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"Drones Watching": What Signs Will Look Like In The Not-So-Distant Future

The Signs of the Near Future Tumblr forecasts a dark future.

  • <p>In his <em><a href="http://signsfromthenearfuture.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">Signs of the Near Future</a></em> Tumblr, designer Fernando Barbella imagines a dystopian future.</p>
  • <p>In it, we’re being watched and warned at every turn.</p>
  • <p>In bathrooms, visitors are warned that, “All selfies taken with your smart contact lenses will be shared in real time with the proper authorities.”</p>
  • <p>And in elevators, there are buttons that can suspend your (eerie-sounding) holograph companion.</p>
  • <p>It’s easy to look at today's technology through rose-colored glasses.</p>
  • <p>The promises are tantalizing: <a href="http://www.fastcodesign.com/3029850/slicker-city/how-do-you-make-roads-safer-for-bikes-nix-drivers" target="_self">Driverless cars are safer!</a> <a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3025085/fast-feed/google-is-making-a-smart-contact-lens" target="_self">Contact lenses could help diabetics!</a> <a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3019913/watch-the-skies-tonight-for-a-taco-delivering-drone-brought-to-you-by-taco-bell" target="_self">Drones deliver tacos!</a></p>
  • <p>Instead, Barbella offers a darkly funny glimpse into the future.</p>
  • <p>Less funny? That future has <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/05/so-this-is-how-it-begins-guy-refuses-to-stop-drone-spying-on-seattle-woman/275769/" target="_blank">already arrived</a>.</p>
  • 01 /08

    In his Signs of the Near Future Tumblr, designer Fernando Barbella imagines a dystopian future.

  • 02 /08

    In it, we’re being watched and warned at every turn.

  • 03 /08

    In bathrooms, visitors are warned that, “All selfies taken with your smart contact lenses will be shared in real time with the proper authorities.”

  • 04 /08

    And in elevators, there are buttons that can suspend your (eerie-sounding) holograph companion.

  • 05 /08

    It’s easy to look at today's technology through rose-colored glasses.

  • 06 /08

    The promises are tantalizing: Driverless cars are safer! Contact lenses could help diabetics! Drones deliver tacos!

  • 07 /08

    Instead, Barbella offers a darkly funny glimpse into the future.

  • 08 /08

    Less funny? That future has already arrived.

It’s easy to look at today's technology through rose-colored glasses. The promises are tantalizing: Driverless cars are safer! Contact lenses could help diabetics! Drones deliver tacos!

Not everyone feels so optimistic. In his Signs of the Near Future Tumblr, designer Fernando Barbella imagines a dystopian future, where we’re being watched and warned at every turn. Streets don’t just have yield signs and stop signs; they have yellow warnings that drones are watching. In bathrooms, visitors are warned that, "All selfies taken with your smart contact lenses will be shared in real time with the proper authorities."

Yikes.

By pairing familiar public settings (elevators, TSA scanners, butcher counters) with blasé reminders about exoskeletons and sales on synthetic meat, Barbella offers a darkly funny glimpse into the future. Less funny? That future has already arrived.

Check out Barbella's Tumblr here.

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