Archive for the ‘future’ Category

Self repairing car parts – the fender un-bender

October 23, 2006

Great innovations are rarely the result of new scientific breakthrough. Over 90% of all innovations are basically combinations of two or more existing things. Why some connections have not been explored up to now never seizes to amaze me.

One of the combinations I expect in the near future are self-repairing body kits. Because basically the building blocks are already here to make it work. How exactly are car manufacturers going to do it? Read on…

Fender benders, or small accidents with only minor damage, happen on a daily basis. Almost everyone driving a car will have its share of them sooner or later. I know I have. The downside of those accidents always leave a dent in your car. And a dent in your ego.

My problem statement
How can I get rid of the dent in my car without anyone knowing?

My solution
Get a hairdryer.

My secret? Shape Memory Polymers


Shape memory polymers (there’s an animation) has been around for some time now. They are basically the materials that will revolutionize the future. Probably you have already encountered similar materials like the alloys that’s used in the titanium frames of some glasses. You can bend them and bend them, but they always go back to their original position. Shape memory polymers is one of those ‘smart materials’ that become flexible when heated and remember their original shape from when they were formed.

Making parts of the body kit out of Shape Memory Polymers would allow us to repair the damage by simply heating the parts that are dented. Upon heating, the parts become flexible and as during the cooling the piece returns to its original shape. Just like when it left the factory. The process can be repeated over and over again. So, no more dents, no more embarassing moments.

Like I stated before, the technology is here, now we only need to use it.



5 ways to use augmented reality in the near future

October 19, 2006

I recently found this amazing video on augmented reality. The technique blends real-world footage with computer generated imagery (CGI) to bring you a single enhanced video. I know you might think this is something out of a SF movie or some kind of hoax, it is in fact very real.

Here are 5 ways how augmented reality can be used in the near future.

  1. Localized product placement. Game shows, movies and even your favorite sitcoms will be able to plug in advertisements of products depending of where you live. James Gandolfini might be drinking Pepsi when the Soprano’s is aired in the States, and would be drinking Coke on European TV.
  2. Games and entertainment. Projecting video overlays on the real world will greatly enhance the interactivity of future games and entertainment. Imagine the characters from The Sims moving and living in your home. We only need head-up displays or HUDs to make this work.
  3. Surgery. Doctors can benefit from seeing vital signs of the patient and workings of internal organs while performing complex procedures. Operating Rooms will be greatly reduced in hands-on staff.
  4. Construction and maintenance. Seeing schematics while you are working on objects will make construction and maintenance very intuitive and easy for non-educated workers. Big companies already use this for rapid prototyping or viewing large amounts of 3D data (for example: an oil digging rig).
  5. World domination. Not even live TV is real anymore because everything can be augmented reality. Using this technology you can trick people into believing anything you want. Remember, “You’re not paranoid if they’re really out to get you”.