Category Archives: Commercial Applications

Advanced Compression Technology and Media

We have all heard of the familiar zip file. It’s a compressed version of our picture or video that makes the file size smaller. Scientists, mathematicians and programmers are working on advanced compression algorithms that could change the way you view your media.

Imagine streaming a full length HD movie to your smart phone in a reasonable amount of time on your existing phone plan. And probably with no overages. Then simply attach your phone to the big screen of your choice and enjoy.

Holographic information may lend itself to this advanced compression technology. In theory, a holographic projection requires enormous amounts of data.

A hologram is data intensive

A hologram is data intensive

Advanced compression opens the door to more wide spread usage. Golf ball sized, portable devices could be stationed anywhere with the ability to project holographic, realistic images. Street signs could be replaced with Google Map projections accompanied by advertising. Local businesses could promote their products and services. States and municipalities could share the advertising income with Google.

Advanced compression technology could play an important role in the next technological revolution.

Harnessing the Power of the Social Animal

I recently read “The Social Animal” by David Brooks. It’s a fascinating book that could hold the key to unlocking our greatest resource. Human potential. To give you a sense of what I mean by “Human Potential”, imagine a world where every adult has the equivalent of a PhD in their field of interest. Look at the advances that have been brought about with only a tiny fraction of the earth’s population being educated.

New York Times Columnist David Brooks gives a TED Talk about “The Social Animal”

So what does this have to do with “The Social Animal”? In this brilliant book, David Brooks discusses some of the latest findings in regards to human nature. They give us the framework to create that key to unlocking human potential. I will briefly list some of the findings that I found to be fascinating:

  • Each of us consists of at least 2 “different minds”. Our conscious and unconscious mind. And the conscious mind is not always in the drivers seat. The unconscious mind has vastly more resources at it’s disposal than our conscious mind. And maybe what makes us more intelligent than other animals is the ability of our unconscious minds.
  • “Emotion is the foundation of reason because it tells us what to value. Educating emotions is a central activity of wisdom. A brain is a record of the feelings of a life.” – David Brooks
  • Good attachment with parents, especially mothers, is essential for a head start.
  • There are quite a few ways that human beings can be intelligent and not all of them are easily quantifiable. I.Q. is only a measure of one type of intelligence. New words and phrases had to be invented to name these new types of intelligence. Here are a few examples: Mind Sight – The ability to really learn from people. The ability to enter into a person’s mind and extract what that particular person has to offer. Equipoise – The ability to read the biases and failures in your own mind. The ability to be open minded in the face of ambiguity. To be curios. The ability to adjust opinions based on evidence. Metis – A sensitivity to environment. The ability to derive a gist….to see patterns. Sympathy – The ability to work within groups because groups can be smarter than individuals. Blending – The ability to take disparate concepts and combine them. For example, when a child says “I am a tiger”. She is taking to very different animals and combining their concepts in a creative manner. A genius like Picasso was able to blend Western Art and African masks to create a new paradigm.
Picasso blended African Masks and Western Influences

Picasso blended African Masks and Western Influences

I believe we have only scratched the surface on the number and variety of the types of intelligences that humans posses. I also believe that everyone was born with the ability to be a genius at something. People we know as geniuses were extremely lucky to be good at something that our society happened to value at the time. They were also lucky enough to live a life that eventually led to the fostering of their talents.

Had Albert Einstein been born to a pilgrim in early America, there is some doubt as to whether or not he would have come up with E=MC2 (squared). In fact, he may have lived his life as an average person making no world changing contributions once so ever.


If each person has their own genius, that means we need an educational society that actively engages children on an individual level. One-size-fits-all classrooms are quite possibly the exact opposite of what is needed. Mass production works well for cars, not so well for developing the talent of a brain. By educational “society” I mean the world culture at large. We want to develop individual genius while educating the emotions. A society with a well emotionally educated population does not wage war, it values reform over punishment, it measures it’s success based on GNP and the happiness of it’s population. We know happy workers are more productive workers.

A glimpse in to a world where we harness the power of human potential may look like this: Instead of a microchip or internet type of breakthrough happening every so often, it would happen every other day. There would be almost no lag between Science Fiction and science fact.

Smell-O-Vision (4D TV) Coming to You Soon

Smell-O-Vision will soon be a reality. You will be able to smell what is going on in your favorite movie or television show. Some refer to this phenomenon as “4D” since it adds another dimension to the 3D experience currently available.

Imagine watching TV at home and a commercial for McDonald’s comes on. You may be able to actually smell the Big Mac and fries. Or you may be watching Downton Abbey and catch a whiff of Lady Grantham’s perfume accompanied by a convenient button on the side of the screen that allows you to order her scent.

The Scent of Elegance

The Scent of Elegance

This new dimension in entertainment will remake and create industries. Especially once 4D TV makes it’s way in to a significant number of households. The perfume and cologne industry have much to gain from 4D. Food and dining establishments could also use this technology to promote their products. But what about the more subtle influences and uses of 4D TV?

Smell is a direct path to the emotional center of our minds. A familiar smell can spark an intense memory. A disgusting scent can cause instant dislike.

Smell Connects Directly to Emotion in the Brain

Smell Connects Directly to Emotion in the Brain

What would it be like to watch The President speak on TV and occasionally smell his after shave? That’s an endorsement Gillete might like to have! Or what if a political candidate decided to pipe in the smell of apple pie into your living room as you watched his speech? How might that effect the way you perceive that person? On the dark side of things, what if CNN brought you the smell of war and it’s aftermath? That memory might stick with you for quite some time.

In elementary school I did a science project that explored the link between scent and taste. I will never forget how participants in the project could be induced into having taste hallucinations simply by introducing a smell while they were eating. Smell has a big influence on how many of us perceive the world. The power of smell should not be underestimated.


Google to Offer Instant Search Results in Your Mind

A former classmate of mine from the George Washington University attended a meeting hosted by Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, some months ago.


One of the members of the audience asked Schmidt what to expect from Google over the next 20-30 years. Schmidt hinted that we may see instant Google search results via some sort of chip embedded in our brains some day.


The fact that most of us can take this at least somewhat seriously, shows how much technology is progressing. 50 years ago this would have sounded like science fiction. What happens when something like this becomes science fact?

Instant Google search results in your mind will be the first step on the road to immortality for human beings. On that journey to immortality, our society and culture will forever be changed.

By the time we perfect the brain to chip interface, Google will have gone through many many advancements in search methodology and results listings. Search results will probably look very different from the way they do today. The search results will be more accurate and instead of getting pages and pages of results, you may only get 2 or 3 links that match EXACTLY what you are looking for. That is good news. You would not want your mind cluttered up with SPAM search results. All joking aside, what in the world would an internal, brain interface with Google search results be like?

The Change to Our Society and Culture

The times will be a’changin’ for specialists such as lawyers, doctors, engineers and the like. With the sum of all human knowledge readily available in our minds, all of us will “know” just about everything we need to know in order to prosper in society. The information will most likely not take the form of lists or links to scroll through. Rather, knowledge (search results) will appear as needed, if you opt in. For example, when you type a search now at Google…before you finish typing, guesses at what you are looking for start to appear automatically. Something similar to this could happen in a situational context.

Let’s say you find yourself in a situation with a pregnant woman who is going in to labor. The knowledge of how to deliver a baby will “come to you” seamlessly and you will be able to deliver that baby yourself. Not only will the technical details of how to do it be in the forefront of your mind, there may also be a little wisdom thrown in. The experiences of doctors may also be available to you. You’ll be able to pick and choose the methods and techniques you use to deliver that baby based on what went right and what went wrong for others in your situation.

Lack of schooling will no longer be a barrier for most occupations. When everyone has instant access to all information and instant access to “enough” online wisdom, most jobs that exist today will be able to be performed by anyone. The major exception will be creative jobs….maybe. When anyone can perform almost any job, people will gravitate to occupations that they want to do, not what they HAVE to do. A woman who just turned 18, could have her chip installed one day and then practice neurosurgery or law, competently, the next day. In fact she could be a doctor, lawyer, engineer and computer programmer all with the same ease.

The Road to Immortality

What makes us who we are? Our brains. Information will not be a one way street when it comes to the chips in our brains. In order to do the searches, that chip has to be able to read our minds on some level. As the technology improves, that chip will become better and better at reading our thoughts, storing our thoughts and transferring our thoughts. Eventually, the line between chip and brain will disappear.

Imagine a situation where someone in the future gets “killed” in a plane crash. Their body and their chip are completely destroyed. Shockingly, the family does not mourn. Why? Because before the plane trip, their loved one did a brain backup at the airport. It is reasonable to assume that robotics, cybernetics and cloning will have reached a level where the human body can be duplicated. The Japanese have already begun this process.

Your New Body

Your New Body

That loved one who “died” in the plane crash will be reloaded in to her new body. She will wake up with the memories of everything up until her backup. She may open her eyes and insist that she has a plane to catch.


Femto-Photography: One Step Closer to The Star Trek ‘Tricorder’

In the Science Fiction universe of Star Trek, future doctors use a sophisticated device called a “Tricorder”. This device allows physicians to look inside their patients without intrusive surgery, hazardous X-rays or bulky MRI machines.


A diagnostic tool like this could save thousands of lives. The good news is, we probably won’t have to wait until the year 2265.

Researchers are now working in a fascinating new field called Femto-Photography. It is photography at a trillion frames per second. At these kinds of speeds, it is possible to photograph individual packets of light as they move across a room or into an object. It turns out that when we shine light on something, such as a tomato, part of that light penetrates the tomato and reflects back out. Femto-Photography could use this effect to construct an internal image of a patient.

Featured in this fascinating Ted Talk, Ramesh Raskar shows Femto-Photography in action.