Sun Power, Vision Control and Spiffy Shades?

Technological breakthroughs to look forward to in the coming years

Troy Redick, Staff Writer

An Ipad, Iphone and Digital Camera

Via Kate Ter Haar, flickr

In April 2011, Google announced some amazing new features. Two of the most mind-boggling are the Google Motion and the hiring of autocompleters.

Anyone familiar with video gaming knows that kinetic energy and body tracking technology have been integrated successfully into systems like the Wii and Xbox Kinect. Well, Google Motion is a similar take on this theme, whereby users can “control Gmail using body language… Gmail will enable your webcam when you sign in and automatically recognize any one of the detected movements via a spatial tracking algorithm”. Yes, for those of us who find using our fingers and a keyboard too onerous, we can now navigate our inbox via interpretive dance.

As if that wasn’t game-changing enough, the magnanimous geniuses over at Google have hired an extensive team of autocompleters – people-pleasers tasked to finish typing our search criteria for us if our fingers are too slow. This is made possible by the autocompletion staff’s emphatic nature and prescience forewarning them of our data-finding needs, combined with Google’s blindingly fast worldwide network.

Oh, and if you were wondering, these breakthroughs were announced on April first, 2011. For those of us whose synapses fire a little slower than the norm, that is April Fool’s Day. However, if you fell for these hoaxes, don’t be too ashamed. [pullquote]With the pace of technological advancement these days, futuristic-seeming technologies are already in both development and practice worldwide. [/pullquote]I am by nobody’s standard a gadget guru, but here are a few new releases that I found particularly cool:

Does your shiny new iPhone 4 require more charging time in a day than you get in a night`s sleep? Then you’ll love Apple’s patent in development for a solar celled iPhone. Not only can you charge your phone anywhere you can manage to find sunlight, but Apple has successfully theorized a super efficient solar cell that applies beneath the touch screen surface, and on the bottom of the new, transparent bottom face of the phone – doubling the rate of energy intake. This means your iPhone will now be ready for another 2-hour long-lunch of Angry Birds before you finish your 11 AM nap at the office.

While the folks at Google aimed to make it easier for those of us with ADD to sift through our hundreds of emails by making it fun, interactive and less labour intensive, some scientists over at Tobii-Lenovo have collaborated to make responding to all those Facebook threads as easy as watching another episode of Epic Meal Time.

With this team’s new Envision eye control, PC users can literally control their computer with nothing more than eye movements. “It is as if the computer understands you; just glance at an icon or gadget and more information will be presented; you can zoom pictures or maps and automatically center on the area you are looking at; the computer can auto-dim and brighten the screen when it recognises your eyes to increase battery time”. Now, those of us who want to be slovenly can enjoy a good browse through Lolcats without lifting a finger, and those of us with the aforementioned ADD can have fun trying to play Call of Duty with the killing power of our eye lasers – just don’t blink.

This last one probably won’t find much use among the Arbitrage’s readership, but it is just too cool to pass up the chance of sharing: Robocop sunglasses. No, cyborg-chic isn’t coming back into fashion. Developed for use by Brazilian law enforcement during the 2014 World Cup, these new sunglasses allow police to scan up to 400 faces in a crowd and compare them to criminal databases. Yes, now the five-oh can check you out and pick you up faster than Johnny Drama.

And on that gratuitous note, I bid you good fortunes in 2011 – sadly, I was unable to find data about a time-machine being constructed to somehow avert the coming cataclysm of 2012.

ARB Team
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