Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

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Research Technology

April 16, 2011

Zenon’s parents are on the Space Stay because they are doing research. The research they are doing on bone marrow density can only be done in space because they need a lab with a weightless chamber. Here on Earth, weightless chambers are called spaces of zero gravity. Zero gravity training is used most often to train astronauts, since our idea of space is one of zero gravity. It is ironic that Zenon is able to walk around and live normally when zero gravity is the norm in space. The cause of this might be that sometime between 2011-2049 we found a way to displace zero gravity and make space a place with gravity. It would be the only way that Zenon could live the way she does in the movie. Since her parents need a weightless chamber, the ability to harness zero gravity in a confined space has also been discovered.

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Computers

April 16, 2011

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Computers are another area where 2011 has surpassed the gadgets of 2049. The computers in Zenon’s world have simple graphics and seem to be just used for data input. Today’s computers have advanced graphics and are used in many diverse areas. Computers allow users to watch movies and television in high definition. They can showcase photos and videos. The screen is seen as an artist’s canvas, and is a vehicle for expression. The one similarity is the development of speak and type softwhere. Wyndham talks to his computer and the computer types what he is saying. Today, we have this technology, but it is not as mainstream. There is no one company who we can turn to for this ability, and there is constantly problems with spelling mistakes.

There are also differences in the physical look of computers. In Zenon’s time, computers were grey and bulky—they had not advanced from the 1990’s model that was probably around when the movie was made. How can they think that in fifty years time computers would look the same? Computers today are lightweight, portable, and desktops are almost obsolete. The laptop that is shown in Zenon is big and clunky, and probably no more portable than a desktop. Computers today are also smaller. It seems that Zenon has not taken account of the growing trend towards nanotechnology. Consumers today want things smaller, and there is no technology that is unaffected by this trend. Zenon’s time may have had the theory that the bigger the gadget, the more information that can be captured.

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Zap Pads

April 13, 2011

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Though some aspects of Zenon’s technology is ahead of the technology of 2011, we are more advanced than they ever thought possible on a few gadgets. Zenon is glued to her Zap Pad, which is a tablet that allows her to make calls and visually have a conversation with the recipient. In Zenon’s time, these Zap Pads are big, bulky, and clunky. They are an ugly grey and even she cannot make hers attractive. Zap Pads have replaced telephones in space. These tablets can be used both in space and in Earth, a testament to the fact that though Earth may be behind space in some ways, it is not that far behind.

Today, we have the iPad and the iPhone. These gadgets perform all of the functions of a Zap Pad, and many more things that Zenon could never even dream of. The iPhone and iPad both have “facetime”, which lets the user call another user and speak with them virtually. The iPhone is a form of a cell phone, which is not available in Zenon’s time. As Zap Pads had replaced telephones, cell phones (such as the iPhone) have completely replaced telephones in today’s time. The iPhone and iPad also succeed in another area where the Zap Pad fails—style. While Zap Pads are grey and bulky, iPads and iPhones are small, portable, and cool looking. They usually come in white or black, but never grey. They are svelte enough to fit in a pocket, and provide exceptional graphic quality, much better than that of the Zap Pad.

Though the comparison can be made between the Zap Pad and the iPhone and iPad, we cannot negate the fact that these are both Apple products. We must wonder, if Apple never entered the business world and created these gadgets, would we be using anything similar to them today? Would we have even past the technology of the Zap Pad? We cannot take for granted the effect that this one company has had on the performance and look of our technology today.

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GPS Autopilot

April 10, 2011

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The kids are able to drive the car on Earth because of futuristic technology. The car has a GPS system, much like those in 2011—but it was definitely not invented yet when this movie was produced. The main difference between the GPS system of today and the one of 2049 is that the futuristic GPS system also serves to autopilot the car. All the driver needs to do is plug in the ignition code, departure and destination points, and the car will take them there. Today, our planes are on autopilot, but we have not discovered yet how to do this with cars. In Zenon’s time, traffic and roadblocks do not seem to be a problem, possibly because the car can sense them and knows how to respond.

This technology seems somewhat impossible because driving is affected not just by one car, but by all cars on the road. For this technology to work, all of the cars must be connected and in communication and human override cannot be an option. From one perspective, human control could be the biggest roadblock in terms of why this technology has not been developed. People enjoy driving and like to be the one in control of the car. They second guess accidents and test reaction time on a daily basis, and that could be the reason why autopilot cars may never be developed—not even by 2049.

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Data Zap

April 8, 2011

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Zenon’s alarm clock, called the Data Zap, wakes her up every morning. It tells her what time it is and then showcases a recorded message (a video of herself) that she has registered previously. The video is Zenon begging herself to wakeup and teasing her when she does not. To Zenon, hearing herself that early is just annoying. Today, we do not have these visual alarm clocks. As we saw in Zenon, it may be better that we don’t. Most people would much rather wakeup to a ringing sound or loud music than their own self.

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Stress Helmet

April 6, 2011

A fun gadget that is featured in the Zenon movie is the stress helmet. Zenon’s behavior leads her mother to put on a stress helmet in order to relax. The helmet looks to be the least technological gadget in the movie, as it resembles a queen’s crown. In today’s society, this would be small, compact, and less frumpy. It would have buttons and levels of comfort. We are not told if this gadget de-stresses in a herbal way or in a medical technological way. But, it is a futuristic device made to lessen people’s problems.

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Storage Disks

April 5, 2011

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Zenon’s main conflict is actually over a piece of technology: a disk. This disk is a small circular object which can hold data files. Today’s equivalent to this is a USB drive. But, the most widely data storage devices could be email systems and dropbox internet boxes, such as the “cloud”. We have moved from physical copies of data to digital ones. There are many advantages to digital copies, including the inability for them to be lost or stolen (as in Zenon’s case).

Zenon’s physical disk could be what the creators thought might happen to the floppy disk, which was the method of storage during the time that the movie was made. They clearly did not know about how physical storage would be replaced with digital storage, so they just went with what they knew.