Saturday, 11 February 2012

Past, present and future

It's been a while since I have posted, my muse seems to have abandoned me again - there has been lots going on (mainly good!) but I just have not been able to write about it for some reason...  But here is something a bit random that came into my head today...

This morning I was working out using the Kinect and Xbox when suddenly I realised that what I was doing would have been something from a SciFi movie just 20 years ago.

There was me working out, with a virtual instructor - being able to see myself and with the virtual instructor being able to tell me when I am doing something wrong.  I thought back to Sharon Stone getting instructions about her tennis swing in Total Recall (fine we don't have holograms just yet, but way more interaction!)

OK it's not perfect yet - the Kinect still has some lag and it doesn't always manage to get it right all of the time when trying to figure out if I am doing the routine correctly.  But still, I find it fairly impressive for something that is basically just a toy.

I was going to end with: What will we be doing in 20 years time?

But...  At present we seem to be starting a period of limited creativity.  Companies are spending too much time patenting idea's so that no one else can do the hard work of figuring out how to do something cool, or suing other companies for doing the same.  I have read more about Samsung, Motorola, Apple and HTC suing each other than I have about new products with new, amazing features.

Imagine just how impressive new technology could be if these companies concentrated on that rather than the lawyers!


  1. It often amazes me how far we've come in just 15 years. I can remember doing my paper round in the 90's with a walkman. Tapes are virtually obselette now and people play their music through their credit card sized mobile phone and don't get me started in IPads lol.

    If back to the futures anything to go by then the next 3 years will see a surge of human creativity that will produce hologramic advertising hoardigs, self drying clothes and hoverboards.

    Love Em x

  2. Awesome! I got Dance Central 2 and a Kinect this past Christmas, and I've fired it up a few times now to attempt to learn some moves and maybe move a little more gracefully. Plus, opportunity to wear club-wear! haha. ok maybe not always. have fun!

  3. I think it (Kinnect) is very cool, although what amuses me - if that's the right word - that as kids come to use it now, to them, it's just normal.

    Tonight I was buying a few items from a local supermarket and my son was with me. He happily stepped up the self-scanning machine - which I still think is a pretty impressive gadget - and proceeded to scan all the goods. He's not yet ten, but finds this intuitive technology - like Kinnect? - so easy to use.

    Where will it stop? Good question and one many a sci-fi author and investor has pondered :-)

  4. This is going to date me horribly, but I remember the very first transistor radios when they came out. This was almost like living with Dick Tracy or Buck Rogers back then.

    I've seen so much happen in my lifetime, it's almost like a dream. I remember wondering what my Grandmother must have thought about all the modern marvels that she witnessed in her life. She lived to be almost 98 years old , and was born in 1894.

    Where and when will it stop? When the Lord comes for us, that's when.



  5. Sorry it's been a while - my muse has really done a runner on me recently!

    Emma: I remember saving up for months to be able to get a cassette walkman that didn't warble when I moved quickly! We still have a casette desk in the bedroom but I don't know the last time I used it.

    Viv: I was going to get that for Mrs Stace. Mind you for that sort of thing you really need to make sure that the curtains are closed :)

    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic

    I think that Arthur C Clark had it right :)

    I've seen the UK self scanning, but I think that the Dutch have a better implementation. You scan as you put things in your shopping bag and simply pay at the end. No unloading everything is needed and you can get out of the shop when you are finished inside a couple of minutes :)

    Cynthia: Oddly enough the modern mobile phones people listen to on the train sound remarkably similar to the to transistor radios from when I was younger (OK 80's...) My great grandma grew up with horse and carts and lived to see space flight. Amazing what happened in such a small period of time.