13 episodes

Hosted by Popular Science Assistant Editor Lindsey Kratochwill and Associate Editor Breanna Draxler, Futuropolis is a new podcast about everyday life in the future. We’ve always wondered what it will be like to grab dinner on Mars, pilot a flying car, or walk a robot dog. So to find out, we talk to the scientists, engineers, and innovators who are shaping the world of tomorrow. Plus we dig into Popular Science’s archives to revisit past predictions.

Futuropolis by Popular Science Popular Science

    • Society & Culture

Hosted by Popular Science Assistant Editor Lindsey Kratochwill and Associate Editor Breanna Draxler, Futuropolis is a new podcast about everyday life in the future. We’ve always wondered what it will be like to grab dinner on Mars, pilot a flying car, or walk a robot dog. So to find out, we talk to the scientists, engineers, and innovators who are shaping the world of tomorrow. Plus we dig into Popular Science’s archives to revisit past predictions.

    Bon Voyage

    Bon Voyage

    Vacations are supposed to be about relaxation and rejuvenation, but anyone who has stood in the crowded lines at an amusement park or waded through the hordes of people at Disneyland knows that this is not always the case. In this episode of Futuropolis—the 12th and final episode of season 1—we set out to see how technology might help shape better vacations in the future.
    Transportation will inevitably get faster and cheaper, but we also hope it will be jet-lag-free. Hotels might transform their own furniture to make your room just the way you like it. And don’t worry—the good ol’ postcard isn’t going anywhere (aside from your Grandma’s mailbox).
    With our look back at the *Popular Science* archives, you can join us in the cockpit of the Concorde in 1973, before the supersonic plane would first carry its commercial passengers.
    Beyond these basic improvements, we want to know about some of the loftier goals. We talk space tourism with Phil McAlister, who works with commercial spaceflight at NASA. Virtual reality executive producer Christine Cattano explains how technology can entice and enhance our experiences of a place. And futurist Thomas Frey describes machines that could enable you to relax on a beach, from the comfort of your couch.
    But vacations aren’t just about relaxation, they’re also about status, says Greg Lindsay, a researcher, futurist and journalist. He says we’ll soon be inventing destinations with deeper and more authentic experiences than we can even imagine today.
    Buckle your seatbelts, loyal listeners. It’s going to be a wild ride!
    Futuropolis is a biweekly podcast on the Panoply network. This week's episode is sponsored by Braintree, code for easy online payments. If you're working on a mobile app and need a simple payments solution. check out Braintree. For your first $50,000 in transactions fee-free, go you braintreepayments.com/future. And also by Squarespace. Start building your website today at Squarespace.com. Enter offer code Future at checkout to get 10 percent off. Squarespace—build it beautiful.

    • 26 min
    Thinking Outside the Cubicle

    Thinking Outside the Cubicle

    Between traffic-clogged commutes, high stress jobs, and crappy coffee in the breakroom, the daily grind can be painful.
    Luckily, technology is paving the way for jobs you’ll actually be excited to do. Menial tasks like email can be automated. Decision-making can be done with artificial intelligence. And “deep learning” can teach robots to be creative and even generate ideas.
    Granted, automation is something Popular Science has been excited (and worried) about for decades, so we turn to our ever-entertaining archives for some historical guidance.
    The goal today is to integrate these technologies into the workplace in ways that make our jobs easier, safer, or more efficient (without making us humans obsolete). To find out how, we talk to Fumiya Iida, an engineer at the University of Cambridge who builds biologically inspired soft robots to work alongside people. Roboticist Hod Lipson of Columbia University talks up the promise of A.I doctors and lawyers. Judy Wajcman, a sociologist at the London School of Economics, tells us about how these shiny new technologies will soon become so integral to our lives that we’ll no longer notice they’re there.
    In the coming decades, our jobs, our offices, and even our commutes will likely become unrecognizable. To give us a behind-the-scenes view, Popular Science’s own futuristic information editor Katie Peek takes us on a tour of her ten second commute (via telepresence robot) from Baltimore to New York. And futurist Glen Hiemstra paints a verbal picture of what your next office might look like. (Spoiler alert: It could be on Mars!)
    Futuropolis is a biweekly podcast on the Panoply network. This week's episode is sponsored by Braintree, code for easy online payments. If you're working on a mobile app and need a simple payments solution. check out Braintree. For your first $50,000 in transactions fee-free, go you braintreepayments.com/future. And also by Squarespace. Start building your website today at Squarespace.com. Enter offer code Future at checkout to get 10 percent off. Squarespace—Build it beautiful.

    • 28 min
    Clicks to Bricks

    Clicks to Bricks

    For those of you who don’t enjoy wandering the aisles of the grocery store in search of soy sauce, or mailing back endless pairs of ill-fitting shoes bought online, we have good news for you: Shopping in the future is going to be so much easier than it is today.
    Between smartphones and tracking technologies, every trip to the store will be quick, efficient, and a heck of a lot smarter than it is today. Some retailers will even be able to anticipate your needs and take care of them for you.
    To get the inside scoop, we talk to Indiana University’s Ray Burke, who studies how customers think and behave. And we hear from Scott Emmons, who heads up innovation for Neiman Marcus, about the high-tech mirrors and tablets they’re bringing to their stores.
    And looking further into the future, we talked to the people who are actually making it happen: Devora Rogers and David Mounts at a tech company called Inmar. They are pretty excited about what technology could do for stores and the people who frequent them.
    And don’t forget our ever-entertaining Popular Science archives! The futuristic delivery methods we envisioned back in 1939 look a little different from the drones of today. That said, stores aren’t going away. They’re just going to appear in some really interesting new forms.
    Futuropolis is a biweekly podcast on the Panoply network. This week's episode is sponsored by Braintree—code for easy online payments. If you're working on a mobile app and need a simple payments solution, check out Braintree. For your first $50,000 in transactions fee-free, go you braintreepayments.com/future.
    This episode is also sponsored by The Message, a new podcast from GE Podcast Theater. Host Nicki Tomlin follows a team of elite cryptographers as they decode a highly classified radio transmission. To sum it up: extraterrestrials. Check out The Message, on iTunes.

    • 29 min
    Winning the Numbers Game

    Winning the Numbers Game

    Basketball season is now in full swing. But here at Popular Science, we’re ahead of the game. We’re looking beyond 2015 to see what sports will look like 10, 20, or even 30 years down the road.
    In this episode of the podcast, we talk to Marcus Elliott, founder of the Peak Performance Project, or P3. The company uses a slew of data to build better athletes. And we hear from Ryan Warkins, who works at Catapult Sports, a company that tracks athletes with all kinds of sensors. We discuss how to keep star players injury-free and playing at their best.
    To figure out how to put together a team that works like a well-oiled machine, we talk to Dean Oliver, vice president of data science at TruMedia Networks. He says that numbers have a huge amount of power in sports but that it all comes down to how they’re analyzed.
    Looking back into the PopSci archives also brings up some painful (if hilarious) memories about how we used to train elite players back in the day. Take, for example, the basketball “bumpers” from April 1941, designed to protect your fragile eyeglasses. Or how about a high-tech training exercise using action figures from March, 1940?
    The ways we play (and watch) sports have come a long way in the past 75 years, and they’ll be changing even more going forward. Tune in to find out how.
    Futuropolis is a biweekly podcast on the Panoply network. This week's episode is sponsored by Braintree—code for easy online payments. If you're working on a mobile app and need a simple payments solution, check out Braintree. For your first $50,000 in transactions fee-free, go you braintreepayments.com/future.
    This episode is also sponsored by The Message, a new podcast from GE Podcast Theater. Host Nicki Tomlin follows a team of elite cryptographers as they decode a highly classified radio transmission. To sum it up: extraterrestrials. Check out The Message, on iTunes.

    • 25 min
    The Prognosis is Good

    The Prognosis is Good

    Being sick is no fun. There's nothing worse than a queasy tummy, or that pesky sniffle that just won’t go away. But what will illness look like in the future?
    Will we be dealing with the same old diseases? Or will we have engineered solutions to be super-human healthy? That’s what we’ll try to figure out in this episode of Futuropolis—the prognosis for future illnesses.
    Unfortunately, cancer isn’t going away anytime soon. But oncologist Jennie Crews tells us how our bodies can be persuaded to kill these out-of-control cells. On the other end of the life cycle, geneticist Santiago Munne describes a bizarre but not implausible vision of what baby-making might look like in just 20 years. And zooming out even further, David Morens, an NIH epidemiologist, talks about how humans and microbes have evolved together—sometimes for better and sometimes for worse.
    The archives are pretty optimistic about what modern medicine will be able to achieve. Whether or not our 1950's predictions are realistic, though, is another story.
    Plus we hear from the CDC’s deputy director Anne Schuchat, who describes what it’s like to be a disease detective working with microbial behavior she says is “stranger than fiction.”
     
    Futuropolis is a biweekly podcast on the Panoply network. This week's episode is sponsored by Braintree—code for easy online payments. If you're working on a mobile app and need a simple payments solution, check out Braintree. For your first $50,000 in transactions fee-free, go you braintreepayments.com/future.
    This episode is also sponsored by The Message, a new podcast from GE Podcast theater. Host Nicki Tomlin follows a team of elite cryptographers as they decode a highly classified radio transmission. To sum it up: extraterrestrials. Check out The Message, on iTunes.

    • 26 min
    Show me the digital money!

    Show me the digital money!

    Money is one of those things you’re not supposed to talk about. It’s politically incorrect and often uncomfortable. But your favorite podcast hosts are bucking social conventions in this episode of Futuropolis to discuss how we’ll pay for things in the future.
    Futurist and IEEE member Heather Schlegel helps us understand why we have money in the first place,so we can see how that might change in our increasingly connected world. To take that threat further, Marla Blow, a partner at a finance investment company called Fenway Summer, envisions a world kids today might not even need to know how to swipe a credit card. And maybe paying for things will go away altogether. Virginia Heyburn, vice president of insights and advocacy at online banking tech company Fiserv gives us her predictions on that topic.  
    Of course, in typical retro style, our archives describe new-fangled ways to pay—some that have come to pass, and some that we would rather not experience firsthand.
    And finally, as digital wallets and Apple Pay become mainstream, the good old fashioned dollar is seeming less and less relevant. But it’s not going to go away completely. At least not according to Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. These investors/entrepreneurs say the dollar will go digital and start to look and act more like their cryptocurrency of choice: bitcoin.
    Futuropolis is a biweekly podcast on the Panoply network. Tune in every other Wednesday for more sneak peeks at the future.
     
    Futuropolis is a biweekly podcast on the Panoply network. This week's episode is sponsored by Braintree, code for easy online payments. If you're working on a mobile app and need a simple payments solution, check out Braintree. For your first $50,000 in transactions fee-free, go you braintreepayments.com/future.
    This episode is also sponsored by The Message, a new podcast from GE Podcast theater. Host Nicki Tomlin follows a team of elite cryptographers as they decode a highly classified radio transmission. To sum it up: extraterrestrials. Check out The Message, on iTunes.

    • 27 min

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