A Day in 2050 – 0600hrs

Now, it’s 0600hrs – and you’ve just woken up after a night out.

“Hello,” says your alarm clock. You open one eye, seeing the time – 0618hrs. It’s early, but you’re still feeling fresh – because the clock has been monitoring your brainwaves, body temperature and movements. It knows just when it’s ok to wake you up.

“What’s up?” you ask the clock.

“Bad weather, I’m afraid. There’s a cloud bank over the main Libyan solar farm, and the price of electricity is spiking. If you don’t have a shower now, it could cost you 50 nanocryptos to do it later.” Under your breath you curse your landlord for removing the molten salt heat reservoir. The extra space is nice, but having to change your plans around the electricity price is a perpetual nuisance.

You look around your room. The clock has prepared you to wake up by displaying a sunrise over the Balearics on every wall. You stand naked in the middle of the room, gathering your thoughts. Fishing boats cruise out of the harbour beneath you. You can see the sailors gathering their nets and lobster pots onto the decks. Of course, it’s just a video – fishing has been fully mechanised north of the Sahara for decades. Only the 1% gets to fish manually now; permits are just too expensive for normal people these days.

You grab your dressing gown to walk over to the bathroom, but it smells a bit dirty – so you toss it in the recycling bin and get a new one from the wardrobe. The recycling bin thanks you politely and grinds up the old dressing gown. The bin then asks you what colour you want the new one to be, and you facetiously answer “Paisley.” Under the stairs, you hear your loom start to make the new dressing gown. At that moment, you realise you’ve just spent 60 nanos on a licenced paisley design. That early shower doesn’t seem to have worked out too cheap.

Embedded within the fishing scene, a wall display shows that all of your housemates are asleep – along with an estimated time for wakefulness and a sleep cycle graph. There’s no need for decency, so you keep your dressing gown slung on your arm and walk to the bathroom. As you pass the windows their clarity adjusts automatically, preserving your modesty as you walk down the hall. Behind you the white glass turns clear again. This must mean that your neighbours are up early again – because the windows wouldn’t change unless your CCTV showed someone was looking in.

You walk into the bathroom, and your breath condenses in the cold air. The bathroom is only just above freezing, because nobody ever heats a room that’s used for just a few minutes per day. You don’t feel the cold, as tracking infrared LEDs on each wall bathe every inch of your skin in warming light. It feels like being in hot sunshine, while walking on a cool beach.

You sit down on the toilet, and the wall opposite displays your weight, body fat percentage and water proportion. A little dehydrated, so you decide to have a bigger coffee today than usual. A picture of the coffee pops up on the display opposite the toilet, and you hold your gaze on it to confirm. You hear the espresso machine in the kitchen start up.

There’s no need for toilet paper these days, as a carbon dioxide laser burns you clean. Despite the fan drawing air into the bowl, there’s always a slight scent of charring – but you barely notice it any more.

“Your microbes are looking pretty good today,” remarks the toilet. “We’ll stick to the same probiotic formulation for now. However, there’s a little blood. It’s probably absolutely nothing to worry about – but I’ll get you booked in for a scan anyway. This means I’ll have to cancel your personal trainer session this morning.” You nod in agreement, but then as an afterthought remark: “Actually, I’d like to record a personal greeting to Dan, please. Put me in my gym gear, it will make it look more appropriate.” You stand naked in front of the mirror and pass on your apologies in a video message. The mirror switches to playback mode showing you in a lemon Fred Perry shirt, with neatly combed hair. It’s a good look, so you wink to send and step into the shower.

You’re irritated to have to miss out on exercise, so you open the cupboard and pull out a roll of workouts. The cardio sessions feel good, but you really want to bulk up – so you press a weights session onto your upper arm. With a prickle and hiss, the exercise gets injected into your shoulder. You’ll also need something inside you to give you the bulk you seek. “Print me a protein bar, please – strawberry and melon,” you ask the mirror, and you hear the food printer start to fabricate your breakfast.

You stand in the shower, eyes and mouth shut, with your arms raised over your head. The static pad beneath you charges up to 50,000 volts, and the shower sprays an ultrafine detergent mist into the air. After a few seconds, the mist has electrostatically stuck all over your body. You open your eyes and wait for the detergent and enzymes to do their work. A hoop descends from the ceiling with jets of water spraying towards the centre, and it passes over your body. At your feet the water stops, and as the hoop rises it changes to producing air jets. A minute later you emerge from the shower – clean and largely dry. Just over a litre of water lies in the bottom of the shower, waiting to cool down and recover its heat energy before being allowed into the drain.

You step out of the shower, and steam rises into the chilly bathroom air. The thermal LEDs crank up their power to compensate for your wet skin. You pick up your personally-made biological deodorant from the cupboard and spray a mixture of fungi, viruses and bacteria into your armpits and groin.

With slightly sweaty palms – which you pretend you don’t have – you pick up a pheromone spray from the shelf. You really shouldn’t have made it, but the temptation was too great. A wipe of lipstick from your boss’ coffee cup was all it took to formulate a scent biologically matched to her DNA. You are not quite sure whether you did it for the promotion prospects, or because you quite fancy her, but as long as she never finds out it’s a victimless crime – isn’t it?

Time to clean your teeth. You grab a capsule off the shelf and bite into it. Mint taste fills your mouth as you bite down. The liquid centre bursts out, releasing a strawberry-flavoured slurry into your mouth. Millions of nanobots, bacteria, viruses and enzymes surge around your teeth and tongue. You gulp down the remains of the capsule, licking the slurry round your teeth.

With thoughts of lips and lipstick still in your mind, you wipe your hands (that really aren’t that sweaty at all) on your dressing gown and go through to the kitchen to grab your probiotic drink, protein bar and espresso.

Read the next chapter here: A Day in 2050 – 0900hrs

Category: Technology

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