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Technology of the Next Millenium

Techstination feature for Friday, December 31, 1999

Call it science fiction. But when it comes to technology and industrial design, wait till you hear what some leading thinkers are thinking. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. They gathered not long ago for a two day event called Designabout, organized by IBM. Industrial designers...are looking ahead in ways that will make your head spin like a clothes dryer. As a matter of fact, Joseph Ungari is the director of industrial design at Maytag. He is not thinking like the old fashioned Maytag repairman...

"The days of the repairman will be over. What we'll find are self-servicing, zero maintenance products that are completely interwoven with other products so that the idea of say a refrigerator as being somehow separate from an oven, which is separate from a dishwasher will be completely gone. They'll actually be interconnected and intelligently talking to each other."

Sounds wacky? Wait, there's more. Here's a Maytag guy talking about washing machines becoming obsolete.

"When you get to nanotechnology and computing at a molecular level, we'll be able to have clothing that seeks out stains and bacteria and actually erradicates it as we walk and as we move."

And at Nike, designer Ray Riley says they're really thinking about anti-gravity sneakers... really!

"Someday. I mean any problem is solvable. It just takes time and money."

Some things to ponder, for the next millenium.