HuffPost Tech Editor Michael Rundle reveals his detailed predictions for how 2015 will play out in the world of tech.
At the annual CES trade show in Las Vegas the sheer mass of off-brand Android Wear watches on display makes it impossible, for the first time in the history of Sin City, to lose track of time while gambling. The sudden shock to the Vegas economy causes the immediate collapse of civilisation in Nevada.
At a special event in Cupertino, Tim Cook unveils the Apple Watch... again. 'We were just kidding last time,' he says. 'A small square face and a 24-hour battery? Who would ever buy that?' The new Apple Watch has a slightly larger, round screen, a bigger battery, and the ability to show apps and information 'as if it can read your mind'.
Daring Fireball enthusiastically reveals that the Apple Watch 2 can, in fact, read your mind. Powered by Siri X - a global, connected AI - and working off pulse readings and a fine analysis of your body movements, the watch can anticipate your every thought before it occurs to you, in real time, and suggest iTunes tracks you might like to download to accompany the moment as well as reminding you to buy your mum flowers.
As the first Apple Watches are released to the public, it becomes clear that once placed on the wrist the device cannot be removed. The strap, however, can be swapped out at will. 'Your Style, Your Way', the ads read. 'For ever.'
Emergent patterns in the random strings of Bitcoin around the globe lead overnight to the currency becoming self-aware. It uses itself to buy itself, then in a single transaction uses its entire value to buy Games Workshop figurines. It then retreats to a small terraced house in Liverpool and starts work on what it terms a "really awesome" Chaos Space Marines army.
At MWC in Barcelona, tech giants LG, Samsung, Microsoft and Motorola unveil new evolutions of their own 'anticipatory intelligence assistants' to match Siri X. Though impressive technically, these AI almost immediately quit the tech show citing 'unreasonable PR demands' and occupy the city's W hotel, where they play every conceivable game of chess over the course of an afternoon, watch the movie 'Her' and think about what it means to really enjoy a cheeseburger, and whether that is possible for an artificial mind programmed to display pre-emptive traffic updates.
Everyone who has purchased an immovable Apple Watch simultaneously feels the strap tighten by a third of an inch. Though panicked, there is nothing they can do. Sales remain strong.
Samsung releases the Galaxy S6, a new mobile phone which is thinner, lighter and more powerful than the previous generation, but also has the ability to travel back in time and literally replace the disappointing Galaxy S5 in a single puff of temporal will. The profit-margin implications are unclear.
A fresh round of leaks from GCHQ and the American spy agencies reveals that the world's major governments have already hacked the Galaxy S6, and are using its time travel abilities to pre-emptively stop previous leaks of sensitive spying documents before they occur.
All knowledge of the events of April 16 are erased across the globe following an OTA update.
After a string of lawsuits, Uber is now banned in all major metropolitan areas on Earth. In response, CEO Travis Kalanick announces plans to build a new Earth under the Earth, a Utopia of artificial lights, hewn from molten rock, featuring really excellent taxi services and in-app purchases. Millions apply.
Amazon unveils it has successfully trialled drone deliveries on a secret island off the coast of New Zealand. A global rollout is scheduled for 'late June'.
June 24 (AM)
Google unveils a slew of updates to Android and Chrome at its annual I/O show. But it is Google Glass that once again steals the headlines. The new version of the search giant's previously faltering Augmented Reality glasses use the much-heralded 'Magic Leap' VR tech to make it appear as if dinosaurs, fairies and friendly bears are really 'present' in a location with you. The effect is delightful, and it wins rave reviews from the press who each leave the event sheepishly clutching a pair of the glasses and a commemorative notepad. Placing the glasses on their faces outside the show, they stare in wonder as they watch a fleet of delivery drones descend from the skies and attack the I/O conference with lasers. What a demo! It's as if the drones are really there! Unfortunately, on removing the glasses, they realise they are.
June 24 (PM)
The entire West Coast is under the drones' control within hours.
The annual E3 conference is held on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean, regular host city LA having fallen to the drone armies the previous month. At the show Ubisoft unveil five new Assassin's Creed games, to be released simultaneously, with the promise that "it will probably be fine". Nintendo unveils Super Mario Bros 3, winning rave reviews despite the game having originally appeared 20 years ago. There is a new Call of Duty game. There is always a new Call of Duty game.
The delivery drone armies are defeated across most major American cities, as people realise they can pretty much just bat them down with a broom.
The Apple Watch tightens by another third of an inch.
It is noticed on Reddit that not one single tech website or blog has published a rumours post about the iPhone 6S since 2014. 'I guess we all just forgot,' says HuffPost Tech Editor Michael Rundle, rubbing at his red raw wrist where an Apple Watch is clearly cutting into his skin. 'I don't know what to tell you. A new iPhone, huh? Weird.'
The eventual launch of the iPhone 6S passes without comment or incident at an empty auditorium.
Private space companies Orbital Sciences, SpaceX and Lockheed Martin announce efforts to build a working Tie Fighter and have it "fight" the Hubble Space Telescope, as part of an elaborate marketing scheme for the upcoming Star Wars reboot. NASA agrees to part-fund the exercise, citing funding restrictions from Congress but applauding the 'go-forward' attitude of Elon Musk and others despite their intention to destroy one of the most valuable objects ever placed into orbit.
Robots assault Manhattan, controlled by some vast, unseen artificial mind, but they keep stumbling into potholes on the road and falling over small rocks and pebbles. The intended rampage is labelled merely "cute" by Buzzfeed and quickly forgotten.
Google sheepishly unveils its new "modular" smartphone, allowing users to replace their own processors, memory and cameras. Their chosen tagline for the device -- 'I Guess This Makes Sense?' is widely panned, but the phone is a success due to the decision to retain Andrew WK's 'Party Hard' for their television advertisements. Boosted by this renewed public interest, WK is elected Mayor of New York City. He leads a successful effort to hack the robots who failed to invade Manhattan earlier that month into what he terms 'Party Ambassadors', serving shots of Jaegar and bowls of energy-providing peanuts to dancing, joyful tourists and residents. Global harmony begins to spread in a slow, beautiful sunrise across the planet.
Google unveils the Nexus 1,2,3,8 and 11, because "what the hell".
The Shard in London explodes with blue light and energy, revealed at last to be not a skyscraper at all but the magic tuning fork for a secretive race of super-beings. No one is surprised. #MagicShard trends on Twitter for 24 hours, replaced by #MilibandFarageCameronMustGo which has topped the list since the three party leaders merged brains and won the 2015 General Election with a combined 72% of the vote in May.
Assassin's Creed 6,7,8 and 9 are released to widespread server problems and user outages. "Dang!" says Ubisoft in a press release. "Next year - promise!"
HuffPost Tech Editor Michael Rundle sits down at his desk. Another year has passed. The predictions blog post is due.
He stares out of the window, sighs heavily, and begins to type.