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Old 2012-03-04, 09:06   #1
jasong
 
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"Jason Goatcher"
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Default What's your dream device?

A lot of us have our own notion of where we want technology to go, or not to go for that matter. What I want to know is, if you could steer the tech companies in any one direction, what would you have them make?

All I really ask is that you only describe a device that you believe is technologically feasible in the next 2-3 decades, nothing pie in the sky impossible according to what we now know. So you probably shouldn't write about faster than light travel unless you know of someone that made something go faster than light.(Off-topic:Although, if the first thing that goes faster than light is a photon, have we really made something go faster than light? I think in that case it would just be a new record and we'd need to come up with a new term other than faster than light)

In my case it's something I call a notebook notebook, just to be cheeky. Basically, it would be a tablet computer that had enough pixel density and sensitivity to a stylus that it could be used exactly like notebook paper. The first few made would probably cost at least a few hundred dollars, but at some point they'd get down to less than $100 dollars, ignoring future inflation. My estimate is ignoring inflation, not the future reality I'm talking about. ;) I've read in scifi books(and saw on Fringe in the one of the first few episodes) about paper that could be used like a computer. I would assume the computation would happen somewhere else, like a cell phone on your waist, and then all the really important information would be transmitted to the special paper to be displayed to the user.

Obviously, it would have to be pretty cheap to get wide adoption. Plus there's the problem of obsolescence, people wouldn't necessarily want to buy multiple versions of they were going to be obsolete in a year or so.

But what about you guys? What's your favorite idea for a device?
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Old 2012-03-04, 09:22   #2
LaurV
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Originally Posted by jasong View Post
But what about you guys? What's your favorite idea for a device?
You mean something like a dildo?
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Old 2012-03-04, 15:21   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
(Off-topic:Although, if the first thing that goes faster than light is a photon, have we really made something go faster than light? I think in that case it would just be a new record and we'd need to come up with a new term other than faster than light)
Of course, it means "Faster than the speed of light", (i.e. c) not "Faster than photons".

Last fiddled with by Mini-Geek on 2012-03-04 at 15:21
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Old 2012-03-04, 16:23   #4
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A quantum computer!
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Old 2012-03-04, 20:11   #5
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Factoring numbers would be so much easier on a quantum computer!
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Old 2012-03-04, 21:16   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
A lot of us have our own notion of where we want technology to go, or not to go for that matter. What I want to know is, if you could steer the tech companies in any one direction, what would you have them make?

All I really ask is that you only describe a device that you believe is technologically feasible in the next 2-3 decades, nothing pie in the sky impossible according to what we now know.

...

But what about you guys? What's your favorite idea for a device?
In the near future, I would like a reasonably cheap 3-d printer capable of making artefacts up to, say, a metre in any dimension from materials which include (at least) one or more of rigid plastics, elastomers, metals, ceramics and foodstuffs.

Longer term, I'd like to see (semi-)portable fusion powerplants. Something which could be used to power industrial and domestic buildings, vehicles (land, water, air and space) and civilian infrastructure such as street lighting.

Last fiddled with by xilman on 2012-03-04 at 21:17
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Old 2012-03-04, 23:57   #7
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I've seen some 3-D printed plastic...possibly a little brittle, but excellent for visualisation.

How about a 3-D ice printer?
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Old 2012-03-05, 06:14   #8
jasong
 
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Quote:
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Factoring numbers would be so much easier on a quantum computer!
The largest factor found would go up, but the hobby would stick around since even quantum computers have limits.
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Old 2012-03-05, 06:43   #9
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Yeah, but it'd advance it so far that we might even have trouble writing down log(n), and might have to resort to writing loglog(n).
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Old 2012-03-05, 07:27   #10
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Quote:
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I've seen some 3-D printed plastic...possibly a little brittle, but excellent for visualisation.

How about a 3-D ice printer?
How about a 3-D printed titanium lower jaw replacement?

http://inhabitat.com/83-year-old-wom...d-printed-jaw/
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Old 2012-03-05, 07:31   #11
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Quote:
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I've seen some 3-D printed plastic...possibly a little brittle, but excellent for visualisation.
So have I. Printers capable of making such things are now in the domestic price range. Unfortunately the maximum dimensions of their output is quite small, a few cm, and their output quality (as you noted) is quite limited.

The jawbone is a nice example of what can be done, but at a price which is quite exhorbitant for most uses.
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