Author Topic: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet  (Read 13664 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« on: November 17, 2016, 02:29:53 am »
Wayback Wednesday
Are we living in the future as foreseen 30 years ago?
Dave goes back to 1986 and takes a look at the Beyond 2000 book of the TV series of the same name and looks at what has come true and what hasn't.
What predictions did they get right?
And what technologies turned out to be complete flops?



Part 2:
 
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Offline Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2016, 03:50:35 am »
Back in the day, I never missed a show - short of some catastrophe.  (Well, if an event caused me to miss an episode, then that was a catastrophe.)

One of the presenters on Beyond 2000 was Amanda Keller.  She is now a co-presenter on one of Sydney's radio station's breakfast show.  Some time back she made reference to her days on the TV series - and I was dismayed to hear that she would do a scene on a subject giving some technical detail and when finished she would ask somebody something along the lines of 'What did I just say?'.  I always thought she had some knowledge and interest - but it seems not.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2016, 04:00:06 am »
Random episode from 1987:


Here's another from 1993 - with Amanda Keller doing the first story:
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2016, 04:02:50 am »
To me, the fact that so much did not come to be was not a real issue.  What I really enjoyed was the exploration of ideas ... and it was a champion at that.

At least I thought so.


.... and, yes, I am following the recently launched Beyond 2020.
 

Offline Vgkid

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2016, 04:33:19 am »
Thanks for that. That geonet(whatever it was) could be a sat phone. Still not common, though they do exist.
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Offline coppice

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2016, 07:02:56 am »
I was always excited about the solar storage in molten salt when I first heard about it in the mid 1980's. I wonder why it has not become more prevalent in the subsequent 30 years.
To date, the systems that have been tried have performed very poorly. You will find a lot of negative stuff about them on the web that is just silly, as they are criticising things which are just teething troubles, or the inevitable high cost of a prototype system. However, when you scratch beneath the surface, the true potential actually doesn't look that good. They do offer a substantial amount of energy storage, to mitigate the overnight issues any solar gathering technology has. However, solar cells on otherwise unused areas (e.g. a roof top) seem to be a superior solution in every other way.
 

Offline Barny

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2016, 07:34:21 am »
Nice video.

Ive seen some australian information shows back then like the "Curiosity Show" or this show with the funny looking robot made out of plastc boxes & its huge data cardridges.

But sadly i've never seen this show.
That would have been fun back then.


Back to the video:

Water jet cutting is a big thing now.
Jes, laser cutting is more popular because its faster and cheaper.
But if you have temerature sensetive material, need very clean cut-edges, or the material would emit toxic fumes with laser cut, water-jet cutting is often used.

In the company I work for example, there are safety relatet steel parts which get water jet cut because the laser would change the metal structure on the cutting edge and don't produce a fine enough cut edge.
We would have to mill the parts after the laser cut.
Wire-EDM would be an alternative, but in this case EDM is to slow and to expensive.

So yes, water jet cutting is a big thing.
Not as big as laser cutting but still a big thing.

It's like punching.
It's an old technologie which got replaced by laser cut in wide areas, but it's still a big thing.
At my company, we are useing a combinater laser cut & punching machine which is able to punch small holes, forms the threds, press small structures an cut the part straight from the sheet.
(The machine was build mid 90's)
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2016, 07:54:39 am »
Ive seen some australian information shows back then like the "Curiosity Show" or this show with the funny looking robot made out of plastc boxes & its huge data cardridges.

I lived and breathed the Curiosity Show.
I was devastated to find out a few years back that Dean Hutton was a full blown young earth creationist  :(
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2016, 09:35:36 am »
Friction welding is widely used in industry, If you have car quite a few parts will be friction welded especially things like axles and gears. Friction stir welding is also widely used,particularly for joining dissimilar metals.
My first bank card with a chip was in the early 90's and came with a device to put on the telephone to enable telephone banking, I still have the device somewhere, I guess I should dig it out and send it to Dave.
 

Offline Artlav

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2016, 10:33:07 am »
Oh, they torn down the monorail in Sydney?
Why? I got an impression it was working nicely.
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Offline sleemanj

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2016, 10:35:56 am »
Beyond 2000 was also staple viewing for me in NZ.  I can clearly remember an item on CDs where they spread a load of something on one (might have been vegemite amongst other things) and wiped it off to demonstrate how amazingly resilient they were.

The Long EZ and it's kin is still around, I guess you could say they were really the kick off for what we now call light sport aircraft.  There's still plenty of people building them, but really in that "advanced" sort of class it's become more common to just buy (mostly manufactured in central Europe, but also there is the Aussie made Jabiru for what it's worth in the composite category).  Interestingly enough, composite construction hasn't really come to be a dominant part of the industry, aluminium skin and even rag and tube is still probably the main type of construction in both factory and homebuilt light single engine aircraft. 

Of course where we do see composite materials used more and more now is in airliners, and indeed space craft (enter, Scaled Composites).

Tom Scott did a piece on the spanish solar towers recently

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Offline sleemanj

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2016, 10:53:25 am »
Should also mention from the second video, "Ultralights Aviation for the Masses" - ultralights moved on a lot since that picture, a lot, this is a modern Austraaaalian built Ultralight



but it's fair to say, they are still not for the masses, they might be cheaper than traditional aviation, but it's still not a cheap hobby. 
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Offline Bud

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2016, 01:47:04 pm »
To their credit, they predicted the problem with protection of personal data.
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Offline jonovid

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2016, 01:50:33 pm »
whatever happened to solar paint on cell technology.  :-//  and domestic robots that do more then just the roomba vacuum outside japan.
cool videos Dave.   :-+ still no Holodeck in our home entertainment systems.
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Offline Zbig

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2016, 02:39:53 pm »
Regarding eyeball-tracking UI's, while it proved unpractical for general use (fighter jet UIs aside), it has some uses. In my Samsung Galaxy SIII I had an option to not have the display blank out after the usual timeout while being stared at. It was actually looking for your eyeballs using its front-facing camera.
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2016, 04:02:18 pm »
"Beyond 2000" was an offshoot of the ABC programme "Towards  2000",which aired until about 1985,when it was canned by the ABC,re-emerging as "Beyond 2000" on the 7 Network.

The earlier ABC version was a lot less "lightweight" than the 7 Network one,which tended to have a lot of "fluff" included.

Youngsters probably loved it,but it made us Greybeards cringe.

The Presenters tended to be awestruck by things that had been around the traps for years.

The "Turbosail" was old news & pretty much discounted by mainstream Engineers by 1985,& as for the "modern steam car"--- that had been around,going nowhere,since the 1960s.
The people running the later versions were not technically knowledgeable---they were Journalists,with a lay person's  level of knowledge.
Even the fairly "up to date" stuff they had was already generally known in the Technical & Engineering communities.

What appeared on that show was hardly a  guide to the level of awareness of the General,& particularly the Technically inclined public in the mid 1980s.

Cellular phones"?--- just about any person who read Electronics publications knew they existed.

GPS?
That was a long running project,& certainly not unknown--the first  (NAVSTAR) satellite was launched in 1978.

And,yes,the satellite mobile phone is still available,& is extremely useful for people working in remote areas.
You can,in fact,buy,or hire units which default to normal cellular use when they are in range of such a cell.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2016, 08:02:57 pm »
Well, went to my optometrist last week, and he did a CAT scan of my eyes, using a small desktop device, that did a scan of each eye automatically, and which gave as an output a 3Drendering with measurements of the eye, including all the visible layers of the eye, the retina and all available as slices and thickness data. Done with a green LED as a focus aid, using a small red laser scanner that did the actual work, and i would assume a small video scanner that got a real time video and then did a lot of work to get the data out.

Then the next machine ( made in Australia BTW, at least from the built in multiplug setup on the base, and the AUS plug leads it had as connections for the bespoke cabling), which did an automatic ( no skill on operator required) eye test and gave a very close reading of the script and corrections needed. Then a check on the proper older machine, and just to verify the readings.

My optometrist was talking about buying some new machines, and I wanted to get another old one to tear apart, but that scanner, at over $100k, was just too lovely, and a pretty good Windows 7 computer on it's own, though it was ( for obvious reasons) not connected to any network, and updates come from the manufacturer on DVD for it.
 

Online Someone

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2016, 08:48:24 pm »
You're falling behind in your research dave, many of those "nopes" did realise commercial use:

There isn't "no-one" using direct satellite communication, Satphones (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_phone) are still in wide use particularly in Australia but mostly for ocean/ice bound work.

Laser Tag (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_tag) is still a going concern with competitive leagues and wide public availability.

E85 fuel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E85) is sold direct from the bowser in Australia, like with the early days of LPG its distribution is small but growing.

Ultrasonic tape measures were a popular tool for the last two decades until laser time of flight measurement became cheap enough.

Airless bicycle tires are still a thing with ups and downs in popularity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_tire#Airless)

Turbofans continued increasing in bypass, although they returned to cowlings (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turbofan#High-bypass_turbofan)

Plasmadust is just a fancy waste to energy process with better environmental characteristics, its not uncommon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_gasification) and ranks many google hits on the original term. Notably on the facing pages Sweden was poised to eliminate nuclear power by 2010, but that didn't happen (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_sector_in_Sweden) as you can never trust politicians in the long run.

Finally the SWATH boat hull is an early example of wave piercing design (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave-piercing_hull), now used for high performance vessels
 
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Offline newbrain

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2016, 09:00:33 pm »
Driving on the highway, Andalusia:
"Look dad: an UFO!"
"Don't be silly, I'm driving".

Picture taken form the moving car, the 270mm lens revealed what it was.


Nandemo wa shiranai wa yo, shitteru koto dake.
 

Offline NottheDan

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2016, 09:10:32 pm »
Ultrasonic tape measures were a popular tool for the last two decades until laser time of flight measurement became cheap enough.
They are still commonly available as they are still cheaper than the laser ones.

Oh, and "turbosails" are still around too, just under a different name: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-Ship_1
 

Offline f4eru

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2016, 09:26:36 pm »
Concerning the guitar playing robots, yes, that exists :


 
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Offline Tac Eht Xilef

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2016, 12:28:25 am »
Didn't watch the videos, but did Beyond Productions - now Beyond International - get a side-mention?

When the ABC canned the original, Iain Findlay, Carmel Travers, and Chris Ardill-Guinness formed Beyond Productions to make Beyond 2000 for 7. It went on to become Beyond International which, amongst other things, made Mythbusters and other science-y/tech-y shows of varying quality (e.g. Prototype This!, Monster Bug Wars).
 

Offline strangersound

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2016, 12:44:11 am »
The first electric car was as early as 1837. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_electric_vehicle]

Baker Motor Vehicle Company produced electric cars from 1899 to 1914. Being an old idea, it probably wasn't applicable to imagine it as 'futuristic'.

Quote
The first Baker vehicle was a two seater with a selling price of US$850. One was sold to Thomas Edison as his first car. Edison also designed the nickel-iron batteries used in some Baker electrics. These batteries have extremely long lives with some still in use today.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baker_Motor_Vehicle

Jay Leno states that at the turn of the century, there were 15,000 of them (Baker Electrics) in use in New York City and there were charging stations all over.
Applicable section starts at 3:09:


« Last Edit: November 18, 2016, 12:48:22 am by strangersound »
"I learned a long time ago that reality was much weirder than anyone's imagination." - Hunter S. Thompson
 
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Offline kalleboo

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2016, 07:25:05 am »
I was always partial to "Grandma Duck"'s Detroit Electric

 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: EEVblog #944 - Has the Future Arrived Yet
« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2016, 02:45:38 pm »
Electric cars? Thing of the past. Electric aircraft!
http://magnusaircraft.com/efusion2/
10 of them already flying, next year they are scaling up production.
 


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