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The perils of prediction

A while ago, the folks at Corning glass released a video called A Day Made of Glass in which they illustrated some near-future technology (all using glass!) that they saw us using. It was a pretty cool video and got them a fair amount of attention, but of course, reality catches up with near-future predictions, so they've made a new video called (not very creatively) A Day Made of Glass 2.

I happened to see it on a blog I follow called The Digital Reader (a cool blog if you're at all interested in ereaders and tablets). Nate, the blogger, predicted that by the time we could actually make some of the tech in the video we would actually use tablets very differently. I think that's probably true. Predictions are tricky things; it's even possible to hit one nail on the head and knock another sideways. Look at 2001: A Space Odyssey. That movie was totally wrong about space travel, but it did show a "news tablet" that's very similar in concept to an iPad or other tablet. I confess I never read the short story on which it was based, so I don't know whether to credit Clarke or Kubrick, since he helped develop the script. 

But anyway, the Corning video is a cool video. One of the things shown that I covet most was actually very simple. The cars of the future might have windows where you can tint them on the fly, when the sun is from the wrong directcion, and untint them the rest of the time. Privacy glass was also cool.  Who needs curtains in the future?

I also like the concept of a teaching tool that let you see dinosaurs in place as you walk though the woods. Of course, it would work as well for tigers and other real but endangered wildlife, not just those that are actually extinct. 

Anyway, here's the video.  Enjoy and let me know what you think of the future as envisioned by a glass manufacturer. 

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 4th, 2012 11:55 pm (UTC)
You know, that's cool and all, but the reaction I had to this one is the same one I had to the original video: we see what the haves will use, not the have-nots. That's great and all, if you can afford it, but I also know from personal experience that they've got a looong way to go where we can use glass like that and not have it break very easily. I've had one of my home phones and my work cell (a Razr) break from cracked glass (twice for the Razr). Several of the McMansions built nearby* have already had to replace out windows from broken glass thrown by vandals.

*Yes, they are sticking subdivision of McMansions next to a bunch of 80s bi-levels. I have no idea why.
Feb. 5th, 2012 12:02 am (UTC)
I did notice that the glass seemed to be not only ever present but almost omnipotent. Some of those devices looked entirely made of glass. Kind of hard to believe it will ever be able to do all that by itself.

But then, of course, they MAKE glass.

It is funny how we think of ourselves as "safe" in our houses when the windows are highly breakable. And I expect the McMansions are near your bi-levels because of either tear-downs or infill. The builder gets the land (relatively) cheap and then builds expensive.
Feb. 5th, 2012 12:18 am (UTC)
In this case they denuded a nearby wooded area of trees, and that area had been owned by a guy who'd refused to sell for well over a decade. Eventually he decided to sell, and the trees disappeared.
Feb. 5th, 2012 02:39 am (UTC)
I guess it could have been worse. Could have been a mall.
Feb. 5th, 2012 05:12 am (UTC)
There was one proposed nearby, and it even passed the voters. (The people farther than a mile from the site voted for it, everyone else voted against it.) However, the EPA stepped in at the last second and vetoed the mall because of the environmental impact due to local streams in the area. Considering the mall would be opening to a boatload of empty storefronts, it was a good thing.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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