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

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

  1. DogBone


    Mar 15, 2009
    Central Virginia
    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

    Feb 13, 2009
    Western Pennsylvania
    I don't think that is an accurate portrayal of the life of those two examples.
  3. 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


    Dec 18, 2013
    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


    Mar 15, 2009
    Central Virginia

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

  7. The Milton Bradley OperationĀ® game, but with real humans and objectives.
  8. Two examples doesn't make a theory.
  9. wild4oldcars


    Jan 22, 2012
    Garner, NC
    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 PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2010
    Manitoba, Canada
    Big slingshots for launching birds?
  11. Everything will be constructed from little blocks of ABS plastic that fit into other little blocks.
  12. 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. 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

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    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

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology: Protecting the Pocket since 2007
    To me the two examples suggest: follow the scientists.
  16. 6jase5

    6jase5 Mammogram is down but I'm working manually

    Dec 17, 2007
    San Diego/LA
    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.

    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. 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


    Dec 13, 2013
    I see entire cities constructed of Lego......
  20. Boom762

    Boom762 I AM the one who Booms! Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Lubbock, TX
    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. 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.