What began as a lovely family vacation, quickly took a turn got the worse for Jamas and Erin Gwilliam, along with their three children found themselves stranded in their flooded rental home. The Gwilliams had been staying in Hanalei on Kauai’s north shore when the Hawaiian island faced record-breaking rainfall.
“The rain just kept getting more and more intense throughout the day. Before we knew it, by mid-afternoon, we were stranded,” Jamas stated. “I had never seen so much rain. It was insane. Water was all around the house. It was really scary. I was wondering if we were gonna get out of there.”
Jamas and Erin were especially nervous for their three children- ages, 11, 9, and 6. They feared for the worst but did their best to put on a brave face for the kids. “Erin and I tried to stay calm. When the thunder and lightening started on Saturday night, there were definitely some tears shed. It was a sleepless night,” said Jamas.
The floodwaters reportedly reached 28 inches. After U.S. Coast Guard officials announced that Hanalei was unaccessible for the time-being, a professional big wave surfer named Laird Hamilton took action.
“He was kind of rallying the troops. Here was a guy who was using the skills and resources he had available to make a difference, not waiting for emergency personnel to come,” said Gwilliam.
After listening to advice given by a friend, Gwilliam brought his family to the edge of a river where he was instructed to “wait for Laird.”
“We were like, ‘Wait for Laird? Like, Laird Hamilton?’ ” Gwilliam recollects. “When we made it to the edge of the river [Laird] pulled the boat up and I handed my kids to him and helped my wife get into the boat. I helped him push the boat off the side of the bank and he took us down the river. Laird had a home on the other side of the river — the safe side of the river.”
Hamilton and some friends worked together to save people stranded on the island by the flooding. His bravery and resourcefulness saved many people in the aftermath of the storm.
“He was super amazing. He’s calm under pressure, and he was taking it very seriously,” Gwilliam stated. “It was pretty impressive, but he’s a humble guy, and I know he doesn’t want the spotlight on him.”
We have some amazing tech gadgets now, but just think about what our grandchildren will be using in just a few short decades. While we can only dream of what will be around, we can make some educated guesses. Ready to be astounded? Keep reading!
Smart Finger, Distance Measuring Device
Have you ever held up your fingers to estimate the distance somewhere? With Smart Finger, you won’t have to guess anymore. Phone measurement apps can be clunky, but Smart Fingers could let you measure distances and lengths effortlessly by just slipping them on.
New Biopolymer Fridges
This next one would definitely require some getting used to, but it might really lead to less food waste and, therefore, you could save money. It’s a sort of bio-polymer material that you can place food into, instead of your standard refrigerator.
Future generations might have access to something like this that is able to preserve foods longer and with less energy. Wonder how it would do with Tupperware, though?
Laundry Folding Machine
Now, here’s a device that would be useful — a machine that not only cleans your laundry but also folds it. Arguably the worst part of doing the laundry is the folding, and with a machine like this, your shirts could come out looking like the day you bought them every single time they’re washed.
Hopefully, this would be a way to completely replace your washer and dryer, and maybe capture some of the benefits of dry cleaning.
Have you ever been examining your fingernails and thought to yourself, “Wow, I wish I knew the time right now?” If you have, you might be in luck in the future if this next product happens to be invented. This is a fake fingernail that doubles as a display for whatever you might want to know.
Maybe it won’t be a fingernail screen per se, but rather, a trend towards having more devices integrated into our bodies in order to enhance our daily lives.
Animal Thought Translator
This one has been on many people’s wishlists for probably decades, but imagine a device that could actually translate your pet’s barks or purrs into intelligible human speech? This might be something they actually have available in the future.
I’m guessing that anything like this would probably be a very successful product. It would be really great to know exactly what our pets are thinking, wouldn’t it?
Smart Pet Feeders
There have been pet feeders around for years that have automatic timers, but the recent development of connected devices is new. Naturally, this has resulted in smart pet feeders that are Wi-Fi enabled so you can connect them to your phone.
Even nowadays, these pet feeders interface with an app that allows you to customize your pet’s feeding schedule. What will they do in the future? Cook your pet a meal?
Transparent TV Screens
I’m not sure how this wouldn’t get annoying, but apparently, transparent TV screens are becoming a thing. They’re almost like a window that generates pictures on them, so you can still see what’s going on behind them. I wonder if there’s a glare?
Transparent screens in the future will probably be more interactive, lighter, and brighter — and they may even let you interact with them right from the comfort of the next item on this list!
Personal Hovering Furniture
If this isn’t the future of furniture, we don’t know what is. Today’s concept is tomorrow’s reality, after all. Most likely, this sort of furniture will work through electromagnets, but we’re interested to see how it could be kept from wandering off the base.
Imagine the possibilities — easy furniture rearrangement, comfort like you’re sitting on a cloud, and an awesome conversation starter. We’re sure that if this ever comes into existence, it’ll be awesome.
Smart Towel Bars
At first, you might consider a towel bar to be the opposite of smart, but if people have proven anything, it’s that they’ll buy anything that’s hooked up to the internet. This seemingly would include towel bars, which could have a thermostat-like device to clean and disinfect your towels.
Our grandkids could have towels that are the perfect temperature, and never even need to be washed since they’re disinfected every time they go on their bar. Less laundry? Sign me up!
Device Holders – Everywhere
You’d probably be lying if you said you don’t bring your phone into the bathroom with you, so this device is simple yet incredibly useful. Instead of having to watch videos while hunched over a phone, our grandkids will be able to just stick their tablet into a holder above the toilet paper.
We foresee this gadget not only being used in the bathroom, but also becoming a part of fixtures all over the house. Your oven, your fridge, your coffee machine…all of them!
Household Robot Assistants
Robots have already started being integrated into households — what with vacuums, toys, and even virtual assistants. So, it’s not a jump to think that they’ll be an even more crucial part of our grandkids’ households.
Boston Dynamics is well-known for the robot shown here, Spot, which can carry out various tasks that make it supremely helpful around the house. They’ll only get better!
Dynamic Wall Art
The below is a picture frame that can give you a variety of outdoor views, so it’s almost like you’re looking out a window. The possibilities are endless, though — Wi-Fi enabled picture frames that can instantaneously pull up the most famous works of art or a canvas that’s capable of rendering art on its surface.
We could definitely see our grandkids having dynamic, ever-changing wall decor that can shift with their mood.
Fully Automated Showers
There’s nothing worse than walking into the bathroom and having to wait for the shower to warm up while you’re standing there shivering. This next device can make that a thing of the past — a smart shower that can turn on with just the push of a button on your phone.
Smart showers could change the water pressure, the temperature. Plus, imagine how convenient it would if you could simply set a certain time for your shower to turn on. It would be pretty incredible to be able to flick it on from anywhere in the house just by using an app on your phone.
Learning Prosthetic Limbs
While we hope our grandkids don’t have to use these, there’s no denying that the field of prosthetic limbs is making strides at an incredible rate. When combined with advanced robotics, these limbs are quickly becoming able to do everything a normal human limb might.
Prosthetics of the future might be able to learn common tasks or movements you execute so they can do them even better, and give you the full functionality a regular hand, arm, or leg might.
Interactive Bathroom Mirrors
Have you ever tried brushing your teeth while checking your phone in the morning? It can be quite challenging. Our next futuristic tech gadget can put an end to all that by making your bathroom mirror a screen that’s linked to the cloud and can show you your whole day.
You could get traffic details, figure out the weather, look at your appointments, and put together a to-do list — all effortlessly while you’re getting ready in the morning.
Custom Lighting Kits
The future is going to be all about customization, so these customizable light tiles are sure to be popular. A multitude of colors and infinite different arrangements can render lamps and ceiling lights obsolete. Hopefully, though, they come up with an alternative for a cord.
There are already light kits like these available on the web, but we’d predict more customization, less dependence on corded cable, and more intuitive control for our grandkids.
Smart Canopy Beds
The possibilities for this canopy bed are almost endless. It could be floating with hovercraft tech, with a rolling TV screen that can simply scroll up for binging, thereby removing the requirement for an actual TV set in your room. We wouldn’t blame you if you never left a bed like this.
It would be game over if this had some sort of integrated food preparation system. Hopefully, our grandkids have more restraint than we do.
Robotic Stand Up Comedians
Siri and Alexa are already getting pretty good at telling AI jokes, so why wouldn’t a robot stand up comedian be something in the future? They’d be able to access databases of history’s funniest comics and put their material together for a whole new act.
We can’t really imagine going to see a robot do stand-up, but who knows what the kids will be doing in 30 or 40 years.
Ok, we admit this is probably one of the dumber devices on this list. However, selfies aren’t going anywhere, but it can be hard to take a good one using just your arm. If you’ve got good balance, or a friend to lean on, you could try these selfie shoes, which can hold your phone so you can snap a better picture.
As you’ll see below, though, there are some cooler options for people who are obsessed with selfies. Of course, we’d prefer if everyone just lost interest in selfies completely, but that probably won’t happen.
Automated Moving Corner Stores
Imagine you need to run to the convenience store down the street, but you’re not allowed to leave your house because of — we don’t know — a global pandemic. What if the store could come to you? Well, this futuristic concept of an automated corner store answers that question!
This convenient store on wheels could roll up to your house with fresh groceries to choose from, or maybe just whatever else you may need from the store. Who knows?
Rolling TV Screens
TVs are getting smaller and less obtrusive every year, but the ultimate is a television that can be stowed away when not in use. With technologies in flexible HD screens, that may be possible in the not-so-distant future. We’re sure our grandkids will have access to a TV that features a roll-down screen.
Of course, you can already achieve that with a projector and screen, but what fun is that? We want to push a button and have the whole thing just disappear.
Automated Robotic Suitcases
If you’ve ever tried rolling a couple of suitcases down a busy city street, you’ll know that it can be a difficult task. This device would change that forever by having your robotic suitcase just roll down the street next to you. Maybe it would track you through a bracelet or something you could wear?
We’re not sure how well it would follow you through a crowd of people, or what would stop someone from simply snatching it up, but it’s a really cool concept nonetheless!
Portable Solar Power System
Ok, this one is really cool, and our grandkids will definitely have something like this available in their lifetime. It’s a full solar setup complete with panels, battery storage, and the generator to run your stuff. Forget about running out of power if you’re camping or away from civilization — this baby’s got you covered!
We’d imagine that solar panels in the future will be smaller and more efficient. Plus, the batteries will probably also be smaller yet made to store a lot more power. Sounds awesome!
Personal Pain Relief Devices
Obviously, we already have things like heating packs and Icy Hot patches, but we envision personal pain relief devices that can deliver focused therapy specific to your injured body part. You can just stick it on there, and it would be smart enough to provide custom pain relief throughout the day.
This is part of a larger trend towards greater customization for patients due to our improving ability to track and understand bodily functions, and provide targeted treatments.
Noiseless Karaoke Machine
Do you have someone in your house that just loves to sing, but they never seem to get better? Well, your grandkids won’t have to worry about that if they have something like this! It’s basically a noise-blocking karaoke machine that completely drowns out the sound.
In the future, your annoying sibling has no excuse to bother you all day because they can sing into this weird looking cup! It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Lighted Toilet Seats
Admittedly, this already exists, but customizable mood lighting is the wave of the future, and this seems like the most useful thing. A toilet seat that exudes enough light to let you see what you’re doing in the middle of the night without having to turn on all the lights.
We don’t know if this would make us excited to get up in the middle of the night, but it would certainly help us enjoy those midnight bathroom trips a little more.
Several companies are already making devices that purportedly read brain waves to let you manipulate things just by thinking about it, but this tech will probably be perfected in a few decades. Such devices would allow you to interface with your computer, phone, or device.
We’d personally prefer it if society shied away from installing actual hardware in our brain, but a wearable device like this one might actually be cool.
Personal Composer Device
We’re not entirely sure what this would actually be called, but basically, we envision it writing out the music that you’re humming or singing to yourself. While it might not be an actual device that looks like this — with a microphone and such — we’re sure that some sort of app will be created to do the job.
Although there probably aren’t a ton of people who would find this useful, it might be nice to have for aspiring composers and musicians.
Feel the Music
Speakers these days have pulsing lights that beat with the music, but speakers in the future might incorporate yet another sense — the sense of touch. A speaker like this one could pulse with the beat, allowing you to literally feel the music as it’s happening.
A device like this would be really cool for people with hearing disabilities, who might otherwise not get to enjoy music the same way the rest of us do.
Touchless Garbage Can
Ok, we know this one isn’t all that advanced, but we assume that more and more things will be touchless in the future. Instead of having to open the trash can by hand or even by stepping on a pedal, future trash cans might let you just wave your hand near them to open, or even sense when you’re coming.
Not only would this be more sanitary, but it would also be great to avoid breaking the pedal on your trash can. As long as it opens silently, we think it would be pretty nice.
Being separated from a loved one might be a little easier with this next device, or similar devices in the future. It’s a pair of smart lamps, and when you touch one, the other one lights up. Instead of sending a text, it’s a simple way to let your loved one know that you’re thinking of them.
Devices like these are romantic and could bring people back to a simpler time — ya know, before texting let you instantly connect with someone and thoughts were all you had.
We’re not sure what purpose this would serve, but maybe it’ll be useful in the future, or maybe it’ll just be a cool entertainment device. This small levitation device to hold up small household items could be indicative of a more useful technology, perhaps in transportation or construction.
Levitating objects are really cool, and by the time our grandkids are around, the technology may have advanced enough to become a practical gadget. For now, though, it’s just a form of futuristic entertainment.
Social Media Cameras
Even though phone cameras improve with each year, there’s still something attractive about owning a camera. It lends some credibility and makes you more than just a person snapping some photos. Cameras in the future might be able to be linked directly to your social media pages.
With a camera like this, you’d get the benefits of a high-end camera whilst avoiding the hassle of having to move photos to the cloud before posting them on your social media accounts.
Some things — like heated socks — already exist but imagine a set of climate-controlled clothes you could wear during the heat of summer or cold of winter. A jacket, for instance, that can cool you off or warm you up as needed. Future generations may have just that.
A shirt that could sense the weather and adjust its temperature accordingly would be really great, and it might even be able to absorb and store sunlight to power it, thus removing the need for other batteries.
Fingerprint Home Security
While it’s probably still in its infant stages, future tech gadgets will probably include a fair bit of fingerprint technology. Having this tech on your door locks would be great because chances are, you probably aren’t going to lose your fingers — at least not as easily as you could lose your keys.
This would also be a good solution for childproofing cabinets or other items. Hey, maybe you could even start your car with your fingerprint!
Efficient Hair Dryers
We don’t have long hair but we know it can be a drag to have to dry it. It can take a long time, make your hair really hot, and most dryers are loud. Not this one, though. Made by Dyson, this product is super quiet and by all accounts, an actually enjoyable experience.
Our grandkids will probably have access to very efficient hair dryers that dry hair in record time, maybe not even by using heat.
Tiny Personal Gardens
There’s already a trend towards tiny, indoor gardening, especially in urban areas. This will probably continue in the future, with our grandchildren able to easily plant and grow delicious fruits and vegetables right in the comfort of their own home. Automation and internet connectivity will make it more effortless than ever.
Growing plants indoors can lead to greater psychological health as well, so indoor gardening has numerous benefits. Even if you’re not a gardener, technology will probably make this really easy.
Screen Projecting Bracelets
It looks like something straight out of the movies — a tiny bracelet that, when activated, can project a screen onto your forearm. Imagine not having to carry a phone around to check your email or apps? With this type of technology, your whole phone is stored in a tiny bracelet.
Ok, this sort of thing might not completely replace your phone, much as smartwatches haven’t replaced phones either. It also might get distorted by clothing. Still, it would be pretty awesome.
Personal Selfie Drones
Rather than having to plug your phone into your shoe to take a selfie, you could just invest in the latest selfie drone technology to get a drone that follows you around and takes selfies whenever you want. Our grandkids will probably have access to just that sort of technology.
Cities might get a little crowded if everyone has a personal drone following them around, but at least the drone would be able to get the perfect picture every time.
3D pens are already kind of a thing, but they’re more of a novelty than anything else. 3D printers are useful, and in the future, 3D pens might be as good as 3D printers, albeit in a smaller, more portable format.
Future pens might be able to use different “ink” like metal to create a huge range of practical objects in a short amount of time.