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Future Technology Watchgroup

Friday, June 10, 2005

12:06PM - Nanotech

HP announced today that they have developed a process for making nano-circuitry. They say it will utilize the "Crossbar latch", heralded earlier this year as an improvement to the Transistor. Nano circuitry means even smaller computers, indicating that computers will likely continue to follow Moore's Law for another few decades. It won't be long before our wristwatches are capable of processing HD video. Now there's a scary thought.

Links:
TechTree article on HP's invention
Detailed information on the Crossbar Latch
Wikipedia entry for Moore's Law

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

12:43PM - Nanotech

Dendritic Nanotechnologies (DNT), a Mt. Pleasant based company, has announced that they are able to mass-produce dendrimer nanostructures. A dendrimer is a type of polymer that branches out like a tree from a central point; they are more stable than traditional plastics and polymers, and are able to encapsulate other particles. The new Priostar particles are capable of being mass-produced, and yet maintain the FDA guidelines for delivery devices for needed medicines and other precision uses. This is the first notice of a mass-producible nanostructure, meaning that DNT has a real coup on the market.

Nanostructures have so many uses that it's unbelievable. One of the advantages of DNT's approach is that they make structures of various sizes by connecting new generations of particles together. Think of it using Tinkertoys; at the center, there's a ball-shape, which is connected to extensions outward. That layer has ball-shapes of its own, which allow another layer on top of it; making the structure larger without wasting a lot of mass. Each generation makes a larger structure, which translates into specific uses. For instance, a G3 (generation 3) structure may fall through a blood vessel, while a G5 structure would follow the vessel, targeting various points on the body.

Links:
DNT Press Release on Priostar technology
Dendritic Nanotechnologies main website

12:08PM - Computers

How long would you think it would take to model a human brain on the cellular level? According to researchers at a joint IBM and Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) project, two years. IBM is supplying the equipment, and the EPFL is coding it. The computer being used has a processing power of 22.8 terraflops (that's trillion floating point operations per second).

After there's a model of the human brain, what's the likelihood consciousness and intelligence could be simulated? There are already reports that at the current technological increases, the Playstation 5 could hold all the information of a human brain. Sounds like the timetable is moving up for "ghosting" your personality.

Links:
CNN article on the project
Guardian Unlimited article on the Playstation 5

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

12:35PM - Nanotech

Looks like computers will be a whole lot less power-intensive- a molecular transistor has just been demonstrated, leading to power consumption on the order of a million times less than current electronics require, not to mention greatly reduced in size from even where they are today.

It's being touted as the greatest invention in electronics since the 1950's transistor.

Links:
Edmonton Sun report
Discoverer's Bio

12:16PM - Wearables

Remember Pac-Man? He's back, in a format called Mixed Reality Gaming. Now, instead of controlling the little yellow dude by joystick, you take on the role, and navigate either the streets of your city, or an indoor maze by walking around.

This is made possible by wearables, at about the power of a desktop computer, and a virtual reality visor. The visor still looks clunky, but the Mixed Reality Research facility has made progress with normal eye-glass type screens, so hopefully this will improve over time. Right now, the system works using Bluetooth, GPS, and WAN, but the possiblities of integrating bio- or nano-tech (distributed networking) are certainly interesting.

Links:
BBC article
Mixed Reality Lab