We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Glad to be of service.

Over at the White Rose, some of us have been lately discussing the consequences of future ubiquitous computing, and whether it spells the end for privacy.

However, ubiquitous computing does of course also have its upsides. Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have invented a smart couch. This couch is capable of recognising any of the people who regularly sit on it (by weight) and greeting people individually. Future versions of the couch will be able to control the room temperature in accordance with the preferences of the individual, turn the lights off automatically, automatically switch the television to show favourite programs, and order your preferred variety of take out food.

At least, I think it has its upsides.

(Link via slashdot).

7 comments to Glad to be of service.

  • Dale Amon

    Absolutely. Ubiquitous computing is just the current buzzword for where we’ve been heading all along. Computing must disapper into the woodwork. It must become something people use without thinking.

    In the words of his eminance, Dr Arthur C Clarke:
    “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

  • Dale Amon

    I wonder if the couch knows when to tell the stereo to fade in Bolero?

  • Rob Read

    Read the hitch-hikers guide to the galaxy.

    Whoever invented that couch will be first against the wall when the revolution comes.

  • Julesk

    Will the couch monitor body temperature, to know when to call the coroner?

  • Good one Julesk!

    We are rapidly approaching the day when we’ll be parked in our media cocoons, with everything brought delivery.

    The number of scifi dystopias that are at some aweful endpoint of this trend is so large that specific titles escape me.

  • Hmm. The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster comes to mind, as does Arthur C Clarke’s The Parasite and The Lion of Comarre, but there are lots and lots, as you say.

  • Andrew Duffin

    It recognises you by WEIGHT?

    Better not take a dump before going to watch TV then.