Tag Archives: mobile

Wearable projector augments your reality and makes every surface an interface

This one’s doing the rounds everywhere, and with some justification. I try to steer away from pure OMG TECH! posts here at Futurismic, but if this doesn’t kick you right in the cyberpunk-sensawunda gland with a big pair of hob-nailed boots… well, you’re obviously not as massive an unreconstructed nerd as I am, basically.

See what I mean? As I remarked to a fried on Twitter last night, I’ll cheerfully trade my mortal soul to the first cellphone provider that offers me something that can do all that. Awesome. [via Hack-a-Day and many others]

Living la vida geo-loca

iPhone geo-locational software screenshotOver at Wired last week, they ran a piece by Matthew Honan about his experiences with the new wave of geolocational software for the iPhone and Google’s G1. He starts off by asking fellow users in his locality what they use the systems for:

My first response came from someone named Bridget, who, according to her profile, at least, was a 25 year-old woman with a proclivity for scarves. “To find sex, asshole,” she wrote.

“I’m sorry? You mean it’s for finding people to have sex with?” I zapped back.

“Yes, I use it for that,” she wrote. “It’s my birthday,” she added.

“Happy birthday,” I offered.

“Send me a nude pic for my birthday,” she replied.

A friendly offer, but I demurred. Anonymous geoshagging is not what I had in mind when I imagined what the GPS revolution could mean to me.

I don’t think anyone who has looked at the adoption curve for new networking technology will be particularly surprised by Bridget’s response… [image by zanaca]

Honan goes on to look at the pros and cons of what is admittedly still a technology in its applicational infancy, which he finds fun and intriguing at the same time that it seems creepy and intrusive – the latter response being one that I’d attribute to his age. When these apps have matured in a few years, however, the Facebook generation will have no qualms or fears about them whatsoever.

Whether they should have qualms is another question, of course. If nothing else, geolocational apps are a reminder that the tin-foil hat brigade’s warnings about The Feds being able to follow your cell phone weren’t entirely fictional; the potential for stalking someone is obvious.

But would stalking be as big a risk in a society where many people’s locations were public knowledge? If lifelogging catches on at the same time, we might all become one big happy globally geolocative panopticon…

The descent of phone

lilypadsGlancing back in time at the evolution of electronic gadgets like mobile phones you realise what futurist Ray Kurzweil means by the intuitive linear perspective (described by Kurzweil here) – the difficulty we humans have with intuitively grasping the impact of exponential growth (as exemplified by the water lily story) and improvement, from 10 Great Geek Gadgets:

Cellphones have evolved so fast even last year’s models are already uncool. Go back a few more years – or watch most any 90s sitcom like Seinfeld – and you’ll be reminded of how things used to be. Rewind back to the beginning and behold the behemoths: how did we ever walk around with those things?

Kevin Kelly has some thoughts on the nature of the exponential growth of knowledge, most notably that as we learn more our ignorance increases (SRSLY check it out).

[via Bruce Sterling][image from BinaryApe on flickr]

Futurismic and FeedBooks – making quality science fiction more portable

If you check out Futurismic‘s Friday Free Fiction posts, you’ll have noticed that we link regularly to FeedBooks, a site that aims to supply free-to-read ebooks in convenient portable formats. FeedBooks themselves have noticed, and we’ve been working with them to make Futurismic‘s fiction more accessible.

All stories published here at Futurismic are released under a Creative Commons license, so anyone can republish them provided they credit the authors and make no profit in the process. FeedBooks make stories more useful to the reader on the move by making them available in portable device-friendly formats like ePub, MobiPocket and iLiad, as well as printable PDFs.

So, if you keep an eye on the special Futurismic list at FeedBooks, you’ll see our back catalogue of fiction cropping up as time goes by. New stories will remain exclusive to Futurismic for the first three months, after which you’ll be able to pick them up in whatever format suits you best. The following titles are already available, with more to come in the future:

The FeedBooks team seem genuinely interested in getting good fiction into the hands of readers, and I recommend getting in touch with them if your webzine operates a similar model to Futurismic – it’s a great way to give your authors greater exposure.

“If social media is your home, a phone is you”

Android / Open Handset Alliance logoNo, it’s not the gibberish it might initially look like. It’s an observation by Jason Stoddard who, in addition to being a damn fine science fiction writer*, runs a futurist-minded publicity agency called Centric.

Jason had a major squee over the iPhone as a platform back in March, but it would appear Google’s recently unveiled Android mobile OS has impressed him even more:

“Combine two highly capable mobile platforms, each with a sales channel for applications and significant incentives for developers to, well, develop on, and you have the beginnings of the next computing revolution. You can hear Bruce Sterling outline all the devices the mobile phone has already eaten, but the number is only going to increase in coming months.”

I can hear your objection coming, because it’s the same one that leapt to my mind – “yeah, like I’ll be able to afford the data charges to make use of mobile computing“.

So what if – and I’m guessing it’s a big ‘if’, because there’ll be a lot of big companies who’ll object to the idea – there was a free-to-use wireless broadband spectrum?

Changes things a little, doesn’t it? [image by OpenHandsetAlliance]

* We’re unashamedly rather biased about Jason’s ideas and writing, as we’ve published him twice here at Futurismic.