6.16.2009

HDTV: Blackouts and The Future of Gadgetry

Well, last week we heard the death knell for ol' analog television. That technological stalwart that brought you Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, Mork & Mindy, and Homer and Marge Simpson. Only, television's not gone...it's just...better. For those who haven't seen HDTV and been able to compare it to analog, imagine getting a brand new pair of prescription glasses or comparing the North Star to the Sun. Yes. It's that startling. Sometimes, in the case of aging newscasters and television personalities, it can be unsettling. And on a few, rare occasions, it can be downright frightening. So this has me thinking "What's up next in technology?" Well, quite a lot it seems. Here are three future gadgets that are going to blow us away! 1. Robot Servants Hopefully, these robots will not rise up in revolution to bring about Armageddon, as has happened in just about every Science Fiction book since Asimov took up a pen and every Science Fiction movie since, well, ever. Actually, you can already find robotic servants gallivanting about high-tech homes as I write this: iRobot (wait, I thought I already saw that movie!) provides robots for both industrial/governmental use and for personal home use. Among its top sellers, iRobot boasts While the iRobot line isn't exactly Terminator-esque in its dogged relentlessness or sheer killing capacity, I think with the advent of the floor washing, pooper scooper automoton we have to be prepared for the future! But before I go out and buy a bomb shelter (that may not be effective against the inevitable HumanKilla 1000 model from iRobot), I'm at least waiting until the robots that look human come around... 2. Lightsaber Toothbrushes And not the cheap plastic kind, either! Just go here. You won't regret it! Seriously. In the not-so-distant future, you'll be able to (safely) lightsaber your teeth clean. You read that right. This officially gives new meaning to using the force. In my geekboy brain, I can't help but hear Admiral Ackbar shouting "Your teeth can handle power of this magnitude..." Oh...just go visit the link already, OK?! 3. ThoughtMail The US Army has been experimenting with thought reading. It has even invested some serious money in developing a "thought helmet." In order to send commands wirelessly and soundlessly to other units. For real. I'm not making this up. Go here if you don't believe me. And check out the actual image below: This gadget brings up the inevitable domestic application of this military technology, and what I think will definitely be the wave of the future--ThoughtMail (TM). Trust me, this will be even more revolutionary than email, Gmail, facebook, Twitter, and the written word combined! Just think of the possibilities this kind of technology raises! You'll be able to instantly send chain emails to friends without having to spend all that time clicking "Forward" and "Send" separately; you can carelessly update your blase and sometimes embarrassing social network statuses without having to write a word; and you can foolishly send that strongly thought-through message to your boss that your brain conjured up. And this time, when he gets it, you don't have to use the "I wrote it just to blow off steam and never really intended to send it" excuse, you can actually just say "My brain made me do it." And it will be a legitimate excuse! Awesome. And with that, Future, to you I say, "!"

2 comments:

Jerkolas said...

I for one welcome our robot overlords...and enslave us they will unless we can make a lightsaber that can do a lot more than clean teeth. As for ThoughtMail, not only will it make it is easier for the robots to better know how to round us up it will also help all of us know how much more creepy we all are than previously thought. What a time to be alive!

Catherine said...

Actually, we really do have computers that read our thoughts. It's actually been done. Developed by University of Utah genius Dick Normann, PhD, the brain chip has already been implanted into a human. In fact, it was implanted into a paralyzed man. The chip reads his mind and sends the thoughts to a computer to decipher. With only his thoughts, he can turn his TV on and off, and control the movement of his wheelchair. The technology, BrainGate, is based on the Utah Array. Go to www.cyberkinetics.com to learn more about the technology and see a 60 minutes story on the device.

I imagine if used more commonly, this mind reading device could not only improve the lifestyle of many quadriplegics, but could also save many marriages.