Thursday, January 13, 2011

Science which is "coming soon"

When I was younger I used to read magazines like Scientific American, and sit in breathless wonder and anticipation of all those wonderful things which were Just About To Come.

As the years passed though, I realized that none of those things I'd read about ten-fifteen years earlier had arrived yet! So my interest fell.

So, while I like the site dVice for pointing to new things, I think it's slightly irresponsible reporting to write a thing like: "All those 3DTVs and virtual reality goggles are soon to be rendered obsolete by contact lenses with built-in LED arrays that can display images on top of your retina..."

This sounds like it's coming within three or four years at most. But to my best judgement, technology like they describe here is probably thirty years away if that. And even if/when they can get the components small enough, I can't get my head around how they will manage to get the image in focus when the display is actually sitting on your eyeball. The eye has to focus on an object for it to be in focus, or some other kind of lens has to focus the light on the retina.


Dave Nielsen said...

I agree, that is probably at least 30 years away. That kind of technology creeps me out anyway. I'd never use it, just like if it happens I'll never get any implants in my brain. Ever read 3001: The Final Odyssey? I'd never wear one of those skull caps, despite the advantages.

Dave Nielsen said...

If you're still around at that time, you can see if I hold to that.

John D. Linn said...

Eolake, I am with you on this one... how would the eye focus on the image? I may be possible to add some kind of lenticular lens to the package without adding too much thickness but it would have to be active so as to not throw non-image, real-world objects out of focus. There are some things (like optical constraints) that cannot be easily solved... the way light works is a matter of physics, not software.

eolake said...


BTW, I once wrote a spoof article about a supposed Apple wrist watch which would imbed parts into your body. To my surprise, some people took it seriously!

Philocalist said...

I KNOW I'm sticking my neck out here, but this (or VERY similar) technology has been in existence a little while.
As with many such 'developments', its the 'military' who are playing with it, as usual ... seems that they can find all sorts of finance for research into anything that may have military implications / benefits (in this case, battlefield intelligence supply etc.
I'll dig about for the link, if anyone is interested, though it was at least a year ago that I came across this little gem :-)
Let's put it into perspective a little here maybe?
Go back 20 years (yep, its been that long) to the first Gulf War, and the appearance of the US Stealth Bombers.
Until they were 'officially' unleashed during this conflict, it's extremely likely that pretty much ANY respectable pilot, combat or otherwise, would, on seeing these things that did not show on radar, have reported them as UFO's ... yet they must have already been in existence at that stage for a period of years for testing etc.
I guess a similar reaction would have been generated bu any member of the public seeing them, too ... I've seen one, and even today, they look WAY strange for an aircraft that was built on this planet:-)
If you like technology (and much of this DOES filter down eventually, in one shape or form, to the consumer)have a GOOD dig around on the military technology sites ... it's a serious eye-opener, particularly when you realise that they are only telling you about stuff that is out in the open, not still classified or being developed! :-)

eolake said...

Thanks for sticking your neck out.

It still sounds so unlikely to me. Can you show where you saw this eye-technology?

Alex Greene said...

Well, at least people could enjoy looking at DOMAI without someone peering over their shoulder all the time.

And just think of how many workplaces would be improved with the removal of screens. Workers could sit back and relax, take the strain off their bodies and enjoy doing their work.

Philocalist said...

Can't find the precise source just yet, but came across this one whilst digging about, may be of interest?

eolake said...

OK, I'll give you one thing: nanotechnology may be a game-changer for real. But it's still in its infancy it seems to me.