Friday, June 24, 2005

In the future, there will be an open bar!

But your liver will be periodically scanned.

I attended the opening reception for Wired Magazine's NextFest last night. It's billed as a showcase for visionary technology from scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs. There was definitely some cool stuff - a hybrid train locomotive, a robotic arm that changes your records (old skool, meet new skool), and brain fingerprinting. It's a fun event, and I highly recommend it for those of you in Chicago this weekend. My favorite display had to be Paro, a robotic baby harp seal (you heard right). This thing responds to your touch, wiggles around, and basically breaks your heart. Apparently it is designed for human interaction and has been used to reduce anxiety among Japanese elderly. It can recognize sound, so it will learn to respond to any name you give it. Let's just say my cat's job security is in serious jeopardy.