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Tech 2013: A Letter From the Future

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Dear People of 2012,

What will tech be like in 2013? Many will speculate. Predictions will be made. Stock markets will rise and fall in anticipation.

But let me tell you how it's really going to go down.

For I am already here.

Yes, like all editors of major tech sites, I too have access to the Time Machine located within the twisted heights of Old Big Ben. We use this device to make short, annual, frenzied research jaunts to the future - and we do so courtesty of the Cyborg Governments who rule over all humanity (or who will do in short order), and who sell access to the future in 12 month increments in order to pay off the spiralling cost of the 2112 Centennial Robo-Lympics.

As such, while I sit watching from above the streets of London, and its thousands of glowing red Happy Robot Servodroids, here on 31 December 2013, I have just enough time to pen a few words of advice about the next 12 months of invention, gadgets and gaming that you're going to experience first hand before returning home once again.

Firstly, I have to tell you that most of your hopes for the classic, sci-fi breakthroughs in tech will not come to pass next year.

No, you will not be driving a flying car in 2013. Neither will you be riding a jetpack to work, hiring genetically-engingeered monkey slaves to mow your lawn or living in an underwater city in the tropics.

Your dinner table will not be resplendent with a spinning, 3D, hologramatic Death Star, and your camera will not be able to hover in mid-air and take really awesome Twitter avatar photos of you and your friends. In 2013, war, pestilence and famine are still widespread. Technology has not solved the major flaws embedded within capitalism, international trade or the Hollywood studio system, and climate change still hangs above our heads like a giant, spikey ball made of smoke, precious metals and crumpled-up energy bills.

For all that stays the same in 2013, however, there is much that has changed.

For one thing, your phone? It's slightly lighter. True, your muscles have also atrophied a little due to the reduced weight, but the pocket in your jeans has also worn out a little less: with every negative, a silver lining.

Additionally, most of your devices also have greatly improved screens, from 440 pixels per inch and up. The Samsung Galaxy SIV was one of the first to feature this improvement, but the rest - the iPhone 5S, the Lumia 940 and the Galaxy Note III (which features a 15-inch screen and a stylus the size of a fishing rod) - have quickly followed, all displaying more, and more finely detailed, information than ever before.

Sadly, however, since you are also one year older in 2013, your eyesight has diminished at an almost equivalent rate. As a result, you increasingly have to take it as read that your screen is actually any better - or else demand reassurance from the increasing numbers of Happy Worker Servodroids that now fill the pavements of our major cities.

What's that? I didn't mention the Servodroids?

How foolish of me. Since I am now From The Future, I must have forgotten to mention the multiplying legions of Helpful, Kind and Compliant Servodroids, which now populate the streets, homes, cars and airports of every city on Earth.

From what I understand, the Servodroids first hit the market shortly after CES 2013. They took us by surprise. A pleasant surprise! And naturally within 12 months have already become commonplace.

Yes, it is true that their red, cold eyes glow menacingly in the dark, and the shiny, sharp grip of their robotic claws seem to feel ever so-slightly too tight on your arm as they lead you to your bed at night.

But we are assured by their makers that the robots are friendly and un-hackable, and we have no reason not to believe them. Even now as I watch the city from Big Ben, and see the crimson trail of light the Servodroids cast on the foggy streets as they mass Cheerfully, around the homes of the powerful, I miss their alluminium, toothy grin and the deliberate clunk of their heavy feet on stone. Just you wait - you'll love them too.

Important gains have also been made in space travel, medical science and industrial tech in 2013. No, 3D printing still hasn't gone 'mainstream', but there are an increasing number of toothbrush holders and fruitbowls to download online and it's surely a matter of time.

Nasa did in fact announce that Moon Base, Richard Branson did start testing Virgin Galactic and Voyager finally left our solar system and made its lonely way into deep space. New cures for diseases have been trialled, some have succeeded, and slowly humanity has crawled towards release from the ultimate torment of death, while in the meantime getting to grips with the new Xbox and PS4 - which are awesome by the way.

Ultimately, however, it is hard to know just what to say about the world of tomorrow. Human nature is constant, as is the march of time. We are all older in the future. Only a few of us are wiser. We have all had dreams realised and shattered. Life, in all its many forms, has gone on.

So when 2013 finally comes around, and you start to get hold of those robots and phones and video games of which today you dream, maybe take a moment to look up from the screen and out of the window.

For, as ever, the things that really matter in the Future are the same as those that matter now - your friends, your family, the sky and the stars.

And of course your Friendly Servodroid Companion.

Now there is just time to say goodbye - or should it be hello? - before I return to the present and start another 12 months of pretending not to know about all the gadgets you're yet to see.

Let's get excited - it's going to be awesome. Again.