Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Robotic pods take on car design

"Built using environmentally friendly plant-based materials, the single passenger unit is equipped with intelligent transport system technologies that allow for safe autopilot driving in specially equipped lanes." (Via Nerdshit.com.)

These things are a blast -- Segways with profoundly serious delusions of grandeur.

Here's another idea whose time has come: virtual homes. Put on a VR headset and stroll through the house (or city) of your dreams, even if you're sitting on a crowded bus or waiting in the grocery check-out line. Now that "augmented reality" has arrived in the form of Human PacMan, I don't see any significant hurdles.

Perhaps the real-estate market of the mid-21st century will be dominated by customized digital environments, both consensual (as in a Gibsonian chat-room) and solipsistic. People will pay real-world money for them too, as witnessed by the guy who recently paid over $20,000 for a gaming environment that exists only in cyberspace.

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