On last nights Fast Forward Radio from The Speculist guys, the question arose as to what development(s) qualifies as a hallmark of “the future”. My off the cuff response was that the future never arrives; we always live in the now after all. Upon somewhat deeper thought, I do have a technology standard that quantifies my personal vision of “the future”.
All of the potential technology we variously anticipate is dependent upon a source of electrical energy. With that universal condition in mind, my metric for arrival at “the future” is a realistically portable source of electrical energy that contains sufficient energy to power my abode and all the other devices I possess (if not all of them at the same time necessarily), other than my transportation, without need for re-fuel for at least 10 years. Think Hyperion Power Module as a model, but not necessarily a nuclear or radioactive decay process being involved. If you’re a sci-fi reader, think Heinlein’s Shipstone power supply.
So there you have it, I will have lived to see the future when I have the option to purchase personal energy independence on an at-least-decadal cycle.