Here’s where you get your #brilliantideas from | 4BC

motorsport_ideaHow did they come up with that? That seems so obvious, why didn’t I think of that? I could have done that! or to quote that great 21st century philosopher Homer Simpson “Doh!”

Inspiration is truly all around us and one of my favourite sources is science fiction and that thing that we saw someone do in a movie, or read in a book, and for years without even knowing it have searched for how to turn it into a reality.

These science fiction seeds that turned into usable realities was our topic this week as I caught up with Clare Blake of 4BC and pondered about where does inspiration come from and what did we see in our movies, or read in books, that have already come true.

Here’s my list of sci-fi dreams turned into today’s reality:

  1. The hoverboard – Back to The Future 1989 back-to-future-hoverboard-3
  2. Google Glass – Back to The Future 1989 bask glasses
  3. Bionic Eyes / Ears / Limbs  – Million Dollar Man 1974 640_bionic
  4. Gesture Controlled Computer – Minority Report 2012 Minority-2
  5. 3D Home Printing – Bugs Bunny Cartoon 1954
  6. 3D Printing – Star Trek 1966 replicator
  7. Androids –  Star Trek 1966 data1-660x880
  8. Tricorder –  Star Trek 1966 Medicaltricorder_2379
  9. Mobile Phones – Star Trek 1966
  10. Handheld Computers – Star Trek 1966
  11. Flying Cars –  Jetsons 1962 jetsons
  12. Space Rocket Launch – Women in the Moon 1929 frau-im-mond-2
  13. Robots – R.U.R. play by Karel Capek 1924

and callers added to this list, including Richard who told us about this 1928 Charlie Chaplin movie poster apparently showing a women walking in the background using a mobile phone.


Who said TV was bad for you?!

Have a listen to the segment now (19 minutes) to hear what today’s versions of these sci-fi inspired tech are and then share or like this to add to the list of what technology you’re waiting to come true from a movie or book you’ve read.



Pushmi-Pullyu #futurecars | ABC Wide Bay

tfx v03 farmlan-homepagebannerHover-boards and flying cars are the two things I get asked about everyday and although they have sort of been invented they are still waiting for their time and opportunity, but what is not waiting is the next enormous evolution in motor vehicles.

David Dowsett of ABC Wide Bay and I in our regular segment chatted about what’s just down the road for our humble motor vehicle including the current rise of semi autonomous cars now available with added features like brake assist, self parking, heads up displays, radars, GPS, Bluetooth connectivity and others all of which we take for granted, but have only been available in our cars for 10 years or less.

push-me-pull-youThe next step in our march to fully autonomous cars, is a bit like Doctor Dolittle’s pushmi-pullyu, a car that you can drive, or it can drive you.

This transportation evolution is being heralded by every car manufacturer on the planet as well as some new disruptive non car manufacturers like Google, Tesla and Apple, with an expectation that today’s prototype will be the highways reality within 10 years.

These new cars will be software centric, have constantly moving dynamic displays instead of fixed buttons that anticipate what you need and offer to you before you know you need it and the ability to upgrade augment and change the virtual interior of the car, its performance and function by software add-ons, updates, patches and fixes.

In this brave new world of machine driving will we need a drivers licence? Who will be responsible for accidents? Who will lose points for bad driving and who will ultimately be responsible for what happens inside and outside the car?

Have a listen to the segment now and then share your thoughts on tomorrow’s driving landscape…

The Future is nearer than you think

Invisible army tanks, flying cars, space elevators and artificial meat were all part of this week’s FutureTech segment on Perth radio’s 6PR with Jason Jordan and me.

This nostalgic look at tomorrow’s more unusual stuff was our way of closing off another year of summer radio.

Thanks Perth and I’m looking forward to returning for my 8th season in mid October 2012.

I will know what you’re thinking…

Technology that can read your minds, predict your thoughts and see your dreams were all part of today’s on air discussion between radio ABC Australia’s Adelaine Ng and myself, as we delved into some of the most prolific public perceptions of the future.

The flying car also got a mention, this is the perennial favourite, but the reality is far more boring; it’s been around for decades but authorities won’t allow it into the airspace.

We also had a great chat about the future of the brain and the work being done to discover how it works and how we may be able to “fix” it when it’s broken. (audio not available)