To be desired in 2015

This morning I struggled with some logical puzzle as usual. Then I thought, well maybe an easier task is to simply be an observer and list the desirable things in life. So here they are:

1. wireless chargers to clean up the mess under my feet: ever since I suggested the idea of transporting high voltage electricity through the air, I have been aware of how fallacious an initially attractive idea could be. That is not to say such things will never exist, but most likely not in my life time.

2. memory enhancing pill: I have heard a few elite professionals complaining or simply remarking on the finite capacity nature of their memory device. I guess it works like a queue.

3. practical toe-warming socks: the key here is practical. While it is not hard to come up with a battery powered gadget, most probably wouldn’t want to hook some wires near their extremities all day long.

4. nano-pill endoscopy: while I have heard rumors about such devices, I wonder why no doctors ever mention it, if it seems so convenient, painless, and even economical

5. wearable glasses/lens that enables easy typing: this would allow people like me who stay inside for too long to go take a walk during the day and do coding at the same time. Siri is probably not a good substitute for typing even though there are special need people who have pioneered the use of sound driven programming. Eyeball tracking on the other hand may be too slow and painful. So instead, we should learn a separate keyboard system where all 2^10 – 1 combination of the ten fingers can be put to work. This may have to wait for the next generation to get completely used to. A compromise for the current QWERTY generation might be a touch sensitive keyboard on their belly or thigh, that gets reflected on the glass screen, so that the typist can see the positioning of their fingers while they type. For someone like me not used to blind typing, this can make it feel very at home.

6. programmable cooking robot: this doesn’t have to be a robot visually, just provides the damn functionality of cooking some of the most basic cuisines. Right now the biggest dilemma regarding food is that you don’t want to cook, but going out to a restaurant feels like a business trip, or you might be concerned with the bad ingredients they put in the dishes, not to mention the gas cost.

7. near zero-cost food delivery system: this is a natural follow up of item 6. Zero-cost in the eyes of the consumer that is. Even in a plush region like the bay area, getting food delivered electronically to the mouth is far from a reality. Other parts the world like big cities in China are much more used to these kinds of service, but only because of the excess cheap labor supply they still enjoy.

8. Robot that can play with kids

9. Traffic congestions: unfortunately even with the best road design and system engineering, the wave of incoming workforce presents an unpredictable challenge to the traffic problem in the bay area (yes I live in my little bubble world). The cost of building new roads is considered prohibitive here in the US. Some remarkable trivial construction work took upward of 3 years to complete, during my stay at Stanford, one of the richest universities in human history.

10. surveillance of suspicious or catastrophic activities: the idea of body-camera on police offers is truly more symbolic than anything. The fact so many pixel frames are wasted in mundane scenes should arouse the interest of compressed sensing / time series anomaly detection folks. But this one is more of an ontological challenge: how to record a scene without a recorder ready all the time?

Since I don’t have six fingers on either hand, I am going to stop here. Let’s hope the catharsis of unbridled creativity will flush out any toxicity from the brain, poised for the next coding challenge.

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About aquazorcarson

math PhD at Stanford, studying probability
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