Espresso of Innovation: Doctor Who Special

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Hello and welcome to this week’s Espresso of Innovation; the hottest news and strongest stories from the world of creativity and technology filtered into a quick shot of inspiration. This week we get into our Tardis and travel through time.

Last week Google replaced their normal logo with one that celebrated the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. In recent years I have not been following the show as much as I would have wanted but I always felt it was a great inspiration for the state of future technology. Let’s pass “technology from the real world” and have a quick look at the most astounding gadgets introduced on the show over the last 50 years.

I use my iPad for pretty much anything and it replaced the entire process of buying physical books.  In the show, by the 51st century any form of books were replaced by direct-to-brain downloads, a technology that took the hard part out of reading. Just imagine what we could achieve if we were able to download information with the push of a button, directly into our brains! We might not have to wait that long as scientists have managed to createfalse memory in mice this year.

Talking about tablets; in a late 80s episode aTG tablet (trans-galactic tablet) is used, which probably served as inspiration for Steve Jobs when he sketched out the first ideas for the iPad. Since the newer generation iPads are equipped with 4G, the TG device is almost as real as it can get. The only feature that has not hit the surface yet is the “Thought Lock” but with touch ID just released I am sure that we will see the first prototype popping up within the next five generations. After all, scientists can already tell yourPIN from brainwaves, it’s just a question of developing the right sensor.

Another Doctor Who inspired gadget is Google Glass. The Doctor combatted soldiers with head-cams installed directly into their brains, constantly recording and uploading what was in their sight; Google’s glasses of course have a similar concept behind it. I feel running around with Google Glass makes you look too nerdy and therefore opt to wait until we see Google Contact Lenses appearing on the market.

For me the most intriguing technologies introduced at the show were shape-shifting and regeneration technologies. Just imagine you could take on any form you want! The general concept is very appealing but too good to be true however, we are slightly closer to the alien Zygons’ so-calledBody-Print Technology with 3D printing. Technology is already so advanced that scientists can print new body parts and “body chips”, a medical revolution set tominimise risk in drug trials. The legal implications of shapeshifting, 3D printing and body chips are being explored in the new JJ Abrams sci-fi showAlmost Human including DNA bombs to hide evidence from forensic scientists, sex androids reducing human trafficking and digital masks fooling facial recognition software.

There is probably a lot of other Doctor Who inspired technology around. If you need some inspiration just tune into the next Doctor Who show to get your holiday wish list filled.