Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Unbelievable technical advancements in my lifetime, what will my children see in theirs

I know that my children will have things that were only thoughts found in sci-fi books, movies and T.V. shows. Already the toys they have are way cooler then anything I ever had. There are robot pets that actually respond to voice commands and can learn on their own. There are products available now that were only ideas when I a kid, and more things are being investigated, and created every day.

Inud the Robo-Dog (VIDEO) – responds to voice commands.

I remember when walkmans came out, now there are iPods, MP3’s and MP4’s. I remember the big changes DVD’s made, and now we can watch movies, and TV on our phone or watch just like in the old spy movies. Cell phones are right out of Star Trek and other Sci-Fi sources. There are times when I am just amazed at the things people are working on and then create. I really do envy what my kids are going to see in their lifetime. Here are some things from the world of Sci-Fi that have been made or are being worked on.

The space station is going to be completed (or should be) with in the next year and will be ready for occupation.

Research is being done by several countries on long-term space travel for things like visiting Mars and possibly outside of our solar system.

Personal robots like Asimo to assist people: be it for people who are physically challenged, or to help people with daily life such as keeping an eye out on the kids and interacting with them, cleaning our homes. Robots are one of the biggest marketable products simply because of the different uses for them. Currently we have little robots to clean our floors. My understanding is that they don’t work that well but I am sure the next generation will work better. We have robot wheelchairs being created that will assist people as well as transport them. There are several different robots being developed to operate independently and assist people to be the arms and legs or even eyes for some one. Then there are ones being created to actually do jobs, such as being a tour guild, where they learn as they go. I know that the sex industry is working with some of the robot designers to create a sex robot to replace sex dolls. Eventually there will be robots created to assist with daily living and will actually be companions and possible sex partners. There is a belief that people will eventually fall in love with the robots and marry them. One lady has already become married to a robot so the prescient has already been established.
Robots at the Kennedy Center

Toyota robots

Robot Sex possible

External robotic skeletons for military purposes, just like in the movies and games are already being created. The skeletons will work as protection, increase strength, and be armed to the teeth, as well as be computers to assist solders. It will not be long before we have solders in robotic suites and independent robot solders. It is only a matter of time.

Robotic exoskeletons could become standard military issue

Research is being done on holographic rooms like the holodeck. It can be created in small scale, visual only. I don’t know if they will ever be able to crate the actual holodeck on Star Trek but they are trying.

Eye visors to see with for the blind are being researched and tested right now. It has gone from a large bulky unit to a small visor that looks close to the one Geordi La Forge has on Star Trek with a hip unit. The person who has been the test subject has gone from being unable to see, to seeing some light to actually being able to make out shapes, like people.

Ways to extend life are being created. We already have artificial harts, but now they are actually being cloned and grown outside of the human body. It will become possible to clone organs that your body will not reject because it is actually part of you. At first this will be used to save lives, but eventually it will be used to extend life. It will still be saving lives but will eventually result in people living longer and longer. How long can the human life be extended if we can just replace the parts that break down? I think that this will come down to money, the rich will be able to pay for the cloning and medical procedures, the poor will not.

Growing organs in a lab

Re-grow body parts

Cars that run on plant oil, water, air or the sun are being made and sold today. I would love to be able to buy the air one but they are not available in Canada yet. I hope that the car companies here wake up and try to be the first one to build them here, to corner the market. It would be the smart business decision. There is a demand for them and the technology is available and working. I wonder what car manufacture in Canada is going to be the first one; if I owned a car manufacture company I know I would want to be the first. Same if I sold cars, I would be demanding to have them on my lot ASAP.

Use water to run a car

Used vegetable oil to run a car

Use air to run a car

More and more things from Sci-Fi are becoming reality today, wonder what will be available 10, 20 or 50 years from now. Mind you if I had the money I might still be alive then using organs grown just for me. I will have my own personal robot to take care of me, possibly a robotic chair or even a robot skeleton to move around in. Who knows how long I will live and what my life will be like. All I need is money and new technology.

The def will hear, the blind will see and the rich will live forever.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Online RPG’s make changes in how people interact with each other

Years ago I remember reading in sci-fi stories about how technology would eventually cause people to become physically isolated from the rest of humanity. People would no longer have direct contact, but would only interact through some type of technology like computers and the Internet. At the time there were many different stories each with a different outcome and all were seen as being farfetched. The most common idea was that technology would remove the need to get out of our homes and see each other. That day is actually here, or at least the start of it is.

We can order food online, from restaurants and grocery stores. We can talk with friends and family on the phone or on our computers and even use web cams to see each other with out ever leaving our homes. There are many people working from home, online. With the advancements with online games such as EverQuest we can do all our socializing online. We can develop long lasting friendships and even romantic relationships with out ever dealing with each other face to face as it were. So our need to leave our homes is being slowly reduced. With some of the current trends in science the need to go to a Dr. may even be eliminated eventually. Currently some Dr.’s even operate long distance using special programs and equipment that allows them to operate on someone and not even be in the same time zone. And we all know how fast the sex industry is trying to develop the technology so that people will have equipment and programs that will let them have “sex” with each other online. There are even sex robots currently being created to fill that need if someone does not have a relationship.

It is quite easy to see that some of the predictions made by sci-fi authors in the 50 and 60 are not that far off from being possible. We are actively working toward creating the very technology that would make it possible. We have people working on creating or growing body parts to be used to extend our lives and ways to keep people healthy with out actually seeing a Doctor. We have a way to socialize with out leaving our homes. We are finding ways to work from home. The robot technology is already there and advancing rapidly. Robots can assist us, get our food for us, take care of us and even be our spouse (a lady has already married one on November 12 2007). Our drive for companionship, socialization, shelter, food and purpose can all be met with out us leaving our homes for the most part. It is a good thing for our species that for the most part we are not satisfied with having such a none physical contact with others. Though in the long run it may be a way for natural selection to assert itself. As the virtual worlds become harder to remove ourselves from, those who do not get caught in them will be the ones that have children, because they will actually have contact with real live people.