Next big new technology? Follow the toys..."Toy Theory"

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by DogBone, Mar 27, 2014.


  1. DogBone

    DogBone

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    Thinking about this today, one of my favorite electronics teachers (RIP) when I was in college told us to see what would be tomorrow's big technology all we had to do was look at today's children's toys.

    This was in the late '80s, he used the example of the transistor, how it started in children's dolls and simple electronic gizmos by the 50's, made it's mark in cheap transistor radios of the '60s, and eventually became the powerhouse and driving force of the current microprocessor and computer age.

    I would confirm this theory is also true considering LEDs, as they started out as mere indicators and lights in childrens toys in the '60's and those futuristic digital watches of the '70s and now are part of our HD lifestyles in everything from big screen tvs to our cell phones and IPads, and that's not even scratching the surface how they are used in industrial applications.

    So if there is any truth to this "Toy Theory", what is tomorrow's next big technology based on the toys of today? :confused: :)

    Your opinions, observations, and theories welcome! :cool:
     
  2. DerHoggz

    DerHoggz I like cats :| Banned

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    I don't think that is an accurate portrayal of the life of those two examples.
     
  3. Immigrant

    Immigrant

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    Everybody knows that LED and LCD technology was discovered in the '40s from reverse-engineered UFOs.

    The next real tech advancements will be built-ins. Yes, in our bodies. Awesome.
     
  4. JennySuzuki

    JennySuzuki

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    Well, we're starting to see robotics pop up in things like Legos, and I think Robotics are one of the big coming trends. Robot dogs and cats are popping up from time to time, and there's that robosapien thing.

    I think it's more accurate to say that the first iteration of a new technology is kind of rubbish, and that about ten years later, it's fully integrated into society... look at the Apple Newton -> iPhone progression, for instance. I think Google Glass is that "kind of rubbish" version of augmented reality; what it will be in ten years...?
     
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  6. DogBone

    DogBone

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    So.....



    ....what kind of toys do UFO children have? Maybe that's the real question? ;)
     
  7. Immigrant

    Immigrant

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    The Milton Bradley Operation® game, but with real humans and objectives.
     
  8. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

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    Two examples doesn't make a theory.
     
  9. wild4oldcars

    wild4oldcars

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    I expect RC to become much larger in the years to come. Not that it isn't already, but there's still ground to cover imo.
     
  10. 96tbird

    96tbird This Indian movie is really boring man. Supporting Member

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    Big slingshots for launching birds?
     
  11. Chebass88

    Chebass88

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    Everything will be constructed from little blocks of ABS plastic that fit into other little blocks.
     
  12. BayStateBass

    BayStateBass

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    Biotech and prosthetics. For years comic books, movies, kids toys, etc. have shown enhancing the human body with mechanical or technological upgrades. Mechanical arms that function as well or better than natural ones, upgraded organs, limbs, exosuits, etc. I can see this market exploding and becoming huge, especially given the number of wounded and maimed soldiers coming back from our decade long (and still continuing) war.
     
  13. line6man

    line6man

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    This.

    I am intrigued with this concept, however, and would wager to guess that someone has spent some time on this, and laid down more concrete examples to support the hypothesis.

    Does anyone have more examples?
     
  14. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Banned

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    Nanobots. Microscopic machines which are modular and could combine to.become, let's say, a car with the right OS.
     
  15. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member

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    To me the two examples suggest: follow the scientists.
     
  16. 6jase5

    6jase5 Mammogram is down but I'm working manually Supporting Member

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    Hopefully it won't be a toy that creates more laziness and video game playing, and therefore more laziness and video game playing technology.

    I think it would be fun to make a GPS game. Kind of hide and seek in the neighborhood with small handheld crash proof monitor/walkie talkie type devices. Kids would have to draw and program in the "map" of their neighborhood (playzone) with a pc with friends houses, trees, whatever, then download to the device.

    I'm way too lazy to see if it exists or make it.
     
  17. i_got_a_mohawk

    i_got_a_mohawk

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    BEWARE THE GRAY GOO!

    Sadly I don't think we'll see anything as exciting as that in our lifetimes. :(

    Bottom-up technology is really interesting though and Feynman and Drexler certainly provided a lot of the theories and potentials on it during the latter half of the last century.

    My masters was in Nanotechnology & Microsystems and I spent a chunk of my PhD working with quantum dots (as nanoscopic temperature probes). :)
     
  18. i_got_a_mohawk

    i_got_a_mohawk

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    Not the same, but there are companies combining fitness and video games.

    Goji Play (for instance) has an iPad app and some handheld controllers, you then use the tredmill or exercise bike to control your movement and the controllers for other in-game actions.
     
  19. ZenG

    ZenG

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    I see entire cities constructed of Lego......
     
  20. Boom762

    Boom762 Hartke Whore - I AM the one who Booms! Supporting Member

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    My insight was that the next big thing in Industry and Technology was a material called Grapheme that they were making crazy string batteries and processors out of. I dont think they out that in toys though. I may be wrong on the title but I remember hearing about it on NPR a long time ago.
     
  21. i_got_a_mohawk

    i_got_a_mohawk

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    Graphene?

    Otherwise known as pencil lead (graphite is stacked graphene).

    It certainly has some awesome properties, plus if you roll it up you have your carbon nanotubes (granted, that's not how they produce those :p ). The issue with this kind of tech is generally being near impossible to mass produce, very linear processes instead of mass parallels.
     

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