Friday Fun Link – Spectra Visual Newsreader (and Some Thoughts on Some Other, More World-Changing Future Technologies) (May 23, 2008)

Spectra is a new visual news reader from MSNBC.  I haven't played around with it much but it looks cool, mostly because the news spins in a circle instead of the old-fashioned columnar approach. Whoo-hooo! 

On a much broader scale, I've recently come across a couple lists predicting of technologies that will change the world put together by groups that know a thing or two about cutting-edge technology.

IBM has posted their second annual “Five in Five” list and MIT's “Technology Review” journal has posted their list of “10 Emerging Technologies for 2008“. 

What's especially cool about the MIT list is that you can click to past lists going back to 2001 (excepting 2002 when their super-secret crystal ball technology apparently broke down) to see if their predictions have come true yet or not.

Here's the 2001 list and I won't be so presumptuous as to pretend I have a clue as to where the world is at with most of these (or even what some of them mean!). 

Brain-Machine Interface
Flexible Transistors
Data Mining
Digital Rights Management
Natural Language Processing
Untangling Code
Robot Design

But some, like data mining and DRM are definitely ones people involved in the information world are struggling with now.

One final thought…my own bold prediction for the future. 

At some point in the very near or not so near future, people will begin to wear a small recording device that constantly captures the video and audio of every moment of their lives.  This will be stored by some sort of advanced system (think Google on crack – voice recognition, natural language processing, high level artificial intelligence) that allows people to search for pretty much any type of information about their lives instantaneously: “what did I have for lunch in that cafe in Montreal in 2009?”, “where did I leave my sunglasses?”, “how much have I spent on gas in the last 12 months?” 

I recently heard about U of T engineering prof Steve Mann during Michael Ridley's presentation at the SLA conference and he's been on this path for, oh, almost thirty years already. 

I also came across an article (which I didn't bookmark and can't find now but maybe it was in Wired?) about somebody else who was doing something similar – wearing a computer that could OCR things he looked at like his hotel and flight reservation then transfer it into a database for easy retrieval later.  I think there was also a web site that performed this function for him or that was trying to do something similar for people mentioned in the article but again, can't remember the name of it.  Not but maybe something like that?  [Edit: Found it.]

Oh, and I'll
also predict that the natural reluctance people feel towards this
privacy-destroying, possibly society-altering device will be no different than the acceptance rate for any other new invention

[2008-06-29 – Edit #2 – I don't think Twine was what I was thinking of.  Here's the article from Salon about someone using a technology called Evernote that I think was what I was looking for originally.  And while I'm adding stuff, here's a story about how new technologies will eventually allow us to add 1 TB of data on a thumbdrive.  Doesn't this sound exactly like I what I'm talking about: “
“All the current limitations in portable electronic storage could go
away. You could record video of every event in your life and store it.”]

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  1. From Head Tale - With This Ring, I Thee Click? on 18 Aug 2012 at 10:36 am

    […] interest for me – given my current position, services for the visually impaired but also my longtime interest in wearable […]

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