5 signs we’re living in the future

Virtual reality, robot cars and artificial intelligence? Let’s be honest – all these futuristic inventions sound like something that would happen in a sci-fi movie, not in present-day Singapore. However, reality is starting to mimic popular culture more than ever. Modern technology is so pervasive, that the future – it seems – is now! Here are 5 technologies that made it to our shores way before we thought they would.

1. Driverless cars

Any child of the 80s will remember KITT, the smart and sassy talking car from Knight Rider. And whilst the driverless cars we have now may not be as saucy, they certainly are smart – as NuTonomy’s cabs demonstrate. In a world-first, their self-driving taxis were recently launched in Singapore to great acclaim. With Uber, Google and Apple also rumoured to be working on their own driverless vehicles, one does wonder if we’ll ever need a driver’s licence again.

2. Mobile payments

Money. It still makes the world go round, but in new and virtual ways. Bills and coins are making way for not only credit cards, but mobile payments as well. Apple Pay, Android Pay, Pay Lah! and Dash are just a few contactless technologies that make payments as easy as a swipe on a smartphone. These cashless options make it almost too easy to spend your hard-earned money though, so be mindful before you let your fingers do the walking.

3. Fitness trackers

Personal trainers used to be muscular hunks in tight-fit tank tops. These days they take the form of little wrist-worn digital devices that sync up your fitness achievements with a smartphone. From tracking steps taken to calories burned, to your heart rate, pulse and oxygen levels and more – these nifty wearables help keep gym geeks in pace with their goals and daily reminders and personalized
fitness advice.

4. Virtual reality

What else can’t your smartphone do? Immersive virtual reality is now literally in the palm of your hands with technologies like the Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard. All you need is a smartphone and a pair of VR goggles to instantly go skydiving, view the Northern Lights, or take a swim in the deep sea. Keen to try out VR for yourself? Head down to the CPF Retirement Planning roadshows at Bedok Mall on 29 & 30 Oct or Waterway Point on 12 & 13 Nov, from 11am to 6pm to immerse yourself in a bold, new world! Learn more here.

5. Everything on demand

Need something urgently? Chances are there’s already a service for that and all you need to do is open an app to get it. From movies (Netflix, CatchPlay) to music (Spotify, Apple Music) and takeout (Deliveroo, FoodPanda, UberEATS) to groceries (RedMart, Honestbee) – the on-demand delivery of goods and services is revolutionising the way we transact. These new on demand models also enable us to spend more time with loved ones and less time on routine tasks. Now, isn’t that a future we all look forward to?