In what was amazing technology for its day, the Seiko TV watch (Model T001-3) from 1982 is still one of the smallest TVs ever made with a 1.2-inch screen.
Watch tv on your wrist
With a Liquid Crystal Video Display (LVD), the images would only appear in 32-pixel resolution when exposed to light. So the brighter the light, the better the screen pixels looked. The watch’s battery lasted for only 5 hours.
The watch made its big-screen debut in the 80s movies James Bond Octopussy and Dragnet featuring Tom Hanks. However, the digital LCD wristwatch was first sold in Japan only and was manufactured in limited numbers after that.
In September 1956 IBM launched the 305 RAMAC, the world’s first supercomputer with 5 MB of data.
The machine weighed over a ton — it took a team of people to transport it.
To put the computer size and storage in perspective, our pocket-sized phones contain 256GB of storage. A grain of rice dwarfs the world’s smallest computer.
120 Years of Moore’s Law
Like fire and farming techniques before it, the ubiquity of computers and the exponential processing speed of chips, also known as Moore’s Law, changed the course of history. But even Moore’s Law is dying in exchange for brain-inspired chips.
Writes venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson who updated Ray Kurzweil’s visualization of Moore’s Law:
The fine-grained parallel compute architecture of a GPU maps better to the needs of deep learning than a CPU. There is a poetic beauty to the computational similarity of a processor optimized for graphics processing and the computational needs of a sensory cortex, as commonly seen in neural networks today.
Stephen T. Jurvetson
Dare we say it, the next supercomputer is not only artificially intelligent, but it also melds the mind and the machine.
Forget Google. Imagine having already downloaded all the relevant knowledge directly to your mind and using it expeditiously.
Here’s how IBM’s Director of Research Dario Gil sees the fusion of chips, neurons, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing wiring together.
“We’re beginning to see an answer to what is happening at the end of Moore’s law. It’s a question that has been the front of the industry for a long, long time.
And the answer is that we’re going to have this new foundation of bits plus neurons plus qubits coming together, over the next decade [at] different maturity levels – bits [are] enormously mature, the world of neural networks and neural technology, next in maturity, [and] quantum the least mature of those. [It] is important to anticipate what will happen when those three things intersect within a decade.”
Eye patch, parrot, and wooden leg, and a limp. Those are the essential ingredients to becoming a pirate.
But did you know that pirates wore an eye patch, not because of a missing eye, but because the patch increased their sight instantly inside low lit areas?
Early technology to avoid temporary blindness
During raids, pirates needed the ability to flip up the eye patch so they could quickly snag a cannonball faster below the deck of the ship.
So one eye was trained to see in daylight, the other in dark. The pirate patch was an early technology to solve the issue of temporary blindness caused by going to a dark room from a brightly lit space.
There’s a road in the Netherlands that starts to sing the Frisian Folk Song when cars hit the right speed of 60 kph/40 mph limit.
The musical road resides in the village of Jelsum in the north part of Holland.
The structure of the strategically laid “rumble strips” was built in 2018 to celebrate the unique language and culture of the Friesland region. But the special ‘singing road’ also served as a warning to slow down speedy drivers.
However, the musical experience struck a chord (literally) with the locals who grew tired of hearing the notes 24 hours a day.
According to Dutch News, the €80,000 custom-built pavement markers were finally removed for driving (see what I did there) ‘psychological torture’.
The inventor of the laser printer at Xerox, Gary Starkweather, has died at the age of 81.
When Starkweather first proposed the idea of a laser printer to his boss at Xerox, they shut his idea down. But curious and determined, Starkweather persisted because he was convinced of the possibility of making precise copies.
Starkweather developed the printer at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center beginning in 1969 before completing it in November 1971
To avoid blurry prints, Mr. Starkweather had to find ways to direct laser pulses precisely. He devised a cluster of revolving mirrors and a lens to guide the light. One of his breakthrough ideas came while he was mowing the lawn; he turned off the mower and drove to the lab to test it out.
The Xerox printer found itself in nearly every office and home eventually, making the company an absolute fortune.
We often forget how people we’ve rarely heard of impact our lives. Gary Starkweather was one of them, as was Evelyn Berezin who developed the world’s first processor.
The prescient Starkweather also issued a warning about the negative effects of our over dependency on technology. The WSJ writes:
Though he never lost his fascination with technology, Mr. Starkweather worried about some of the consequences. “We talk about productivity,” he said, “but I’ve watched people go from 40-hour weeks to 60-hour weeks.”
He disliked the pressure to stay digitally connected at all times. “A big question about the future of information technology,” he said, “is, ‘Do I get to stay human in the process?’ ”
Brooklyn-based inventor Joseph’s Machines makes comical DIY contraptions. His latest video shows a chain-reaction machine deliver him a piece of cake. It also includes a baby poking an iPhone, a string of melting butter, and a chandelier.
The video took 3 months to make. Piece a cake!
Joseph’s gadgets are inspired by the cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg who built complex, interconnected machines in the early 1900s. Today, people use the expression Rube Goldberg machine. to describe anything convoluted, from machines to politics.
“You could just think your query and download the relevant knowledge directly in your mind.”
Forget Ritalin. Forget Google and Evernote acting as our second brains holding all the information we can’t. And instead, prepare for brain implants where the mind melds with machines. We don’t even have to type, click, or touch anything. We just think and imagine commands.
As part of a clinical trial called “Brain Gate,” 13 applicants at Brown University have had a sensor placed into their motor cortex and so far have been able to control cursor movement on a screen. Says doctor John Simerall at Brown University building the neurotechnology device:
“Simply by imagining intuitive movements participants can immediately control a robotic device.”