Lions, octopi and multi-sensory displays?

This is just one of the typical conversations me and offspring have in the process of our home life but this one is worth recording.

The day started with us reading up on the news, which mostly meant J reading r/news to me, specifically the perplexing story of the disappearing airplane. That got us onto the Titanic and we had a look at that, my immediate reaction to the Titanic is always the Estonia which not so many people know about even though it had more than half the number of deaths (I was barely miles away that night on another ferry) We looked at the conspiracy theories surrounding that, J asked ‘what is your favourite conspiracy theory?’ (theirs was chemtrails and mine was the moon landings – give us yours in the comments?)

From there we moved on to other current stories, like Syria. That got a bit too heavy so we looked at cat gifs for a bit. 

Then I saw the lion cubs from Oregon so I took my laptop in to J’s room and we looked at animal videos from that zoo for a while. The pupation of a butterfly larva and elephants and an otter mum teaching her pup to swim

From that we moved on to other intelligent animals – cephalopods, octopi, cuttlefish and squid, and how octopus would already be running things if they didn’t need to live in really oxygen-rich, cold waters. Octopi are able to move over 1000 suction cups on 8 tentacles independently from each other, and they can change not just the colour but also the texture of their skin. We got suction cups from them, but how about if we can learn to replicate what they do with their skin?

How about a phone that doesn’t just display things visually but also changes its texture?

I said well, maybe a smartphone wouldn’t be the most logical way to use this technology. Let’s think about people who need to use their eyes, like drivers and cyclists, but could access information through touch if it was available, for example, on their wrist? Fingertips can absorb a lot of information through touch. So instead of working on ways that allow people to access visual information without looking at a small rectangle in their hand, like with google glass, the oculus rift, or even displays straight onto the eyeball or into the retina, how about we should start using our other senses to interact with technology?

And it’s only lunchtime. 

Home ed, you got to love it.



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