Monday, November 30, 2009

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

One of my most favorite Science Fiction books is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I've read it a couple times and watched the movie (which was actually pretty good!). One of the things that I thought of recently were the science fiction inventions and creations that are introduced in this book. I think that it's interesting how some authors can create these kind of ideas in their head, and then something very similar is invented.

For example in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Ford introduces Arthur (the main character) to a type of Electronic Book. This Electronic Book happens to be the guide that Arthur needs and is used by activating a touch screen and using the book almost like google. This reminds me most of an iphone or an ipod, where you can touch the screen to interact with the different applications, and you can search the internet. It's like having a massive electronic book.

Another thing that they mention in the book is "Gesture-Controlled Devices". Instead of pushing a button or even using a touch screen, you can simply gesture at the machine and hope that it will do what you want it to do. Of course, they didn't have this perfected in the book, so there were a still bugs to work out (i.e. the fact that you had to sit very still if you didn't want to change the channel on the television). I know that there are types of cellphones where you just shake it a certain way to make it do what you want. You can even control things on your cellphone by voice now, so whose to say that someone won't figure out in the future how to simply get a machine to do what you want by making a gesture at it? I think it could be plausible, the way people in general like things to be as easy as possible for them to use.

I just think it's interesting in general how you can go back and read old science fiction stories and see inventions now that authors had the general idea of when they wrote their work.

1 comment:

Beeblebrox said...

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the most remarkable, certainly the most successful book ever to come out of the great publishing companies of Ursa Minor. It is about the size of a paperback book, but looks more like a large pocket calculator, having upon it's face over a hundred flat press-buttons and a screen about four inches square, upon which anyone of over six million pages can be summoned almost instantly. It comes with a durable plastic cover, upon which the words DON'T PANIC! are printed in large, friendly letters." (Douglas)..
Sound like Kindle???? Why do you think I refuse to read articles of Angel....