Everything is becoming technical and soon everything, every single thing, will be changed.
Later this year the world is poised to welcome Google Glass, augmented reality spectacles, when they are launched publicly. They are being billed as ‘a new, more natural way of interacting with each other digitally.’
That means, presumably, that wearing a mini computer on your head, across your actual face, is ‘more natural’ than talking to somebody through a smartphone or computer. Real Google obsessives would say it’s even more ‘natural’ than talking to somebody in person!
Caning the Competition
There’s no way of halting the endless research these sort of digital companies are doing all the time, to get ahead, corner every market and push the boundaries of the digital revolution across every nook and cranny of our lives.
Fujitsu are set to promote a new walking stick. Wow! This one, though will be all singing and dancing.
Unveiled at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress, the stick – grandly labelled ‘The Next Generation Cane’ boasts a handle with a screen which shows the users arrows to point them in the right direction. A sort of satnav on a rod.
It will also sense when it is no longer being held, so will alert nurses and carers to a possible fall or mishap. Presumably they think all people who have to use a stick are pretty stupid, and will need this guidance over and above signs and verbal communication that ordinary people can use.
It will be constantly online so that anybody, again a carer or nurse, can monitor where the user is in case he or she is lost. Sounds innocent enough, but it smacks of Big Brother and not being able to exercise freedom of choice to detour or stop and talk face to face to somebody else.
They don’t say how the watchers/carers would know if the stick user was assaulted and used the cane as a self defence weapon but kept hold of it and kept gradually moving in the expected direction! Nor have they considered the effect of a digital pair of glasses and a digital stick working in tandem. Or not.
Mind Reading in Progress, Look Out
Meanwhile in other news, experimenters from Duke University in North Carolina have implanted electrodes in the brains of two rats thousands of miles apart (USA and Brazil) and shown that information is passed from one to another.
And the transmitter rat did it without knowing! Scientists are claiming this as the first steps in ‘a sophisticated direct communication linkage between brains’. Professor Miguel Nicolelis said they are creating ‘an organic computer!’
His team are now excitedly trying to connect up several animals’ brains simultaneously to work on more complicated types of problem solving. They plan a ‘brain net’ to push the boundaries to ‘influence the brain process, not control it’.
Mmm. Not too far away before the animals up for experiments are human, and mind reading (control) has arrived. Another triumph for the innovators?
Keep on Smiling
And finally, news from yet more busy experimenters, this time from New Scientist. They have helped design the new Alton Towers ride, The Smiler.
Apparently, all who venture onto this £18 million device will ‘experience jabbing needles, blinding lights ad optical illusions’. This is for those who don’t get all that on drugs or alcohol, presumably. Or who don’t fall in love.
The editor of New Scientist, Jeremy Webb, evidently told people, ‘All the experiences we use to generate thrill involve an element of fear!’
Now you don’t know whether to laugh or cry, or be afraid, very afraid at what people are dreaming up next to help you live your lives….
Agree or not?
Other amazing stories:
Some Up-coming Things to Watch Out For, 4 April 2012
When Photographic Reality Isn’t Enough, 22 February 2012
Five Downsides of Technology Don’t Outweigh Advantages, 9 January 2012
Weird and Not So Wonderful on the Net, 20 December 2011
When Science Catches Up With Science Fiction, 14 November 2011
Mind-Reading Coming to a Brain Near You (If Not Your Own), 27 September 2011
You Couldn’t Make It Up, 19 September 2011