Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Friday, June 10, 2011

...And I Still Get A Cold Every Year


I have to hand it to the Japanese...after we devastated their country 65 years ago or so and left them with little more than baseball, they have systematically overtaken the U.S. in just about everything: auto manufacturing, transistors, sushi, and hundreds of other things. While we were saying "Bigger is better," they were saying, But smaller is the wave of the future."( sumo wrestlers excluded, naturally) Of course, "Made in Japan" has given way to "Made in China" these days even at Wal-Mart, but that's not my point. The point is that the Japanese took our ideas and miniaturized them in every conceivable fashion, and we've been be-smitten by the concept. Console stereos? Transistor radios? Japanese...replaced by iPods and iPod shuffles for size. Remember those ginormous computers that used to take up entire buildings? I've got an iPad that will top their brain power...with ideas and probably components made in Japan. Face it...downsizing has become such a part of our material world that even fast food restaurants offered small portions...for a while, anyway.
As a result, when we think of innovation, especially in electronics (Zenith? nope), we think of famous Japanese companies. When we think of automotive innovation, we look at the Prius...OK, you get the idea...but this thing? I think it's a head-scratcher.
A Japanese company named Neomotor is in the process of producing clamp-on bunny ears that respond to the wearer's mood. really. Called a "Neocomim" (a combination of the Japanese words for cat and ear), the gadget is attached by sensors and enabled to read brain waves. Should the wearer be focused, the ears perk up. On the other hand, when the wearer relaxes, the ears droop. In production but not yet ready for mass marketing, there is no fixed price on this thing yet, but it is sure to be something of a hit. However, it raises a couple of questions for me:

1. Doesn't it hurt to clamp this thing on? Would I have to shave part of my head?
2. Wouldn't this be a problem during hunting season?
3. Would I be embarrassed by a lack of neural activity in my head?
4. Can I get one of these things for each of my students?

There's no doubt that technology outpaces my capacity to use or understand it, and I suspect that I am not alone in that assertion. It just seems that there must be a more useful application for this kind of thing than making one's "ears" wiggle.


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