An effective hybrid of narrative and documentary, The World in 50 Years: Our Body details the probable innovations of the future through the guise of dramatic reenactments. The imagined subject of the film is a twice-divorced father who has lived with a fragile heart condition since childhood. Through his story, viewers are escorted through a plethora of breakthroughs in the fields of medicine, housing, and other areas that impact our daily lives.
It begins with the intelligent home, which is wired to function like a personal secretary and caretaker. Computer sensors remind occupants of the day's appointments, test the breath of the person brushing their teeth at the sink, and even order take-out food. This level of full-service convenience is a double-edged sword, however. For every innovation, there's a price to be paid both in terms of rising costs and invasions of privacy. These same sensors are connected to various agencies across the region, including health insurance companies. If a customer is found to be living recklessly - such as engaging in nightly drinking binges - his premiums are likely to skyrocket.
Some of the advancements highlighted in the film are expected to become the norm within the next decade. Such is the case for smart fabrics, a line of clothing which is seamlessly wired to monitor blood pressure, heart function and other health-related concerns. The film introduces us to Sundaresan Jayaraman, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology who has fostered this invention towards its inevitable widespread application. If the subject of the film's narrative suffers a cardiac episode from his pre-existing condition, sensors in his clothes will immediately call out to the paramedics and transmit a full medical history before he even reaches the hospital.
From the bedroom to the operating room, The World in 50 Years: Our Body orients us to a vast number of future technologies we never dreamed possible in our lifetime. While the predominant tone of the film is one of wonder and amazement, it remains clear-eyed in its forewarning of what we may be giving up once we implement these comforts into our lives.