Where is my robot?

Does anyone remember the hype around ATM? “ATM to the Desktop” was what some touted as being the next big thing. This was in the days of Statistical Multiplexers, X.25 Pads and SNA. The future is always uncertain and many predictions are way off as we saw with ATM – still in the core and a good technology, but “ATM to the desktop” seems like a silly concept looking back. Remember all the sci-fi movies and TV shows of the 1970’s – video phones….. We have the technology and barring some conference rooms and web cams it really has not taken off. I do see a shift though and soon enough we may all be using some form of video calling on a daily basis.

I have been reading articles lately where “futurist’s” predict what the future will bring us…. First of all, what a cool job to have. Most people would forget what you predicted 25 years ago anyway, so you don’t really have to be right. Some of them speak of Transporting Technology and while I love the concept I think we are still a long way from that one. I am a little more interested in the very near future, like 5 years from now and I am picturing (almost hoping) for technology that will remove our ties to the keyboard and the traditional monitor. The touch screen technology that most of us use now on our smart phones is that first step towards this. There have also been some great advances in voice recognition technology that has also moved us closer to this reality.

What is next is unknown, but here is my hope. Three dimensional gesture based technology, much like a hologram, that will allow you to use both voice and hand gestures to manipulate data that appears to be in the air. Am I crazy? I think not, but the recent advances in 3D and in what I have seen in the tracking systems of the new gaming consoles make me believe this is not just some crazy idea, but something that has the possibility of becoming reality.

Next on my list has also had some success on a small-scale and that is Power over the Air, and while I love this idea it scares me to death. Wouldn’t it be great never to have to plug-in a battery operated device again. Or the ability to power up an Access Point via the signal it receives from a controller over the air. Can you use it if you have a pacemaker?? Would it interfere with someone with a weak heart? Would there be long term side effects?

Car’s that drive themselves…… While I love the act of driving, I hate the traffic and the constant maneuvering that needs to be done in the City. I’d love to be able to sit back and watch a show while my car takes me to work, or have a beer while stuck in a traffic jam… But I bet that traffic jams would become a thing of the past, as the artificial drivers would not be vying for position or cutting off others. There would be no more last-minute lanes changes and presumably if the technology is sound, no more accidents.

Where is my robot? By now I thought I would have had one… At least one anyway, to take out the garbage, make dinner, clean the garage and all that hum drum daily stuff we have to deal with. I have seen the robot vacuum, but that is too one dimensional for me. It would have to take out the garbage also if I were to invest. Maybe it’s a good thing though, because soon after we get them, they take over and rule the world for a while.

Here is one idea that is not really something that requires any new technology or development, but would require the cooperation of all  involved. STANDARDS…………. I’m talking about everything from Phone Chargers and Power Supply Connectors to Audio Visual Connectors and Monitor Cables. Every time a new model of a device is released it has a new connector and a new power supply with a different power rating….. WHY??? This drives me crazy. USB was a good attempt for standardization but the other end of the USB is always different…. Come on people, get it together.

Whatever the future brings, I hope at least one of my predictions come true.

One thought on “Where is my robot?

  1. It’s very true that daily video calling and conferencing is within our reach. I feel that the need to see ones face while speaking over the phone is mildly important.

    In our daily phone calls, we often simply obtain information, or convey it. It is for certain things that I find it will be most beneficial, mostly where the purpose is important to convey an emotion – like in the case of a long distance relationship, or in a business call, where an impersonal experience is less then ideal.

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