.

How it’s supposed to work:
Like those cool transparent screens in Minority Report, except you won’t need Tom Cruise’s Nintendo Power Glove.

How it most likely actually work:
Just imagine trying to slap an invisible butterfly. It’ll probably be exactly like that.

What will I look like using it in real life?
Because the Myo looks just like a black sweatband, most people won’t realize your wild arm movements are controlling an unseen device. So there’s a good chance you will look like a raving lunatic with sweaty arms.

Google Glass

What is it?
Google Glass is actually a tiny computer—complete with a camera, maps and the Internet—that you wear in the form of glasses.

How it’s supposed to work:
Just like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s awesome robotic eye in Terminator.

How it will most likely actually work:
Like having Siri connected to your face.

What will I look like using it in real life?
Google Glass is operated by voice commands, so you will most likely spend a lot of time staring off into the distance talking to yourself. But, if you are able to explain your behavior (“Don’t worry, I was just talking to my glasses!”) and actually strike up a conversation with someone, try not to get distracted by looking at the monitor embedded in the corner of the lenses. Because no one will think it’s weird that the person that was just muttering to himself now appears to be looking over their shoulder for an extended period of time.

Smart Watches

What is it?
Pebble, Sony, Motorola, MetaWatch, I’m Watch and (soon) Apple have created touch-screen mobile devices that you wear on your wrist. They also tell time.

How it’s supposed to work:
Literally, just like your smart phone.

How it actually works:
Literally, just like your smart phone—except with a much, much smaller screen (so tiny fingers are a plus).

What will I look like using it in real life?
You know those excruciating 10 minutes before the airplane reaches its cruising altitude that you have to stow your iPhone? Well, say goodbye to overdramatically sighing when the stewardess gives you one last warning to switch from your phone to Skymall. Now you can fire up your favorite movie on the crystal-clear 1-inch by 1-inch screen of your smart watch. Meanwhile, all of the smart-watch-less suckers on the plane will have to read or, worse, actually converse with each other.

Personal Drones

What is it?
These GPS and remote controlled aircraft can be rigged with cameras and surveillance equipment for everything from scoping out traffic conditions to covert missions to inspect what’s clogging your gutter.

How it’s supposed to work:
Just like the super high-tech military drones except without any bombs or weaponry.

How it actually works:
Like those remote-controlled helicopters the guy at the mall kiosk makes look so easy. And then, you get home only to find out it takes hours of difficult training to master. And it is unlikely you will acquire those skills before the helicopter is destroyed crashing into a wall.

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What will I look like using it in real life?
You will most likely look like an idiot throwing tennis balls into a tree in a vain attempt to dislodge the $500 personal drone you just purchased.

3D Printers

What is it?
Consumer level 3D printers use plastic to create three-dimensional objects that you can design or even download from the Internet.

How it’s supposed to work:
You will be able to instantly create any object your mind can think of.

How they actually work:
We hope you have lots of extra space on your bookshelf, because your going to need it for all of the trinkets you will be making with your $1,500 3D printer.

What will I look like using it in real life?
Inevitably, you will become the person who gives weird junk they made in their 3D printer for birthday, Christmas and anniversary presents.

Holograms

What is it?
Emerging hologram technology could completely change the way we interact with people (virtual TSA agents, the future of teleconferencing) and devices (virtual laser keyboards, interactive 3D textures).

How it’s supposed to work:
Like the virtual Tupac performance at Coachella last year.

How they actually work:
Like the cheesy ghosts on the Tower of Terror ride.

What will I look like using it in real life?
If holograms are, in fact, the future of teleconferencing, users will need solid, uninterrupted connections with lots of bandwidth. Considering how choppy most Skype videos are, hologram use should probably just be used for ghost pranks.

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