A few evenings ago, I settled into bed and flicked on the SYFY channel. I’ll watch this channel regularly come bed time, as they often play great sci-fi movies from years gone by.
It can be hit and miss, but this night was a certified hit. Well, a hit for me at least.
It had been several years (I don’t know exactly how many) since I’d seen Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The 6th Day. But here it was again, in all its glory.
As usual, the movie started and my wife turned to ask what the hell I was putting on now. She’s not usually a fan of sci-fi movies. But when I told her it was The 6th Day, she agreed that was good enough.
Some time had passed since I last saw the movie and I had forgotten some of the detail. Although, I was still much clued up to its premise…
In the near future (the movie was released in 2000), an ‘extreme’ charter helicopter pilot arrives home one night to find someone that looks identical to him has now taken over his life. When we say ‘identical to him’, it’s a clone of the pilot — a case of mistaken identity — where a rogue company is illegally cloning humans.
Anyway, the movie itself, while good, isn’t so much the central topic today. But the ‘future’ tech that’s in the movie is very relevant. The movie has the lead characters getting around in self-driving cars. The cars, when arriving at a more urban destination, check to see if the driver is ready to take over ‘manual mode’.
There are also ‘smart screens’ everywhere in the house. For example, in the morning, the bathroom shows the information about the day and the schedule of things that need to be completed. The fridge notices they’re out of milk and then reorders the milk once approved directly with the supermarket.
The charter helicopters that fly can be flown via a remote control and remote location — drones. And then there’s the cloning side of things. While in the movie human cloning is still outlawed, it’s perfectly legal to clone pets. ‘Re-pet’ is the name of the company that does it and you can have your beloved family pet cloned and even ‘tweaked’ should they pass away.
In 2000, this was all crazy, out there ‘sci-fi’ stuff. But today, it’s not sci-fi at all. It’s very much sci-reality.
What does the year 2038 look like?
The year 2000 was only 19 years ago. And in another 19 years, we’ll be in the year 2038. That might seem like a lifetime away, but it’s just around the corner.
In fact, I dare say 19 years isn’t much time at all, and even less time if you’re thinking about your financial future.
It’s hard for people to look that far forward and plan for it. But as we know, true long standing wealth isn’t created overnight, it takes years…decades to properly amass. It takes planning and you have to be prepared to play the long game.
Sure, there will be huge opportunities to generate wealth in short periods of time. We’ve seen examples of that more recently with the explosion of industry, such as the sharing economy, the app economy and cryptocurrencies.
But even those, when you plan for the long game, have even greater upside potential. It’s just that smart, fast money, gets in early.
But as I say, it’s hard for folks to look down the track. And 19 years is off most people’s radar. But I ask you this: If the reality of today is the sci-fi of 19 years ago, then does the sci-fi of today equal the reality of 2038?
Depends on what sci-fi you’re watching, I’d say. But there are certainly opportunities that might seem far-fetched, a little crazy and a little scary, that are, in my view, the opportunities of tomorrow and the sci-reality of the future.
So, what does that look like then?
Well, one big area I think we’re going to face is the idea of ‘transhumanism’. This is the concept that we stretch beyond the biological limitations of the human body. This isn’t a world of genetically engineered ‘super soldiers’. No, transhumanism, the way I see it, is the augmentation of machinery with human capabilities.
It’s not replacing our limbs, or ‘chipping’ our brain. It’s using technology that we can wear to make us faster, stronger, less prone to injury and yes, perhaps even smarter — or at the very least, more capable of finding and recalling information we don’t already know.
The autonomous world is no longer a shock or anything new to most people. Self-driving cars, ships, trains and even planes, are a certainty, in our eyes, within the next 19 years. Production lines will be almost completely autonomous (they pretty much already are, to be fair).
Distributed mesh networks — the infrastructure that binds all smart technology together — will be as ubiquitous as electricity. You won’t know it’s there, but it won’t be 5G that everyone’s banging on about, it’ll be ‘M2M’ (machine to machine communications)
Space won’t be a faraway unknown realm any longer. We won’t be sending people up there like it’s a weekend in Noosa, but we will be actively up there. The thing is it won’t be in a commercial sense…not on the face of it.
Space will become the new military playground for nation states. Already, space has been populated by countries with satellite networks. These are both government run and privately run.
We’ll see more of this, but with weaponised capabilities. The scope of aerospace and defence companies will soon extend well beyond our atmosphere. And the ‘new space race’ will be a new space arms race.
These are just some of the sci-future scenarios we expect to play out. And it’s the companies involved in each of these sectors which we believe are going to benefit most.
The future of industry tomorrow is set in motion today. And if you’re forward thinking enough and fast enough to move early on these opportunities and play the long game, we see plenty of wealth there for the taking.
Editor, Money Morning
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