Thursday, November 12, 2009

Better than Levitation and Teleportation?

natal, xbox, inventions
I thought this was hilarious.

(For those of you don't game, Natal, pronounced nah-tahl, is the upcoming controller free game controller. Instead of holding a controller and pressing buttons to play a game, you will use your own body to play.)

From IGN:

Microsoft's upcoming Project Natal motion control system has been named to Time Magazine's list of the 50 Best Inventions of 2009, beating out such strong competitors as the AIDS vaccine and teleportation to come in at a respectable No. 5.

Natal also beat out tweeting by thinking, levitation, and the Eyeborg.

I'm a huge gamer, but I don't care how fun Natal is, I don't think it beats the AIDS vaccine, teleportation or levitation. Seriously, levitation.


  1. Considering that it is actually happening, then I would say yes it does. Get working prototypes of those others and then we can readdress the situation.

  2. In other words, once again reality trumps fairy tales.

  3. Okay, it's not exactly Star Trek teleportation, but they did transport something:

    Inching our reality ever closer to Star Trek's, scientists at the University of Maryland's Joint Quantum Institute successfully teleported data from one atom to another in a container a meter away. A landmark in the brain-bending field known as quantum information processing, the experiment doesn't quite have the cool factor of body transportation; one atom merely transforms the other so it acts just like the original. Still, atom-to-atom teleportation has major implications for creating super-secure, ultra-fast computers.

    Wait, does this mean I could be turned into you? Freaky.

  4. Apparently, NASA enjoys upsetting mice as well:

    A few very disoriented mice could hold the keys to safer space travel. Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, led by Yuanming Liu, have figured out how to make the tiny critters float in midair using magnets. The effects of the levitation on the mice could provide insight into how to prevent adverse health effects — like bone loss — on astronauts who spend long periods of time in low gravity. According to the scientists who conducted the experiment, the weightless mice were initially confused and flung themselves into rapid spins. The scientists sedated the rodents, which helped, but said eventually even fully conscious mice were able to acclimate to the weightless conditions.

    I think we should combine the NASA teleportation experiment with the Natal. That would be cool. Although now I'm picture mice playing Halo online . . . they'd probably kick my ass.

  5. Making one atom mimic another. Do you remember the food replicators on star trek? Oh yes. I can't wait.

  6. Everyone knows Time Magazine is full of shit anyway.

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  8. can you imagine how levitation would help physically disabled people? can you imagine you [and your husband, now that i think of it] being able to go EVERYWHERE a fully-able-bodied person can go? can you imagine, say, "hiking" in the Smokey Mountains, or going on a walking tour of [i was going to say Rome and the Vatican...] Jeruselem, or other *really* old cities? or even new cities... being able to GET AROUND with people, not being stuck in a wheel-chair or having to use aids to walk...

    so, this game controler - i know you mentioned it before, and we talked about how much the player actually has to do, physically...
    :( i just feel that all the effort that was spent making "better video game interfaces" could have been spent working on, say, true VR that "takes one out" of their body - or something. levitation. even teleportation would be sooooooooo helpful to disabled people! no more handi-capped-bus, no more disabled parking required, no more needing electric carts to get a half gallon of milk..

    le sigh


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