Sure, people of my generation were promised flying cars and all that stuff that hasn’t happened yet. (Although these guys are about 2 miles away from my house.)

But from time to time it is the little things that remind me that we truly do live in the future… it just happens so fast we don’t notice it!

This week I helped my parents buy a new point-and-shoot camera, to use on their month-long stroll around Europe. My dad’s slides and photos from the 50’s through the 90’s are a real treasure trove. Amazing stuff documenting a lot of interesting history, with his own particular eye for composition and light.

So while buying the camera he asked, “So what kind of batteries does it take?”

It took me a minute to even parse out the question. Batteries? In a camera? Umm… “Oh,” I said, “no, it comes with a charger. Just plug it into the wall.” And, anticipating his next question, “No, you don’t need a converter. It works anywhere in the world.”

Then he asked how many pictures could be stored on it. So I fired it up, set it to one-less-than-the-highest resolution setting, and said, “one thousand, two hundred and twenty”. But we bought the next-biggest card for it – 16Gb, 4x bigger than the one it was sold with – just in case.

From four AA batteries and 21 frames in a roll, to this.

Then today I needed to ship the light bar off the top of a police car (don’t ask) to Texas. So I made a box for it and brought it down to the local FedEx office. This 44lb package will get from Seattle to Texas in less than 7 days for about $50.

Which is amazing in itself.

But then I took out my phone and took a photo of the receipt, which I then emailed to dude so he saw how much it cost, when it shipped, when the ETA was, how much it weighed, and he even had the FedEx tracking number.

All from my phone. In about 30 seconds.

I remember filling out FedEx forms in the 1980’s, and a common problem was getting one letter or digit wrong in that insanely large tracking number.

And – to top it off – if he is using EverNote to take notes on his computer (like I do) then it will AUTOMATICALLY read the photo and translate the text in the photo into searchable text in the note.

We truly do like in the future.

Now where’s my flying car?