I haven’t done a “build it” post in a while, so here’s some (half-baked) ideas.
1) Night Vision: There’s been a lot of buzz about augmented reality glasses/contacts coming out soon (e.g. here). Googles glasses are even said to have built-in cameras and a method of controlling the interface. Anyways, I’ve heard and read about people converting digital cameras & webcams into infrared cameras (e.g. here). Which makes sense since they’re both just forms of EM radiation and sit next to each-other on spectrum (infra-red is the “color” that comes after red; just like UV is what comes after violet at the other end). So, what I’m wondering: Could we hack some google glasses to record infra-red and display it, turning them into infra-red night-vision glasses? (And how awesome would that be!)
Hackers & Makers, get on this!
2) Parachutes, Air-Bags, and Scuba Tech-Tech: Much less serious, but an amusing thought: I was talking with a friend on the phone while standing on the University Bridge by UW and I found myself wondering what would happen if I dropped my phone into the lake below. Ugh. Everyone’s nightmare.
That got me wondering:
a) Firstly… With tech like NeverWet coming out, promising the possibility of hardware which can survive a brief trip underwater, could we possibly recover s/t like a phone after falling to the bottom of a lake? What if we could include s/t like an air-bag which, when inflated, could carry the phone to the surface of the water?
I mused that if the phone was still working, we could have two options for how this option might be triggered: One is having a sensor which detects if it’s in water. If it’s triggered longer than 30 seconds, it could offer a warning to stop this, and then trigger the reaction. Alternatively, perhaps it could be triggered remotely, say, by calling the phone and activating a code.
b) Of course, this led me to wonder about other options. For instance, could the phone survive the fall itself? What if we could include a more traditional-type air-bag which could detect a fall and protect the hardware. For instance, if the phone detected that it was falling, based on accelerometers etc, it could trigger this “air-bag” which would cushion its fall.
Of course, this would have to work fast, it would have to be specific to actual falls (low false-positive trigger rate), and perhaps be reusable. All obstacles, for sure, but consider how many phones, laptops, cameras, etc have been ruined from a simple fumble. In other words, I could see this having a lot of use. (And a parachute option also interests me… but mostly cause I just think it would be a lot of fun!)
So, there you go. Some half-baked amusing tech options that I’d love to see. Build it and we’ll all prosper.*
*If you do make millions, throw me a bone. At a minimum, a parachute for my phone!