To what extent are we going to let technology run our lives? I can understand wanting the Internet, a cellphone, even a bazillion-inch flat screen TV. But this latest gadget to come on the market, the iPosture, which screams at you whenever you sit in a hunched position, well, it’s just plain silly.
If you thought your parents were nagging you pretty hard at the dinner table, imagine a device that watches your every move (“beep I saw you hide your spinach in the napkin, eat it or no dessert beep“) without the ability to judge when it’s over-stretching its boundaries. Scores of children would grow up hating both the device and their parents, wishing they had received more attention from them, swearing not to raise their kids the same way.
Sure, most people won’t buy these products (at least in the near-future) since it seems so insane and counter-natural, but what about those few who will? For example, parents who think their own parenting techniques are faulty may well wish for a family butler that can help teach their children proper manners. Just imagine if Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes had his own personal assistant, or had been forced to do his homework by an ever-watching guardian…
The latest edition of Sony’s Reader, the PRS 700, marks another significant step forward in the race to replace traditional paper books with easy to use digital counterparts.
Sporting a six-inch interactive touch-screen display the new model allows readers to flip pages with the slide of a finger. In addition, readers can easily search terms within a document or book, create notes using the virtual keyboard and highlight text with the included stylus pen.
Five pre-set text sizes are available so readers can find the one most comfortable for them.
Expanded memory offers enough capacity to store about 350 average digital books. By using a removable memory stick, that number can be upped to thousands of books and documents.
The new PRS-700 will be available next month for about $400 just in time for a holiday shopping season that may not respond all to well to the relatively high price. At the same time, it appears to be the closest thing to a paper book killer to hit the market so far.
If you’re worried how all that implantable technology you’ll have in your body is going to power itself, the answer may lie with Georgia Tech. “Georgia Tech researchers used zinc oxide wires that scratch against an electrode to generate a current, clearly showing potential for use within the constantly moving body.” The zinc wires rubbing had previously caused serious wear and tear in former experiments (not to mention the fact that zinc dissolves in water aka your body) so the team developed a more “robust” version of the device with added packaging film to protect the zinc wires.
Although the size in the photo is quite large, they believe it will be easy to scale the wires down to the much smaller size of three to five microns in diameter and 300 microns in length (the dot at the end of this period is about 615 microns wide). The only thing they’re waiting for is for production to begin and possibly some hefty investments I’m sure.
The development of body-powered energy devices has been on fire this last year. It seems that the future of devices are in the human body itself. Heat and movement can all be converted to energy to power all the little gadgets we get into our hands, from cellphones to body monitors. Having an implantable power generator makes the most sense in that batteries wouldn’t have to be replaced, and at least maintenance of such devices would be at a minimum.
How far are we from implantable self-powered devices? Some would say we’re almost there and I’d have to agree. The next few years may see implementation, maybe two years before we start seeing it in the consumer world.
Check out more on this device over at the Energy Roadmap