What technology did you expect would be available now that isn't?

What technology did you expect would be available now that isn't?

This is another question from the FM:Tech Battle Royale moderated by Ask a Ninja. Help me answer. Disclosure: The FM site is sponsored by Toshiba who is also an advertiser on Instructables.

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trebuchet038 years ago
The year 2000 came... But my flying car didn't. And I was sad.

  • Adaptive Cruise control -- but luckily, it's coming soon (it's currently in "luxury car" status)
  • I'm also waiting for the mouse to become obsolete, but replaced with another "silent" input device. I say this because a senior design option for me is a glove similar to what you may have seen in the movie "Minority Report"
  • Automatic Manual transmission - it's here, just no mass produced quite yet.
What would the advantages over a automatic manual transmission be over a Automatic transmission.
No slip during acceleration. Automatic transmission (for the most part) are viscously coupled in their Torque Converter. This part allows you to come to a stop, in gear, and not stall. At the same time, it allows the transmission to slip relative to the engine output. Compared to a manual transmission, the only slip you have is a little bit when launching from a dead stop. During acceleration, the transmission is locked (clutch disk to flywheel) to the engine. On top of everything, a hydraulically controlled gear system is much more complex than a linkage :p Sure, the complexity will increase to allow automatic shifting, but something tells me it won't be as complex as a modern day automatic transmission valve body :p
thank you for the information.
Goodhart acer738 years ago
Some of the original VW bugs had a manual "shift" that had an "automatic clutch" (the switch was under the manual shift lever, and just touching it engaged it....no more resting your hand on the gear shift knob LOL). But I guess this is not what you mean ;-)
. I had a friend in HS that had a VW with the auto clutch. We used to mess with him by surreptitiously moving the shift lever with a knee when he wasn't expecting it. Not something to do under hard acceleration. :)
For sure :-) I had learned on a normal "standard" shift, and so I tended to rest my hand on the gearshift knob. In those "autos" it didn't take much to engage the switch and disengage the clutch. I never got totally at ease with them either. Thankfully I never owned one....
acer73 Goodhart8 years ago
My dad taught me on a standard so when i drove my moms car an automatic i kept resting my hand on the emergency brake, it scared the crap out of her and thought I was going to do something crazy.
Goodhart acer738 years ago
I drove a few of the auto-manuals & they would engage the clutch every time you put you hand on the shift knob: not good for the ole clutch, for sure. Lots of vereeeeeeeeeeeem dee dee dee while highway driving =*LOL*=|
Yeah, so long story short:
Glove is already an option

Weiss and I are thread hijackers :P Sorry everyone!
That's pretty cool.... As it is a senior design option, and they want novel solutions - I'm curious of what they'll come up with :p
I've made a incredibly simplified thing in under 10 lines of python, it basically takes a webcam image, blurs it (to eliminate defects), then just finds the brightest pixel, and moves the pointer to that x/y set on the screen. It works... okay, its just to see if it could be done. I used an IR mask and a remote control (it flickered on and off too fast for the camera, so it just looks solid)
If you've got a couple thousand bucks to spare, you could make the glove thing. Buy a wacom cintiq, and adapt the stylus onto a glove.
The glove thing? I'm assuming you mean the minority report thing? I think the best way to emulate that would be to wear a glove with various color's on the tips, then a webcam to capture it. I've seen similar things done with a tactile something-or-other.
What would be wrong with the stylus (or whatever the plural of stylus is)? Another option we already have is a large white board, with a projector hooked to the computer projecting onto the white board. The board is also hooked to the computer, and is sensitive to a stylus' touch.
Whats wrong with my idea? Its independent of the display, and its cheaper.
What's wrong with mine?
The pricetag. You can get a great webcam for this for $30, and get a $10 sheet of acrylic to use as a screen. I don't know how much those whiteboards are, but they're more than $40.
and cover the screen with the acrylic? That would produce a lot of glare.
Wait, what? I'm assuming that you'd project an image. To create the image, I'd use TurkeyTek's method, paper behind acrylic.
Your hands would get in the way of the image.
No, you project from behind. Thats why you use paper -- it can let the light through. The Acrylic is clear, and is just there for stability.
So you get to see everything backwards? ..where does the camera go?
You can use a simple program to reverse the images no problem, The camera could be put on top of the projector. Alignment could be easily solved by projecting a grid and you touching a few points, a shadow would be created which the web cam could pick up and compare to the image being projected.
Yeah, most projectors have that feature built in. Wait, what? its like this: <|`.......3 < is the projector, projection onto the | screen. The camera (`) is mounted uptop, looking at your multicolored glove, 3.
You know what I just realized? Our ideas were pretty much exactly the same..mine's probably just a bit more accurate...and costly
Okay, heres the Pros/cons: Me: Pros: >No touching -- the main difference between the MR interface and Multitouch tables, hardware wise >Multiple, separate inputs. >Cheap >Scalable >If you didn't mind size, you could use the monitor you're using right now! It'd just be... small... Cons: >Must operate in a "blank" room, or at least a bland one, in order for the color sensing to work correctly. >Questionable accuracy (We can't put a number, until we try) You: Pros: >Accurate >Could work anywhere Cons: >More expensive >Unscalable Feel free to add more. For the record, your idea is basically a large Wacom multi touch display... Mines a Multi-point non-contact interactive display.
Hmm! Looks like theres already the 1-point alternative!

I doubt theres a multi-point already made and set up, just because nothing supports multitouch yet!
(Except linux & MPX)
For the record, (though we both know) neither of those links provide an easy to use package. How exactly isn't my idea scalable? Your's takes up way more space, and is more fragile. It would be easy to block the view of the camera, as well.
By "scalable", I mean you can make it bigger. I chose a projector because this would be stupid on a 7" screen :P Yours can't go 500" easily, while mine could. However, I'm planning on playing with it with my normal computer monitor after I finish the create instructable, to see if I can do anything beyond interesting.
cintiq is 24"...the white board is a few feet. Most people use 6x9 wacom tablets.
Yeah, exactly. A 24" will do, but using a glove on a 6x9 could get... difficult :P But you can't go any bigger than 24", thats your cap.
Only your index finger would have the stylus. because that's what people instinctively use when manipulating something like that...they would put their finger on whatever, and drag, making a 6x9 be fine. ..the white board that I mentioned is bigger, and to be honest, anything bigger than a white board would be a pain to walk from end to end.
But, I thought the point of using a glove was to have multiple points? And thats why you needed to use the cintiq, because it could handle that?
*confused* Multiple pointers? Or each finger to work?
But, you need multi-touch in order to get a Minority Report interface, or at least multiple input. Otherwise its just a large touchscreen.

Non-contact is actually closer to Minority Report, but I *guess* you could touch the screen, its just not as cool.
They touched the screen in it..didn't they?
No, they didn't. Thats why he wore those glove things, I guess But he didn't touch the screen.
are you sureeeeee?
Yes i just jumped into your conversation, this is what i was thinking same key as yours <'......|'....3 If you use the webcam next to the projector it could have a better view and see the shadows much better, the camera ontop of the screen could view the fingers as they touch the screen.
But... you don't *touch* the screen... theres no shadowing...
Okay, if you only positioned the web cam directly over head ti would be difficult for the web cam to find the postion of your finger.

yours with a "" as your finger, notice how there isn't that much board for it to view


Mine has two views a back one and a direct over like yours. The back one will use the shadow your finger produces from making contact with the acrylic, since it has a larger view it will be much more accuret. I previousy failed to mention that there would need be be a light facing the part your viewing so the back webcam would register a shadow. The webcam directly over head would be used to register color and would help with registering 2 or more fingers touching.
| . | /__\
|| direct overhead
acer73 acer738 years ago
what the hell happend to my post let me redo the pictures It keeps removing some characters, i'll just post a picture Need to scan
I want to yell :P

You never actually touch the screen, at all! You don't get close to it!
He's talking about different colors for each finger.
Maybe only for 4 fingers or something, the thumb and index. Besides demos, no one uses those other 6, its to awkward.
well then the way im thinking would not be possible.
This is what I mean. See how yours doesn't have that large of a viewing area and its distorted because of the angle of the camera. Mine has a camera next to the projector, thus leting it view a shadow your finger makes when it comes close to the screen. Since its at a better angle, it views a much larger screen giving it a better resolution and better accuracy 10 fold. Then since it has a camera like yours positioned over head it can view colors and can assist in tracking more then one finger with its color. Please ignore my crappy handwriting, the lines on the screen are there only to help with area and the diagonal ones are for the projector and webcam viewing.
But I'm not touching the screen! I'd be like 3 feet away!
Yes, flying cars.

and what I want to know is why has there only been one moon landing?? if we could do it back in the 70's or so, why not even more of a chance now in the 21st century?
There were six moon landings, but i know what you mean. ;-)
Yes, I meant Moon landing that transfer human beings, (not monkeys)
LasVegas ll.138 years ago
Yes. Men have landed on the moon 6 times. Monkeys, none.
ll.13 LasVegas8 years ago
Oh, I didn't know there were six, but one note is that the only landing with the hype was the first, and the six landings were from 1969 to 1972 (wikiped.), only three years and since then none, I must admit I am rather doubtful about men-on-the-moon. (:

(and I meant dogs, not monkeys (; )
LasVegas ll.138 years ago
No dogs on the moon either. The first live space flight used a russian dog. US experimented with monkeys, but not to the moon. There were most definitely landings on the moon. As to why we haven't gone back in a while... There just wasn't anything there worth going back for. Unfortunately, probes to Mars didn't really show a compulsive reason to visit there in the near future either... Of course, the space explored by the probe was only a few square feet. Perhaps the area probed was the equivalent of a few feet of the Sahara desert and there really is something to go back for.
Automatic Manual transmission

Isn't that what the original MOPAR transmissions were? Basically a standard transmission that used hydraulics, rather than gears.
Automatic Manual transmission -- oxymorona galore! :P

Yeah, I have a feeling that the mouse will be hard to kill.
However, I bet as TFT touchscreens become cheaper and cheaper, hopefully the mouse will become "less used", but it will still be a standard.
It will probably take cheap multitouch (Under $10-$30?) to be in use on standard monitors. TurkeyTek, and several others have done it in the $30 mark, (If you don't count the costs of the display itself), but that technique can't be applyed to an LCD too easily.
Automatic Manual transmission -- oxymorona galore! :P

Think about it though -- the efficiency of a standard shift for those that don't want to deal with a clutch pedal :D I mean, if it's good enough for Ferrari and Opel etc.....

Multi touch is a good idea - but that then puts a constraint on your screen. I'm thinking of a robust method that doesn't require interaction with a physical object (necessarily - that's actually an intriguing idea though - an input device that changes based on an object you posses).
Well, at least with my desk, multi touch would give me more space than my mouse, I have to pick it up and shift it to get from one end to another. and don't get me started about dragging windows from one virtual desktop to another 3 desktops away... lets just say I've gotten good at it :P

Hmm... what about the mind? They've stuck things in peoples brains before. And I remember that there was some game you could control by using your mind, you stuck your finger in this thing... I forget what its called. It was like a video game "system" for your computer, I think it only had 8 or so games...

Its old, has "Mind" in the name, and has a purple box :P Thats all I can remember if you try to look into it ;-)
Oh, I also remember seeing something on engadget awhile back, it was some brain-scalp-thing that you wore on your head and you could control games and such. It seems that that could do more than the finger, but I don't know how far they've gotten with it. At the time I saw it, they were playing Pong. (The most advanced finger program I saw was a paint program, but I haven't played, so for all I know, it could be the least advanced.)
There was a demo at one of our Show & Tell nights- I think we played asteroids.
Doh! It looks like canida beat me :p But I do agree with westfw on Nuclear power plants in the states. It's also unfortunate that Scaled Composites (Virgin Galactic) had an industrial accident when a rocket (or something of the sort) exploded and killed a few people :/ I really hope that doesn't put a stop to public spaceflight in my lifetime...
Where's my flying electric car, bitches? That's mostly what I want to know. But I'm still holding out for teleportation devices. :D
You have a long wait for the teleportation device I am afraid. Check out "The Physics of Star Trek", by Lawrence M. Krauss, Stephen Hawking Krauss was Hawking's mentor and teacher. The conclusion in the book is that it would take all the known energy in the universe to break down one human being in order to transport them, and we are not even considering the transport energies. Oh well....
ewilhelm (author) 8 years ago
This question is now live. Here's my answer: Flying cars – haven’t these been 20 years away for the past 100? We’re certainly not lacking the technology as the Oshkosh Experimental Aircraft Show demonstrates. So what’s holding us back? Is it litigation, regulation, or lack of consumer demand? Fear of flying?
. My guess is regulation and cost. Aircraft have to have much more safety equipment and pass more rigorous tests than cars. . Personally, I think flying cars are a bad idea - drunks and idiots are hard enough to deal with on a plane (geometrical type, not the flying type), just think how hard it would be in 3D.
Kiteman8 years ago
Jet packs.

Stable Mars base, with growing colony.

Private asteroid mining / colonising.

We should, by now, have sent off at least two Generation missions.

Internal nanites working on constant maintenance of me.

Energetically self-sufficient communities and buildings.

Collaborative AIs that "follow" you (in worn devices or hopping via comms networks).
What technology did you expect would be available now that isn't?

Self-regenerating teeth !
VIRON8 years ago
THE CURE FOR AGEING!!! I'll get to it someday after doomsday I guess...
. I'm sure it will be discovered about three months after I'm dead (or too old for it to do any good).
Bran8 years ago
Now, I know that mp3 players are smaller than phonographs, CD players, and other "retro" music players, but it seems to me they should be extremely small. Like, as small as a quarter small. And 8GB? C'mon, 32GB should be standard nowadays.
zachninme Bran8 years ago
Well, the extremely small ones you're talking about are flash ones, and I'd say that you'd be able to get your 32GB one in 3 years, considering the rate of growth on flash memory. (They have 8GB Micro SD cards)
Bran zachninme8 years ago
Yeah, I'm sure it will come soon, just not as soon as it should.
zachninme Bran8 years ago
Once those come out, you will have a 32GB MP3 player. (Theres already numerous SD-based players)
Bran zachninme8 years ago
Awesome, I would of though SanDisk would of brought it out first, though.
Bran Bran8 years ago
Oh, and force fields would be so awesome. If only, if only....
Better audio at cheap prices. Now I have to pay more for a player that has poorer audio quality. The convenience rocks, but where's my hi-def audio?
I hear that a Playstation (the first one) actually had great sound and that audiophiles use them because they're the best deal for the quality.
Yeah, I heard that, too. When I have time to setup a real stereo again I might look into it.
crestind8 years ago
Lunar colonies, Mars terraforming projects, and ... PopSci promised LED lightbulbs would be on sale by now!!
LED lightbulbs are on sale. They tested them on mythbusters.
What store??
Google is your friend.
whatsisface8 years ago
I'd expect nanotechnology to be a tad more advanced than it is at the moment. For example, super thin wires in computers, tiny robots making tiny robots, shrinking people down to micro size (Even though you'd have to shrink the oxygen atom at the same time I think). And off course, the flying car. That said, hasn't the Moller Skycar been put into production recently?
Road legal 1 man hover craft.
Wireless earphones that recieve the music information from an mp3 transmitter - although if there where 2 or more in range of each other it could cause interference, but the transmitter could have a wavelength selector.
VIRON8 years ago
A lot of things once were that are now not, which at least SEEM more advanced. It's like we're over the hill of advanced technology. Examples: Men on the moon. Airplanes that went faster than sound. (Concordes.) Cooler toys at Disney than plastic Mickeys and Lionkings, such as their Cartoon Movie Camera of the 1970's. Other DIY animation toys. 3D toys, like view master. 3D cameras. 3D movies. Cooler souvenirs at science museums than plastic dinosaurs, such as prisms and lenticular lenses and holograms and futuristic stuff in general. VRML websites ... and also demoscene quality Virtual Reality. VOIP (internet phone) used to be totally free. Those old Durable Tape Recorders... many different kinds. Creative Computing Magazine's 1980's kind of Open Source. Example:typing in the videogame or app of the month. Computers that come ready to program yourself. Talking toys that don't need batteries (wind up or pull string). Light pens. Although PDA's are a very similar idea. Chemistry sets. Machine Shop classes. Erector sets. Candy stores...hmmm... how is everyone getting fat without them??? Electronics and parts stores other than just Radio Shack. A lot of awesome stuff from a 1980 Edmund Scientific Catalog. I often remember a lot of cool stuff that I can't even find on ebay. For a missing "future" idea, besides space travel, I nominate Dick Tracy's 2-way-TV Watch. (It's a video CB, Not a cell phone)
westfw VIRON8 years ago
I think it was Agatha Christy who said "I never dreamed I'd be rich enough to own a motor car, or too poor to afford servants." Edmund's catalog is still neat, and I can buy many times the number of parts from digikey than I could get at Lafyette Radio Electronics... And light pens sucked; the mouse did away with them for VERY good reasons. To some extent, I wonder if things like Instructables and Make Magazine are intentionally pushing at some of those societally imposed limits, to see if the time has come for them to move a bit.
gyromild8 years ago
Maybe not a flying Delorean..I just want my Mattel Hoverboard
NachoMahma8 years ago
. Space travel (at least to Mars by now) and safe, abundant nuclear power. And my friend Billy says Holodecks.
canida8 years ago
Where's my flying car?!? And my regular hopper flight to the self-sustaining lunar colony. I want that, too.
Brennn108 years ago
All cars not using a Fossil Fuel.
westfw8 years ago
Nuclear power in general. I would have thought the need for energy would have overcome fear long ago (I guess it has in some other countries.) State approved recreation drugs to placate the masses. (I don't WANT it, but I'm a bit surprised it hasn't happened.) More and Better space flight. (Come on, it's been 35+ years since we landed on the moon, and no lunar colonies, no "public" space stations, not much of anything.)
I'm too young to really know, but i'd say most things..i'll explain: 2000 was the mile stone for most things to be done way back when. It was the "fantasy year" that everyone could assure things by.."Oh, we'll definitely have been to Mars by Y2K" etc.
zachninme8 years ago
Not being around a long long time, and being a complete realist, but I'd say better media.

I don't know if you'd call it technology, per-se, but I'm 90% sure its technology by the textbook definition...
Fusion power electric cars (mass produced) cheap spaceflight