Future of Technology

Archived Posts from this Category

Rating Facial Expressions

Posted by on 01 Nov 2007 | Tagged as: Future of Technology

I found this neat article on Rating Facial Expressions. This technology rates a person’s facial expressions to see when they have the broadest smiles. It mentions in the article how this could be used for customer service training. What an amazing concept. It can capture the best practices used in different situations by reviewing the expression of the customer to find out when they are most pleased. In addition, it could be used within training seminars to capture the expression of those being trained. Instead of a “smile sheet”, we could actually find out when they were the most pleased with what they were hearing. I’m sure in the future, a technology will be created to detect all kinds of emotions. This could revolutionize ILT evaluations. Part of the evaluation could be measured based on how the trainees reacted to each aspect of the training. Of course I’m sure this is just one of many ways we could implement a technology such as this into a training program.

Alternate Forms of Fuel

Posted by on 21 Oct 2007 | Tagged as: Future of Technology

I just found an article on Slashdot called Mutant Algae to Fuel Cars of Tomorrow? Basically, it talks about how there is a certain amount of hydrogen produced during an algae’s photosynthesis and scientists are creating mutant algae’s to produce even more hydrogen. According to the article, if “if 50% of the algae’s photosynthesis could be directed toward hydrogen production, an acre could produce 40 kilograms of hydrogen per day. At the price of $2.80 a kilogram, hydrogen could compete with gasoline.” If we could actually use this type of energy source, we could really change the future in a lot of ways. We could have a reliable energy source that wouldn’t rely on other countries. This could be produced right here in this country. When we talk about major problems facing our world, a sustainable energy source is one of the most important and one of the most devastating.

Further down in the comments for this article, there are other energy sources listed, sugar & corn being two of those. So, if there are these other sources that already exist, why aren’t they being used more frequently? This is also true with wind and solar power. From what I’ve heard/read, it’s all about cost and politics. We have to get past these problems before we’re going to be able to move past the use of gas and electricity.

In addition to the problem of sustainable energy, there are problems in the environment. This algae energy source could also be a much needed change in that respect. It could reduce the carbon produced and hopefully, in the long run, reduce the greenhouse effect. All of this relates back to using new technology and scientific theories, we can change the future from the doom and gloom of the depletion of oil and the devastation of the greenhouse effect.

Second Life and Other Virtual Realities

Posted by on 30 Sep 2007 | Tagged as: Future of Technology, Games & Simulations

I was introduced to Second Life last year and found it very intriguing but, I never really felt like it was something I’d spend a lot of time doing. To me it was just a neat tool; however, for some it is a money-making business. I’ve read two articles in the last few weeks on Second Life and other virtual realities. Security in Virtual Worlds: Blurring the Borders and Griefer Madness: Terrorizing Virtual Worlds Both talk about the idea of making money in a virtual reality such as Second Life. This really made me stop and think about this phenomenon in a new light. Someone can make real money in a world that doesn’t exist. How completely bizarre!! And yet, this is where the future of these technologies is heading.

But, like any new technology, problems have arisen. Both articles also discuss the security issues that have come to light in these worlds. First of all, there’s the small problem of those “people” that don’t play well with others. In Second Life, those are called griefers. Basically, they go around wreaking havoc on the virtual world. Just like in the real world, the virtual world has to deal with vandalism and petty crime. However, unlike the real world there is no virtual police…at the moment. Could this be where these virtual worlds have to turn in the future…actually having a legal body to deal with these types of issues? If the problems get much worse, they may have to.

In addition, there are bigger issue that have come up in these worlds. There is always a security risk when you type personal information into a website. These virtual worlds are no different. The potential for identity theft is real. People steal this information to use for crime in the real world. Since real money is exchanged, many users have credit card information in their Second Life accounts which could end up in the wrong hands and cause serious financial problems.

Finally, there is the problem of fraud. As the articles point out, there is no regulatory body in these virtual worlds. There is no good way to track the money changing hands, nor to know who is receiving that money; therefore, transactions could be happening in Second Life that no one knows about. This could also present serious problems in the real world.

So, what does this mean for the future? Well, security may become tighter in these worlds; regulations may need to be established for money exchanges; and for all intents and purposes the reason for using a system such as Second Life may change. This may become more than just a game for many people and those that just want to play, may find that these security measures are too much to deal with. The whole dynamic of this other reality may change into a marketplace for corporations to do business, rather than a place to just get away from the real world for a few hours.