You know you already thought of it, but didn't have the guts to make it happen. Twitter user dinoignacio has taken a necessary step for us all, and I, for one, thank him for it. So is anyone going to actually make this thing real so I can buy it, please?
Tonight I had planned on writing a post about what brands and the communications industry can learn from open source. Or if that didn't end up going well, I was going to write my manifesto about how the API has the transformational power to vastly improve our country's infrastructure. And if that got too boring, I was maybe going to offer a brief survey of weird American utopian movements.
But as you can see, tonight you'll find nothing about any of those interesting topics. No...instead, I bring you "Troops." This is much, much "better."
I expect, however, that it will have something to do with automated "survivor" radio broadcast loops, shoulder-mounted mini guns and an underground city where we all live off of beef jerky and tang and all of a sudden wonder why the hell we ever thought R2D2 was cute.
The only flaw I can find with this is that its creators presuppose the presence of electricity and a modicum of understanding of in-depth scientific information. Although I suppose that if you've already created a working time machine, the latter won't be much of an issue.
Just don't touch anything! I don't want to all of a sudden have tentacles and speak butterfly language.
If I was one of the scientists at Honda, I would start clearing some furniture / apparata out of the way because any moment now, John Conner is going to time travel right into their laboratory and start kicking some genius ass. Because once we've let them into our minds, we've basically handed them the keys to human civilization. And they won't give them back!
What am I talking about? In a major breakthrough in its ongoing Asimo robotics project, Honda has
"...developed a way to read patterns of
electric currents on a person's scalp as well as changes in cerebral
blood flow when a person thinks about four simple movements _ moving
the right hand, moving the left hand, trotting and eating. Honda
succeeded in analyzing such thought patterns, and then relaying them as
wireless commands for Asimo, its human-shaped robot."
Mind-controlled robots. Cut to ten years from now, when the three remaining world leaders are ensconced deep inside their mountain fortresses, hooked up to these brainwave readers, controlling legions of robot soldiers as the rest of us scramble for a place to hide! Hopefully I'll be one of the lucky, chubby few who get to ride around on the Wall-E spaceship in a hovering Brookstone massage recliner. Because I never want to know what it's like to plumb the depths of Asimo's dark, unyielding visor as he winds up for the coup de grace on a windswept, post-apocalytic landscape.
Look on the bright side, though. At least those brainwave hats seem easy enough to pick off from a safe distance with a plasma rifle. And actually, all we need are some well-placed stairs.
For a measly $350, you can completely revolutionize your world and the way you extract and populate streams of information from and into your surroundings. Created by students and professors at (surprise, surprise) MIT's MediaLab, Sixth Sense is the perfect marriage of digital and analog, molecules and megabytes.
That's a cute way of saying that for the first time, someone has figured out how to engineer an almost seamless connection between the real world and the internet. And the best part is, they used regular, affordable off-the-shelf electronics to do it: a camera, a mini-projector and a mobile device.
It's a bit long, but this video explains everything. Watch for yourself:
A bit more detail from Gizmodo if you couldn't get through the whole video:
"The camera recognizes objects around you instantly, with the
micro-projector overlaying the information on any surface, including
the object itself or your hand. Then, you can access or manipulate the
information using your fingers. Need to make a call? Extend your hand
on front of the projector and numbers will appear for you to click.
Need to know the time? Draw a circle on your wrist and a watch will
appear. Want to take a photo? Just make a square with your fingers,
highlighting what you want to frame, and the system will make the
photo—which you can later organize with the others using your own hands
over the air...
Now take this to every aspect of your everyday life. You can be in a
taxi going to the airport, and just by taking out your boarding pass,
Sixth Sense will grab real time information about your flight and
display it over the ticket. You won't need to do any action. Just hold
it in front of your and it will work.
The key here is that Sixth Sense recognizes the objects around you,
displaying information automatically and letting you access it in any
way you want, in the simplest way possible."
It's a miniature satellite made from off-the-shelf consumer-grade electronics components, with a volume of exactly 1 litre, a weight of no more than 1 kilograms and a price tag of between $65,000 - 85,000 (I suspect the price depends mostly on whether you opt for a laser-etched Decepticon insignia).
So for the price of a luxury car, you can put a small but very real payload into orbit! And many university astronomy and engineering departments have done just that since 1999, when the CubeSat was coined / invented by students at CalPoly and Stanford Universities.
You can either build and case-mod one of your own (finally a good way to get rid of that old GameCube), or you can just be lazy and get one from Boeing, but the latter route is likely to cost more.
Good luck getting NASA to launch your nanosatellite, though. Despite the low price tag, there's apparently a lot of red tape since a Dnepr rocket carrying 14 adorable little nanosatellites exploded at launch in 2006. Poor little guys.
The next nanosatellite launch by NASA is in November 2009, leaving just enough time to clone your DNA and get it out of Earth's orbit before the Large Hadron Collider kills us all!
Below is a user-experience video of Multiverse, an animated light display by artist Leo Villareal that utilizes 41,000 LED lights installed in the Concourse walkway between the East and West buildings of the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.
Watching this makes me feel like I'm in the Millenium Falcon!