And the notion, that no matter how crazy an idea is, someone, somewhere will have a perspective on it that makes it incredibly useful.
So. Spherical robots – and I must admit, there’s a bit of a fixation for them out there in the world-of-unreality-fighting-towards-the-surface… and I don’t know why, because there’s a major problem with robots that don’t have arms: they can’t solder. Hopeless. Still, there does seem to be this fixation – I think basically because we like the shape – there’s something about a sphere that just seems “right”, or complete, even though it’s not, because it can’t solder or tie shoelaces etc. Still never mind.
If you go to any high place on the planet that isn’t a desert of some sort, and look out at the view, chances are you’ll see a lot of green… still. As far as the eye can see, it will be mostly green.
That green is a million billion illion willion squillion leaves, and each one is almost certainly a little flat thing that’s been specially evolved and angled to aim at the sun, and quite a lot of them follow the sun across the sky. This is not an accident, and it’s not Mother Nature trying to tell us something… although…
This turned up on the TED rss a couple of days ago:
It’s Bill Gross going on about a couple of things for which I have a tangential fascination – genetic algorithms and StirlingEngines … and solar energy obviously. Everyone loves solar energy. Except amature nuke shill morons who are probably suffering from some sort of authority-worship/obedience complex. I blame the parents.
Unfortunately it’s from 2003, and the only things I can find that point to which direction this thing went in, are boring looking arrays of mirrors and fresnel lenses… though I daresay they’re still better than I could do. They’ve gone for the money. They’ve gone for centralisation.
Still, if it works…
I do like the initial design though – and the philosophy… something decentralised and cheap enough for anyone.
Other than that of course… this thing just looks… right.
It is it’s own built in marketing. Sometimes something just looks so cool, you’ve got to get one whether it works 100% or not.
Which is actually pretty neat in some respects, though I expect it will make you look even more of a dickhead than someone with one of those bluetooth headsets where they wander along talking to themselves.
And I don’t think that the driver for augmented reality will be as a shopping aid – it will be as a tourism aid, and it will probably push tourism into places where tourism possibly ought not go. If you can rig a system where someone’s sensory input is beamed up to the web (and to a limited degree, we can do that now) then you can have someone vicariously seeing through someone else’s eyes. It’s not entirely impossible that this will create an entirely new genre of sex (or violence) tourism.
Right now though… there are all these places in the world that I miss… and though I can now find photos on the web… sometimes web-cams, it would be so much better to have something like this
I’m guessing that at some point you’ll be able to hire tour-guides who will show you round without you having to get out of your chair. They put on a pair of glasses, you put on a pair of glasses, you pay them via SMS and you get to be a kid in the slums of Rio for a day. You get to see your favourite band, you get to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel… you could have a 747 where everyone feels like they’re flying the plane.
You could swap glasses with your girlfriend. It could get well weird actually.
… behold, it is done… and it’s done with a nine-volt battery.
As research shown in the fourth video over here showed… the majority of product innovation isn’t done in Corporate R&D labs, it’s done by users… and users suddenly have the time and the resources to basically take control. The same thing that happened to the music industry is going to happen in every single industry across the board.
The first example that uses in the video above is a Gas Chromatograph by the way.
This is an interesting one when combined with the reprap stuff I mentioned in the first post – it offers the possibility of reverse engineering any plastic object. Imagine… the same thing that happened to the music industry and the film industry could conceivably also happen to manufacturing… well, at a simple level at least.