Wednesday, May 25, 2005

'Future' Reviews Human-Machine Connection

eWeek reports on the Future in Review (FiRe) conference recently held in San Diego. (The Future in Review website seems to be out of date, though!)
'Soon terabyte hard drives will be common, [Rick Rashid of Microsoft] went on; hard drives big enough to store every conversation you've ever had in your life, or to take a picture every minute, even while you're asleep.' He described a research project in Microsoft's Cambridge, England facility that is essentially a 'black box for humans.' Chock-full of sensors, accelerometers and motion detectors, it takes a picture every time something changes. It's being considered as a way of helping patients with non-severe memory loss, to let them keep and summarize memories at the end of the day. London police are even interested in using it to help solve crimes.

Regarding Rashid's second imminent breakthrough, he said that we are almost to 'the point at which LCD technology will be cheaper per square inch than whiteboards.' And when that happens, 'almost any surface becomes an input and output device' and, with small cheap projectors, 'any table, any wall, any surface [becomes] an input-output device.'

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