Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Google Street View

Last night I had my first look at Google Street View. It's amazing, sitting in my cold London flat and effectively walking around Cuba Mall in Wellington. We looked at the Harbour from Oriental Parade, checked out Metro New World, and saw that Ashhurst looks much more derelict than when I lived there. By contrast, the flat I lived in on Queen St in Dunedin appears exactly the same.

It was remarkable, Tane Stephen and I stood open mouthed as images from home filled the screen. It's not unrelated that Tane and I had a lengthy conversation today about when we want to move home, and that I rang a travel agent to get a rough idea of how much our proposed trip back would cost.

The question is, though, where can technology go from here? Already the disc man I had in 2001 is dated, my first mobile phone a brick and film cameras and VHS machines almost obsolete. Having said that though, in my opinion mobile phone technology seems to have plateaued unless you are a technology nut, and computers are faster but I (and I assume many others) have reached a point when they don't feel the need for an upgrade. I was reading recently about how much the refrigerator and washing machine changed life for women especially in the 1950s, which indicates that our children will probably take for granted the fact that you can carry an entire CD collection, your camera and the Internet in your pocket.

What's next? Will we have flying cars soon? What about hovering skateboards like in Back to the Future? Where can technology go from here? Surely things cannot get much smaller and still be user-friendly. All suggestions welcome, and I'll dredge this entry up in a few years time and we can all have a giggle about it.


Ryan said...

It feels like there should be flying hovercars right around the corner, but really you were just looking at pixels on a screen, technology that's been around since the 60s and probably before. So, no hovercars for you.

Ngaire said...

I herd that they have already buit a hover car but road rules etc get confusing so they arent actually for sale. FYI back to the future 2 is set in 2015, 6 years from now so they better hurry up with the floating skateboards and clothes that shrink to fit your body and dry themselves.

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