FutureTech (it’s just around the corner, we promise)

This article was originally published in the 2018 Legal Geek Conference Magazine in October. 

Stuart BarrStuart Barr is the Chief Product & Strategy Officer at legal digital transformation leaders HighQ. In this article Stuart outlines his technology wishlist (in no particular order) and looks forward to rosier, crazier, and more technology-driven times in the future.

1. Teleportation

“Who wouldn’t want this! I personally hate travelling and had to travel to Australia recently for 5 days. It takes 24 hours to get there, you are 9 hours time-shifted and just when you’re getting over it, you have to return.

“What’s interesting is that quantum teleportation has already been achieved. Researchers successfully teleported a photon from Earth to a satellite in orbit. The problem with the classic “Star Trek” concept of teleportation of humans is that for it to work you essentially have to duplicate yourself meaning you would then probably need to destroy the original form of yourself! Of course, it would be very useful for us at HighQ because as a global business we could stay in much closer contact with our clients in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific.”

2. Hypersonic Flight

“The next best thing to teleportation is Hypersonic Flight. I have a big thing about the fact that supersonic flight does not exist anymore in passenger aircraft. But it will return and hypersonic flight – more than twice as fast as Concorde at Mach 5 (around 3,836 miles per hour) – means you could fly to any almost any destination in the world in three hours – is actually fairly near-term tech. Supersonic passenger aircraft should return in 5-10 years and hypersonic in 20-30.”

3. Anti-gravity

“You see it in sci-fi films when people are pushing something massive with ease because the load is mounted on an anti-gravity device. This would open up not just travel but multiple industrial possibilities. Again something like this is already possible with Maglev trains but I’d love to see wider adoption of this sort of tech. A similar low-friction transport system is Elon Musk’s Hyperloop which is in an early research and experimentation phase but we are still probably many years away from being close to adopting this form of travel.”

Old Train
Magnificent – but not a Maglev

4. Quantum computing

“It’s likely that AI capability will grow exponentially when quantum computing becomes mainstream because the computing power will be far in excess of what is possible with classical silicon computers. Quantum computing will lead to artificial intelligence surpassing our own intelligence, which is when we might actually get artificial lawyers doing their jobs better than humans. Which is quite a scary thought.”


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