August 22, 2012

The Tech Of Tomorrow, Today

And ironically enough, it’s inspired by science fiction. No, seriously.

In a world where tomorrow is conveniently scheduled out with meetings and appointments and neatly nestled away in our iPhone calendars, most of us have no idea what’s in store for us next week, let alone next year. I’d like to introduce you to a man who spends his days in the future, 10-15 years ahead of us actually.

Meet Brian David Johnson, Intel’s futurist. Here’s a man, a self proclaimed geek, who’s paid daily to dream, and develop and implement the teams and ideas needed to make those dreams a reality.

In interviews Brian speaks of using his first computer, a TI-99, as a youngster. He tells a passionately nerdy story of endlessly typing code onto the tape cassette until the wee hours of the night. That’s not that nerdy right? Get this: then he says he would take the audio cassette filled with code and actually play it as he went to sleep “listening to the squeaks and squawks of the code, imagining the 1’s and 0’s actually doing things.” Incredible.

No wonder this guy’s in charge of running Intel’s future.

He’s also a member of Intel’s The Tomorrow Project, where they say “This is a unique time in history, Science and technology has progressed to point where what we build is only constrained by the limits of our own imaginations. The future is not a fixed point in front of us that we are all hurtling helplessly towards. The future is built everyday by the actions of people. It’s up to all of us to be active participants in the future and these conversations can do just that.”

Brian is also a Science fiction writer, and has been writing sci-fi since he was 8.

He’s teamed up with progressive minds, and fellow geeks, in order to change the future, and how we look at it today. Justin Rattner, Allen Kay, and Will I Am, Intel’s director of creative innovation, are utilizing their creative thinking, in collaboration with all the other not-so-famous folks who are members, to fuel our tomorrow. The Tomorrow Project is a social network, for a lack of better words, of people with progressive ideas, sharing them and starting work on them all at once. While the rest of us have our eyes on the horizon awaiting the next big thing in tech, these guys are farther away then we can see with binoculars, and they’re already tinkering on the things that will make us all tick one day.

Some of the projects that are currently underway are quite literally stuff that you and I think of as movie stuff.

For example, one of their projects is an Interactive Surface. For those of you who have seen Hunger Games, imagine the computer screens that the “operators” of the games are using. No monitors, just tabletop surfaces that interact with their every touch. It’s not just movie stuff; they actually have made it real at Intel. Using Microsoft Xbox Kinect hardware, projectors, and some pretty snazzy software, you can turn your wall into a live-action, interactive, slideshow of images. I’m sure it’ll develop into something cooler one day, but that’s pretty sweet already if you ask me!

Another of their projects uses face and movement scanners, along with biometrics to identify a person. It’s to be used in place of a key, and work something similar to users on a computer. Once you scanned into your home, it would know how you like your home, and adjust it accordingly for you. Lights, AC, music, etc. all of these things would be adjusted simply by your face.

There are numerous other practical, and equally bizarre, innovations that Brian and the team at Intel, have developed, but I’ll save those for further posts.

Hopefully you’re half as geeky as me, and you’re hanging on the edge of your seat awaiting the next post.

Image Credit: Photos.com

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