What is technology?To start our conversation, let us ﬁrst come to an understanding of what technology is.
What do you associate with technology?Cars? Airplanes? Mobile phones? The internet?We usually think about technology in terms of its artifacts.
Technology, in fact, is everything that surrounds us.The wheel, agriculture, ﬁre, the book and money are examples of technologies we do not usually isolate as such.
“Anything useful that “we make is technology.” — Kevin KellySource:http:/ /www.ted.com/talks/kevin_kelly_tells_technology_s_epic_story.html
The other characteristic about technology is how it’s always progressing.A century ago, humanity had never even taken ﬂight. Now, we take it for granted. (1903)
Same with medical imaging. (1895)
GPS GPS GPS GPSOne way of seeing intersections between different technologies is from looking backwards in time. Take an existing product or serviceand ﬂesh out the individual components that were necessary for it to be invented.What makes YouTube possible? The combination of: ubiquitous cameras, cheap storage, a proliferation of internet users andbroadband.
GPS 48 hours of content uploaded every minute.(As of May/2011) “nearly 8 years of content uploaded every day”Sources:http:/ /www.mecmanchester.co.uk/blog/youtube-birthday.htmlhttp:/ /www.youtube.com/t/press_statistics
GPS GPSYou can do the same exercise for 23andMe:Faster CPUs, Automatic sequencing machines, Optical sensors, Social network analysis
GPS 2012: $99 for ~1,000,000 base pairsThis cost hundreds of thousands of dollars only a decade ago.
Scenario #1: Eyes in the skyI’ll go over three brief sci-ﬁ scenarios based on extrapolating existing trends.
A Swarm of Nano QuadrotorsExperiments performed with a team of nano quadrotors at the GRASP Lab, University of Pennsylvaniahttp:/ /www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQIMGV5vtd4
http:/ /www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9vOor1xmVDsIndependence day riots in Warsaw
The Xbox Kinect - a brilliant example of depth imaging (or computer vision) popularizing as a toy.
http:/ /www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QrnwoO1-8AThis is how the Kinect sees the world.
Drone cameras Swarm robotics Computer visionSo where do you end up in a future where these three technologies are prominent?
Imagine a future with a swarm of thumbnail-sized ﬂying nanocopters with 3D cameras on them.
“SWARM CAMERAS”Imagine a cloud of cameras. Unstoppable, able to see everything. Drop it into a hostage situation or use it for spying. The possibilitiesand risks are endless.
“SWARM CAMERAS”And if you doubt the possibility, check the AR.Drone Parrot, a $300 helicopter toy with a camera which is controlled by an iPhone app.
Scenario #2:Urban intelligence
We are outsourcing as much information as possible from our brains into our portable devices. Phone numbers, addresses, directions,etc.Outboard brain: http:/ /www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/15-10/st_thompson
And we are outsourcing the decision-making process to our devices.Here is a WiFi-enabled umbrella which ﬂashes if it’s going to rain. No need to look up the weather.
We’re moving toward an internet of things, where all infrastructure is interdependent and connected.Sometimes called the “smart city”.
The surge of personal agents.
Coupled with context-aware computers which know where we are.
“DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO”I call this trend “tell me what to do”. A scenario where the computer, or the network, is smart enough to guide you through your day.Tell you which road to take based on trafﬁc patterns, notify you when a friend is nearby, coordinate your calendar, etc.http:/ /www.ﬂickr.com/photos/cowboyuk80/3742085978/sizes/o/in/photostream/
“DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO”http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/cowboyuk80/3742085978/sizes/o/in/photostream/
83-year-old woman got 3D printed mandiblehttp:/ /www.3ders.org/articles/20120203-83-year-old-woman-got-3d-printed-mandible.html
“If, like me, youre not very knowledgeable about guns, that may not sound like much; but from a legal perspective, the lower receiveris actually a pretty interesting gun part. If you wanted to buy the parts for an AR-15, you could purchase at gun shows or from mail-order catalogs--without any sort of record--every part of the riﬂe except the lower receiver. By printing out the lower receiver of anAR-15 on a 3D printer, its possible to complete construction a fully functional, unregistered AR-15.”
“A MATTER OF SCALE”
Connect the dots. See where technologies intersect.