Minority Report introduces us to a "Pre-Oprah Couch-Jumping" Tom Cruise into the Sci-fi dystopian 2054 as Chief John Anderton. Chief John is assigned to the precrime police department, were visions from the PreCogs (Agatha, Arthur, and Dash) are floating in a pool of goop predicting criminal activities. Their collective 'brain-data' is analysed into actionable information used to stop crimes before they can happen. Aside from the future predicting science experiments, there are a few Sci-fi technologies showcased which have already started coming to life.
Touch and Gesture Displays
In 'Minority Report' John Anderton can manipulate media images and video across a transparent display with just gestures. Did this inspire Xbox Kinect? Kinect was seen as revolutionary when it was released in 2010. While it is amusing to watch people gyrating & bending in virtual yoga classes, games and all sorts of activities, it won't be long before we see the minority report type screen in front of us daily.
Wearable Augmented Reality
I won't even mention Google glasses, a failure that humanity wants to forget. Attaching a snorkelling mask aka VR Goggles to our head won't see mass adoption either. But contact lenses that display a climb of Mt. Everest which, are on their way, will bring augmented reality aspirations to life. In January 2020, before the world came to a grinding halt, Mojo Vision demonstrated their augmented reality contact lens. The lens is the smallest display ever made and its unobtrusive form makes this technology primed for mass adoption and is certainly closer than we think.
Walking through a shopping centre and a Drop Bear (Dear USA Friends, please Google Drop Bears) startles you with an offer of free moisturiser, free money, free holidays & free steak knives. Well, I'm sorry to report that it's only going to get worse (minus the Drop Bears). Chief John is running from the police while digitised advertising recognises his identity, screaming his name and shouting for his attention. We aren't at that level of targeted marketing yet, but NEC and IBM are currently developing personalised billboards that use a mini camera to detect a person's age and sex so it can play specific commercials aimed at the shopper's demographic. Introducing facial recognition against a database or basically, any social media and I think the 'Minority Report' experience could be a reality.
The autonomous cars in Minority Report are wildly epic, and I think it will be close to reality way into the '20s. There is so much we could say on this topic, but let's say Elon Musk has it covered. As long as he stays off Joe Rogan's podcast.
Predicting the Future
Predicting the future, maybe there is an Agatha, Arthur, and Dash out in the universe somewhere. Until then, are we prepared for the first step of human profiling? A pilot program in the Memphis Police Department used statistical means of targeting where and how crime is likely to happen. Pre-emptively intercepting crime hot spots, resulting in 70 arrests in just the first two hours, numbers that would usually be made on an average weekend. Teaming with IBM, Memphis PD created Blue CRUSH (Crime Reduction Utilising Statistical History) which has seen a 30% decrease in overall crime and is now being adopted across the world by other countries policing forces (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi7Pbm6tHws). The National Academy of Science's has also started a study that records the neurological patterns preceding careless errors. This could lead to a biofeedback system that helps us catch our mistakes before we even make them. Pair this study with 'Blue CRUSH', and before we know it, we could have our very own system that functions like the "PreCogs" without relying on three unique individuals to a life of floating in a tub of goop.
Sci-Fi has often inspired how a business develops its technology. Watching 'The Minority Report' almost twenty years later, and you can see how accurate this assumption is. Considering the turn that this dystopian style future takes, it makes you wonder the cost this type of technology has on humanity.
All of this predictive technology is fascinating, squeezing every bit of value out of every megabit of data. It almost makes you want to get "off the grid" just to avoid this kind of future. I mean, I'm not trying to sound like a conspiracy theorist and I don't want to dive too deep into the rabbit hole but...Tom Cruise did name his daughter Suri.