Mike Cote: Spray-on clothing. Instant sleep. Virtual ceilings.
Someone is staying up late to create the inventions of the future. Some will succeed and reshape society. Some will capture nothing more than their imaginations.
Tom Frey wants to celebrate their brainstorms while they’re still just ideas.
The executive director of the DaVinci Institute envisions a Museum of Future Inventions, a place where visitors can interact with the tomorrows that could be.
“I think it would be really inspiring to go to a place and immerse yourself in these ideas and really experience the future as opposed to just reading about it,” says Frey, who founded the Louisville nonprofit think-tank in 1997.
On Wednesday, the institute will unveil plans for the museum at “A Night with the Visionaries,” a public event designed to raise funds for the project, which has yet to find a home but has generated interest from local communities, Frey said. The event takes place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Fiske Planetarium on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder.
A celebrity auction is scheduled to include such luminaries as Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, former Gov. Richard Lamm, author and science writer Wil McCarthey and several metro-area media personalities. Admission to the event is $45.
Frey said he realizes “museum” is not quite the right word to describe what the institute has in mind.
“We’re telling people that the idea of it being a museum of the future is something of an oxymoron. It’s a combination of museum, an education center and a theme park,” said Frey, who spent 15 years working as an engineer for IBM. “It has to be grounded in what people know today. You can’t take people instantly into some surrealistic environment. It has to be related to something we know and understand today.”