15 Years Later: 15 Crazy Technologies That Didn’t Exist When ‘The Matrix’ Came Out

15 Years Later: 15 Crazy Technologies That Didn’t Exist When ‘The Matrix’ Came Out

the matrix vs transcendence technologies

The movie Transcendence, starring Johnny Depp, marks the 15 year anniversary of The Matrix. Here we have two highly anticipated films about an Artificial Intelligence smarter than humans, and the idea of ‘Plugging In’.  In 1999, we were captivated by the idea of The Matrix. I remember waiting outside in line to get tickets like it was yesterday. The hype was real. But what makes this year’s release even more exciting is today’s social conversation around AI –today, AI technologies are actually in the mainstream news, and we can see it advancing fast.

A lot has changed in technology in the 2000′s, to say the least. Here are 15 crazy technologies that didn’t exist in 1999  that will make you think a bit about how fast the tech revolution is advancing, and where it might be going. Some of the stuff we will see before 2020 will be pretty cool. Can’t wait. So what are some obvious differences between now and when The Matrix came out?

Today, we actually talk to robots.

1. Personal Voice Assistants (2011)

Personal Voice Assistants – Siri (October 2011)

Today, videos & the internet aren’t just in a room, they’re ON US.

2. Smartphones (2007)

iPhone (2007)

First Video Calls (2006)

Today, we actually plug-in.

3. HD Head Mounted Display (2013)

Oculus Rift (2013)

Today, we have virtual communities.

4. Social Media (2003)

Social Media – Myspace (2003) Facebook (2004) YouTube (2005) Twitter (2006)

Today, we know exactly where we are.

5. GPS (2000)

Benefon Esc!- First GPS Cell Phone in Switzerland (2000)

GPS Satellites

Google Earth was originally called EarthViewer 3D created by Keyhole, Inc, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) funded company acquired by Google in 2004.


Today, we print organs.

6. 3D Bio-printing (2009)

Lab Grown Heart (2009)

Today, we print objects.

7. Personal 3D Printing (2011)

Personal 3D Printer less than $1000 (2011)

Today, we build with atoms.

8. Nano-Fabrication (2012)

Nano Printed Race Car (2012)

Today, we have real robot arms.

9. Prosthetics That Feel (2014)

'Terminator' arm (2012)

First Prosthetic Hand That Feels (2014)

Today, cars can drive themselves (super excited for this one).

10. Self-Driving Cars (2011)

Google Self Driving Car (2012)

Audi Self Driving Car (2014)

Audi Self Driving Car

Today, we can control computers with our thoughts.

11. Brain-Machine Interfaces (2005)

Robotic limbs moved by the mind (2013)

Today.. we have flying buddies.

 12. QUADCOPTERS! (2013)

FlyingBuddy2 (2012)

Today, we have decentralized currencies.

13. Crypto-currency (2009)

Bitcoin (2009)

Today, we can read our entire genomes.

14. Human Genome Sequencing (2003)

Human Genome Project complete (2003)

One more.. we have freaky-ass horse robots.

(15) Quadrupedal Robots (2005)

Boston Dynamics Big Dog (2005), acquired by Google in 2013.


Pretty exciting, huh?

So what is Transcendence, you ask? 

(To put it shortly, two words. Exponential. Technology.)

If you really want to understand Transcendence, see ‘Transcendent Man’.

If you want to understand the idea of Transcendence, watch Transcendent Man before Transcendence – it was a good movie – go see it. Not quite the instant classic Matrix was, but what made the anticipation of the release so exciting for me was the conversation of the Singularity joining the mainstream.

What’s fascinating is, Transcendence isn’t just a sci-fi idea of the far future anymore – it’s predicted to be a reality in our lifetimes.  Oh, and by the greatest predictor of technology ever – AI pioneer and futurist Ray Kurzweil, who is currently building the next generation of voice assistants at Google (for real). Johnny Depp basically assumes his status in the movie, but before you go see it, I recommend watching the documentary on Kurzweil called Transcendent Man, so you can learn about his ideas first. Unfortunately it’s not on Netflix, but it is on Amazon Video.

If you are curious about new ideas in radical life extension and things you can do today to increase your chances of living past 100, definitely check it out. When I watched it 5 years ago,it changed the way I think forever. 

– Watch Transcendent Man on Amazon Prime Video (free 30 day trial) –

Another good one to get you thinking about AI is Her.

There are so many questions around this topic. Join the conversation now, don’t miss out on the exciting years to come. When will the Singularity Happen? How will we plug in? What will it feel like to plug in? Will we live forever? Will I lose my identity? Will I get a robot body? Will I have a choice?…

More posts on the philosophy of Transcendence coming soon…

-Here’s to doing Flying Kung Fu with Morpheus before I die.

~Pliez da God’son

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