A ignorância ficou para trás, os robots substituem nossa necessidade de esforço para conseguir a informação. É um mundo novo, onde poucos percebem as implicações.

Vale bem uma reflexão sobre o futuro imediato que aguarda esta geração.


How cell phones will replace learning

By Mike Elgan

06-07-2009

"Can you fly that thing?" Neo asks Trinity in the original Matrix movie, referring to a nearby military helicopter. "Not yet," she replies. Then she whips out her cell phone, hits speed-dial and says, "Tank, I need a pilot program for a B-212 helicopter. Hurry!" Tank pushes a few buttons and starts downloading skill and knowledge into Trinity's brain. Seconds later, Trinity is flying like a pro.



The idea of using a cell phone for prosthetic knowledge is precisely where we're headed. In fact, we're getting there fast.

Ever leave your house to enjoy dinner and a movie without knowing which movie or theater? I do it all the time. I know I'll be able to whip out my cell phone like Trinity and punch up that missing bit of knowledge anytime I want. I'm happy to be ignorant about something because the phone replaces the need to learn. I've outsourced the responsibility for that knowledge from my brain to my phone.

The only difference between my movies and Trinity's helicopter is the complexity of the information and the number of steps between curiosity and the possession of knowledge. But the "idea" of the cell phone as the ultimate answer machine or knowledge engine is already here. Every new advancement will take us from where we are now to where Trinity was in The Matrix.

Two such advancements happened this week. The first is Microsoft's introduction of Bing 411. A competitor to GOOG-411, the free service offers an enormous amount of information via voice phone call. Put Bing 411's phone number - (800) 246-4411 - into your speed dial. Instead of Tank answering with "Operator," you instead hear a recorded computer voice guiding you through the options. Though it's a nationwide number, it gives you local information. You can get audio turn-by-turn directions, find out about traffic conditions, get the weather, find out what movies are playing, and connect to any business. You can teach it where you work and where you live, so in future you can say "work" and "home" and it knows exactly what you're talking about.

The second step this week toward prosthetic knowledge cell phones is the introduction of the Palm Pre. The new phone operating system, called WebOS, offers a feature called Universal Search. To use it, simply pick up the phone and start typing. Press the first letter, then the second, and already the phone starts finding contacts, appointments, notes and other data on the phone that start with the letters you typed.

Once the combination of letters is beyond what is in the phone's storage, the Pre shows you four options: Google, Maps, Wikipedia and Twitter. Press one, and you're searching that service. The reason this is an advancement is that the steps have been reduced to three: 1. Type query; 2. Pick search engine; and 3. Choose result. Compare this with the number of steps on an iPhone: 1. Press Safari icon; 2. Press open-book icon in browser; 3. Press Google option; 4. Press search bar; 5. Type query; 6. Press Go; and 7. Choose result. The Palm Pre requires three steps, the iPhone seven.

I know, I know. These hardly seem like giant steps toward mentally downloadable knowledge. But consider the combination of such capabilities with the coming Web 3.0.

You've probably heard the term Web 3.0, but like everyone else are not sure what it is, or even if it's some meaningless marketing term. Nearly everyone who speaks about Web 3.0 talks about what it means for developers, content providers and search engine companies. They toss around terms like the "semantic Web" and "linked data." I'm going to ignore that whole conversation and just tell you what it means for users.

In a nutshell, the Web 3.0 will function a little bit more like a human being. It will "understand" how facts and ideas are connected. And it will also "understand" what you're looking for, and take your own particular context, needs and preferences into account. Your interaction with the Web will "feel" less like the operation of a machine and more like interaction with another human being.

So, for example, you'll be able to query the Google of the Future with questions like, "where should we go for dinner?" Instead of returning a list of restaurant reviews and listings, it will consider your location, the weather, current traffic, what you had last night, your previous preferences, the opinions of your preferred restaurant critics and more. It will consider a huge variety of sources and will produce, say, three specific restaurants -- all great choices, all things considered -- literally all things considered.

Sounds simple, but there's a lot going on here. First, this Web of the Future speaks English. It knows what the sentence "where should we go for dinner?" means, and gives a meaningful reply. Second, it's customized to your specific tastes, interests and schedule. Third, it pulls options for consideration from every imaginable source, from Zagat's Guide to today's Food section in the paper to your best friend's blog. And, finally, it's aware of contextual factors - what's happening right now (weather, traffic, etc.).

The Web 3.0 isn't just about food, either. It's about everything. You can ask it, "who played 'Trinity' in The Matrix?"; "where should I get my surfboard repaired"; or "what causes allergies?" And you'll be able to make requests: "Book me the cheapest flight to New York next Thursday"; "Send flowers to my wife on her birthday"; or "Let me know when the Matrix 4 trailer hits the Web."

In other words, the Internet becomes your personal assistant, the ultimate concierge, adviser, informant and spy.

So what does all this have to do with Microsoft' Bing 411 and the Palm Pre? Everything. These two announcements bring the use of cell phones closer to becoming prosthetic knowledge. Just imagine if the Web 3.0 I described were available today, and accessible via Bing 411 or Palm Pre's Universal Search. If you can imagine that, you'll envision just a tiny glimpse of what's coming in just a few years. (Of course, by then, everything will be much more powerful.)

All trends, including the improvement of voice-recognition services like Bing 411 and search tools like Palm Pre's Universal Search, plus the Web 3.0, add up to cell phones, not PCs, becoming the dominant tool we use for accessing knowledge of any kind.

Whenever anyone asks, "Do you know...?" You'll already be reaching for your phone before giving the Trinity reply: "Not yet."



Mike Elgan writes about technology and global tech culture. He blogs about the technology needs, desires and successes of mobile warriors in his Computerworld blog, The World Is My Office. Contact Mike at mike.elgan@elgan.com, follow him on Twitter or his blog, The Raw Feed.

Exibições: 44

Comentário de Alexandre César Weber em 14 junho 2009 às 16:55
Novas tecnologia para transformar nosso cotidiano de maneira decisiva.

[June 05, 2009]

New Focus for Printed Electronics

By Dr Peter Harrop, IDTechEx
(M2 PressWIRE Via Acquire Media NewsEdge)

In the last year, the burgeoning printed and thin film electronics industry has greatly enhanced its repertoire and changed its priorities, encompassing such things as rapid commercialisation of disposable and invisible electronics. The percentage of printed and partly printed electronics that is flexible is rapidly increasing as shown below.

The percentage of printed and partly printed electronics that is flexible 2009-2019 Source "Printed, Organic and Flexible Electronics Forecasts, Players, Opportunities 2009-2019" IDTechEx Much bigger toolkit The toolkit of components that can be printed or at least partially printed is now expanding very rapidly. There is work on printed and thin film organic and inorganic piezoelectric and thermoelectric energy harvesters, inorganic photovoltaics, inorganic and composite fuel cell elements, thin film supercapacitors, supercabatteries , lasers, thermistors, new forms of resistor. Many more printed sensors of biological, physical and chemical processes are appearing. The list goes on and on and it is increasingly common to hear the statement "We shall be providing samples this year".

It is now clear that there will be rapid evolution of the physical structures that prove feasible over the next ten years. Today's practice of few types of component being printed on one flexible layer will be followed by the practice of laminating many such films, each supporting a different component.

Finally, the far more demanding printing of many electrical and electronic components alongside and over each other on one flexible substrate will become possible. This is tricky because one ink can damage another and one annealing process can damage a pre-existing layer. However, success will mean radically new product concepts can become a reality at lowest cost, weight and size and with maximum flexibility and reliability by removing interconnects. To some extent that is like the silicon chip forty years ago but with many capabilities and price points that the silicon chip and conventional display technologies can never reach. Include fault tolerance and making every circuit different in that. The physical evolution is illustrated below.

Evolution of printed electronics structures Source IDTechEx with images from AIST, Waseda University and GE Focus on invisible electronics Transparent electronics is now very much a subject in its own right. There is the imminent prospect of co-laminating transparent substrates supporting such things as flexible PVDF piezoelectrics for power and sensors, organic batteries and photovoltaics, zinc oxide/ hafnium oxide based transistor circuits, conductors, antennas, partly organic memory and OLED lighting on top of each other. This will even become affordable on disposable medical and consumer products. For example, a recent breakthrough was InkTec in Korea achieving very high yield when printing, reel to reel, the transparent mega memory of Thin Film Electronics in Sweden. This employs a ferroelectric organic layer and two conductive layers. Hewlett Packard continues to license its proven inkjetted transparent transistor technology. Indeed, there are two more phases of invisible electronics to come. Creative designers step forward please.

Phase two invisibility Phase two will be printing many of these transparent components on top of each other in unusually reliable, contact-free, very thin and often very low cost constructions. We shall then have the electrics such as batteries, power conversion, energy harvesting and lighting integral with the necessary electronics as described above but all of it transparent.

Phase three invisibility Phase three is further off but it is now attracting large investments. This other form of invisible electronics is even more dramatic in its potential impact. We refer to nanopatterning on dielectric film to create so-called metamaterials. These will lead to many previously impossible optronic and electronic components and cloaking - rendering objects invisible to light, infrared, microwaves...You choose.

Shakeout in organics The Japanese and Koreans continue to invest nearly ten times their gross sales value in Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) displays. This will enable new versions to be made, notably for large flat panel e television, and improvements are now very frequent, with flexible TV versions also in prospect. One example of progress is Seiko Epson overcoming the unevenness of previous ink jet procedures but using its micro piezo ink jet machines in a new way. However, it is a battle for a very few massively funded companies defending their existing display and television businesses. Others are falling by the wayside. In addition, some companies developing organic transistors and other components and some developing organic materials have ceased activities or are for sale but new entrants have also appeared.

A place for organic photovoltaics Organic photovoltaics usually has poorer efficiency and life than any other form of flexible solar cell and many have dismissed it as incapable of becoming a mainstream opportunity. After all, the improvements in these parameters in any affordable form have been painfully slow in coming and outdoor use poses a host of difficulties. However, the consumer packaged goods companies favour this option for the future because it involves benign flexible materials in thicknesses one thousandth of those in conventional panels. Their products are mainly used indoors and they must be safe for children to chew. Short life is not a problem. Long lived products giving short life to the infant accidentally chewing them are not of interest.

Zinc oxide becomes a key material Zinc oxide is receiving even more attention in its various forms from transistor semiconductors to thin film nanorod piezoelectrics. Those Hewlett Packard printed transistors and indeed ones being commercialised by many organisations in Japan, Germany, the UK and elsewhere are based on zinc oxide, usually with indium. Toppan Printing, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Cambridge University UK and Merck Chemical are among those involved in such work.

New carbon, new composites, printable copper Further attention has been focussed on graphene and other carbon morphologies for a host of uses. Indeed some graphene and some carbon nanotube circuits are transparent. Quantum dots and other hybrid and composite constructions are also of interest. Then there is the new focus on printable copper ink from NovaCentrix, Hitachi Chemical and others for antennas, interconnects, electrodes and other parts. It is argued that, in the form of the new inks, it does not have the traditional problem of an insulating oxide forming and it is not a biocide (when in nano form) subject to the severe price hikes suffered by silver.

Cheap substrates usable after all It used to be thought that almost all printed electronics would employ relatively expensive flexible substrates with exceptional purity, surface integrity and thermal properties. Widespread printing on paper, cellulose film and polypropylene packaging film would be at least a decade away. After all, many processes involving the electronically superior inorganic inks, from nano silicon to oxides and nitrides need high temperature annealing so stainless steel or polyimide substrates are the order of the day - even glass to cut you. It now seems that those timescales were wrong. NovaCentrix flash annealing does not damage even metal inks on paper. New inks and procedures do not require high temperature deposition or annealing. They include RF sputtering at ambient temperatures and use of UV or self-setting. The result is flexible rollable batteries and other components made on low temperature substrates and a surge in work on paper electronics with the first ACREO winking displays appearing on paper cases. Newly disposable medical and consumer products become much more feasible.

Market pull At last, there is much more market pull following the "answers looking for problems" of the engineering led early phase of this industry. Indeed, there has been far too much extrapolation planning by engineers wanting to make a slightly better TV, mobile phone or this and that, when the main opportunity is for creative design of completely new products. The new e-books are a splendid example with the Amazon Kindle selling 500,000 last year compared with 300,000 for the iconic i'�¬â��Pod in its first year of trading. In the last twelve months, similar electrophoretic display technology has appeared in Esquire magazine, wristwatches, shelf edge displays, apparel pricing tags and a host of other applications or potential applications.

Center stage Printed electronics is now center stage as an enabling technology to invigorate Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), publishing, paper products, healthcare products, electrical goods and so much more. It is very significant that many of the non-electronic companies in these sectors now have internal multi-disciplinary task teams scoping what they can do with the new printed electronics toolkit. Many are already doing trials to gain competitive advantage.

This big picture of the whole of the printed electronics world will be analysed at the unique IDTechEx conferences Printed Electronics Asia September 30 - October 1 in Tokyo www.IDTechEx.com/peASIA and Printed Electronics USA December 2-3 San Jose www.idtechex.com/peUSA.

For daily news on Printed Electronics, visit www.PrintedElectronicsWorld.com.

Contact Cara Van Heest at c.vanheest@IDTechEx.com for images.

For more information on the topic please contact the author Dr. Peter Harrop at p.harrop@IDTechEx.com or to find out more about the Printed Electronics Asia 2009 conference please contact the Event Manager Mrs. Chris Clare at c.clare@IDTechEx.com IDTechEx Dates: RFID Europe 2009 | Sep 29-30 | Cambridge, UK www.IDTechEx.com/RFIDeurope Printed Electronics Asia 2009 | Sep 30-Oct 1 | Tokyo, Japan www.IDTechEx.com/peASIA Energy Harvesting & Storage USA | Nov 3-4 | Denver, USA www.IDTechEx.com/ehUSA RTLS & Wireless Sensor Networks Summit | Nov 3-4 | Denver, USA www.IDTechEx.com/wireless Printed Electronics USA 2009 | Dec 2-3 | San Jose, USA www.IDTechEx.com/peUSA ((Comments on this story may be sent to info@m2.com)) (c) 2009 M2 COMMUNICATIONS

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