Updated 03/31/2009 11:25 AM
The Future Of Technology Really Is "Now"
Technology that seems to be the product of imaginative science fiction could become reality as soon as five years from now. NY1's Technology reporter Adam Balkin filed the following report.
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Wild technology you may think you'd only see in movies about the future may actually be made in your lifetime. Judging from a recent Intel event showcasing its prototyping lab, many futuristic technologies may be made within another five to 20 years.
"We're showing some technologies that are very 'science fiction' in nature," says Manny Vara of Intel. "The whole idea is what can you do down the road with technology, not just computer chips, but all the technologies we're developing."
One day, a home computer may have the power of today's most powerful supercomputer. Such force can be useful for more than just launching rockets or decoding spy transmissions.
"So imagine you recorded in your little DVR or TiVo a soccer game. You might not want to watch the entire game. You can actually have your computer itself scan through the game and just pull out the highlights you want," says Vara. "So you can tell the computer, 'I like this particular player, just find me the plays he's in,' or 'Only show me the goals.'"
Such a computer could be carried anywhere in the house, since Intel is looking to replace power cords with wireless power transmission. Devices could charge the second they enter the home.
But if living under powerlines can pose a health hazard, homeowners may be reluctant to live inside of a power field.
"It is still a science experiment at this point," says Vara. "So we will need to look at what are the safety concerns with it, because we are essentially putting energy out in the air."
One of the strangest concepts in the show is "programmable matter." They are objects that shape shift. A cell phone could grow when a user wants to surf the Internet, or shrink to the size of an earbud when the user wants to make a call.
"Imagine tiny, tiny little computers, and these computers can actually talk to get other and create little networks and create shapes," says Vara.
Developers say even further down the road, people may scrap their TV and watch events like the Super Bowl as if it was a quickly-moving sculpture in the living room.