I was thinking the other day about the rapid development of technology. Wearable tech seems to be the current direction, with Google Glass heavily in development and Apple throwing in patents for iPhone-esque wristwatches. I’ve heard some pretty exciting things from the Microsoft side of things as well, with some of their research leaning towards holographic imagery. It’s a long way off, but there’s some exciting progress being made.
I have a confession to make.
I’m a Trekkie. Not a, ‘I’ve been watching since I was 2 and a half years old and know every line’ Trekkie, but a Trekkie none-the-less. Introduced to Star Trek: The Next Generation as a media student I have to come to have great respect for it. It’s rare for anyone to be able to analyse a show, and then continue to watch it as an active audience and STILL like it. But I do.
I could rattle on for hours about how brilliant Star Trek is, but I’ll spare you of that (for now), instead I’ll remember to engage with the title again.
Because I like Star Trek, my dreams of future technology revolve around ideas found within that universe. Warp Drives. Some may know what it is, others might not. The Warp Drive is the idea that instead of moving an object through space, you distort the space around an object for it to move. If you’re really interested, this guy does a much better job than me of explaining it: Video
Another piece of Star Trek tech that fascinates me – the Tricorder. This handheld device is a complex scanner that is useful for… Well pretty much everything you need for deep space exploration. The main use of the Tricorder within The Next Generation seems to be medical. The device is capable of picking up most medical conditions a person is suffering from, just from a quick scan over the body.
A competition has been started to encourage the creation of a real life Tricorder. the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize imagines ‘a portable, wireless device in the palm of your hand that monitors and diagnoses your health conditions’. If someone successfully creates a device that fits their criteria, they are entitled to win $10 million. MILLION.
Sometimes I think I’ve picked the wrong career.
My final piece of Star Trek tech is the replicator. This is just an awesome device. It basically builds up items, most often food items, out of particles found abundantly in space. Don’t quote me on that. A wikipedia article can be found here that explains a lot, I would write it down but I wouldn’t want to scare you away with all of the science-y stuff. That I don’t understand.
Over to you:
- What tech would you like to see in the future?
- Is it possible?
- What tech currently in production excites you? Why?
Google are moving ahead with their development in wearable tech.
In a new video (Which can be found Here) Google shows off features such as video recording, live directions and picture taking. These features are a bit of old news, but the ‘heads up display’ type aspect – a box showing the time and weather information – is new stuff. Although why you would want weather information is just baffling, shouldn’t the wearable tech be with you when you are in the weather?
A BBC News article gives fresh details about Google’s idea. The company has is letting developers and ‘creative individuals’ get access to the devices, in an effort to create a consumer guided product. It’s like crowd-sourcing, but without the funding element.
There’s also a Twitter hashtag that’s been suggested – #IfIHadGlass. The idea is to get social media folks giving ideas of ways that they would use the gadget. Currently Google is only looking to hear from tweeters in the UK, but here’s hoping they look for some British inspiration too!
Wearable tech seems to be the new thing for developers. With rumours of Apple’s iPhone wristwatch and other similar devices springing up all over the place. But are some going too far? What about a shoe-phone? Another BBC News report highlights an O2 funded developer who has been working on recycling old phone into the soles of shoes… Is it a step too far?
#IfIHadGlass I’d be interested as a journalist. It would be great to be able to see latest news updates on the go, and to literally allow people to see what the journalist sees. The video and stills feature combined with the 3G access (Or maybe 4G? Who knows…) makes it great for journalists ‘on the beat’.
Over to you:
- If you had glass, and no I’m not talking about Meth Amphetamine (Which is a problem with the naming…), what would you do with it? Why would you buy a pair?
- Shoe-phone, too wacky?
Feel free to discuss it in the comments section.
The past year or so has seen the Vatican become more and more technologically adept. The Pope sent his first tweet back in June 2011 (BBC News), through the Vatican news Twitter account. At the same time an online news portal was set-up, as well as YouTube and Facebook accounts.
Since then multiple @Pontifex accounts have been created, through which tweets are sent in 9 different languages, each tweet personally approved by the Pope himself. Overall the @Pontifex accounts have around 2.5 million followers, with the majority following his English account.
Pontifex means “pontiff” or “builder of bridges”, and building bridges is what the accounts – as well as the rest of the social media efforts – are trying to do.
The Vatican has made a real push into bringing back Latin. In November 2011 it launched a Latin Academy within the Vatican, which aims to “promote the knowledge and study of the language from classical times to the present day” (BBC News).
In-keeping with the big Latin push, the Pope recently sent his first Latin tweet (BBC News). This has caused a surprising wave of questions to be thrown out on to the web – the main one being ‘Is Twitter the right place for Latin?’.
Vicky Beeching (@Vickybeeching) is a theologian who is researching Internet ethics, and has a very keen interest in social media within Christian communities. She asked her Twitter followers what they thought of the Pope tweeting in Latin.
The responses were very varied, @revdchris said that it is “not outdated, not pointless, but rather transcends the stereotypes and encourages rich learning”, whilst another tweeter – @teresaaturner – said that it was “totally pointless and outdated, nobody speaks Latin he should be using language relevant to today”.
It seems that there are a lot of strong opinions about this, but to me it all seems a little bit too much fuss for what it is. I know that the Pope is an example and the main representation of the Catholic Church, and that means that his actions are very important. But why does that make latin tweets any more different from any other language. Whilst it is true that Latin is not really a living language anymore there are still those do understand it and see it for it’s traditional value.
If Twitter is able to graciously host conversation in most languages in the world, what’s so different about latin?
And anyway, as @SteveRHolmes said: “Latin is a very concise language, that lends itself to pithy statements – perfect for Twitter.”
My favourite tweet has to go to @Nick_Payne, who suggested that “it would be cooler if he tweeted in Klingon, Minbari, Gallifreyan or Elvish.”
Over to you:
- Are you pro Latin tweets? Why?
- Against? Comment why below.