Minority Report is a cool 2002 movie that stars Tom Cruise. Fast forward into the future, 2054. Cruise is a cop who works for a special police unit called Precrime. This futuristic unit, with the help of three psychics called Precogs, who predict the future, go after and arrest people before they commit a crime. What makes the movie cool is the perceived technology of 2054. In the movie, technology has evolved to projecting a sort of virtual reality screen Cruise can interface with as he goes about his job of catching soon to be criminals. Ted Talk is working on new technology that would give its wearer their own interactive visual display of information in the palm of their hand that can be easily activated anytime, anyplace.
This new technology comes from the minds of students at MIT. More specifically, a student by the name of Pranav Mistry who has created his version of Minority Report. A wearable device that has a small battery powered camera, projection with mirror and standard web cam that are connected to a cell phone with internet access. One of the top new gadgets that will help revolutionize the way we interact with data in our daily lives. The cost of building this cool prototype little gadget; $350.00. Once all the bugs are worked out and it’s put into a more unobtrusive package , this handy little device will be around the same price as a cell phone is today.
Similar to Microsoft’s surface table, the biggest difference with this new technology is any surface can be used to display information, including your hand. Completely portable, it will be able to provide relevant information about things you interact with on a daily basis.
For example. Imagine having an ability to pick up anything in a supermarket or retail store and seeing specific information on that product just by touching it. If you have a peanut allergy, important information can be transposed onto the box or jar in your hand with data about where the product was made, if any form of peanut is present in the product or even the factory where the item came from. Giving the buyer relevant information that could save them from purchasing a product that could be harmful to them. Looking for a book at your favorite bookstore can take time. Sometimes, the buyer wants to move the process of deciding along a little faster. This new technology would put information about that particular book right on the surface of the book itself. The Amazon rating, any special facts or interesting comments that would help you make a better and more informed purchase. An ability to control knowledge that’s literally at our fingertips.
Read a newspaper like “Harry Potter”. Interactive video images can be projected onto your newspaper. Take a picture by placing your thumbs and fingers together in the form of a picture frame. Draw a watch on your wrist to find out what time it is. You can dial a phone number using nothing more than your hand. Technology the average person could never conceive of may be on our doorstep with in the next ten years.
What this new technology will give the average person is important information that today can only be found on line and make it available to everyone instantly. Our own virtual reality controlled by the wearer of this new gadget. We will be able to program what we need for our personal use to keep us safe and informed.
Those with no internet connection or smart phone with web access are at a disadvantage in today’s society. Even with access, anyone searching for specific data has to first Google a particular subject and then search the many articles found. This new technology will make relevant data immediate just by picking up a product or item. This cool little gadget has the power to drastically change how we see, use and process data in our daily lives. The folks at Ted Talk have dubbed this technology a sixth sense. If it works like they hope, it has the potential of opening up the tech world to the 21st century, much like the steam engine opened up the world of the 18th century and ushered in the Industrial Revolution. A tech revolution of instant knowledge and relevant data at a price the average person can afford to buy and use.
We have come a long way from those who couldn’t figure out how to program the clock on their VCR. TIVO has replaced video tapes and can weed out commercials. DVD recorders made storing recordings more efficient. Computers are faster and smaller. Cell phone technology unplugged us from the wall and gave us not only a traveling telephone, but a lifeline in an emergency. New technology that could give ordinary people access to a world of instant information is mind boggling today. However, as this new gadget becomes a household wonder, it makes one ponder the next mind boggling technology waiting to be developed over the next horizon.