It’s imagination Jim, just not as we need it.

So, Eric Schmidt of google reveals how we are finally catching up with the future, as immortalised by Star Trek!!

He’s telling us that in a few months time, users of Android (google) smartphones will “…be able to speak into the phone in one language, and have the phone read back the translation aloud in another language.” [remember the Star Trek universal translator device…?]


I love science fiction. Especially when it’s fantasy, disguised as near-future-reality. Blade Runner, 2001, Matrix…

The issue I have is this. As a race we are so crap inept at actually predicting the everyday use to which we eventually put our technology. Look at the telephone, originally invented to enable remote listening to live concerts. Or SMS [texting] , a nifty shortcut originally cobbled together so telecoms field engineers could communicate using network “downtime”.

So to the smartphone. The translation application sounds fun, and will doubtless prove to be a short-lived holiday novelty. But I rank it alongside my taxi driver’s self-parking Skoda. Impressive once or twice, then never used again…and for all I know this new app will end up being used primarily to aid identity theft…think voice recognition.

I’m reminded of a mate’s story. His friend had just bought a new Ferrari, and having showed it off, roared off down the street in a blur of Italian exhaust notes…only to reappear at my mates 20 minutes later, looking sheepish and knackered.

He’d used his keyless card to open and start the car, then absent-mindedly left it on top of the car when he drove off. Sure enough, when the car was far enough away (about 1 km…), the wireless signal cut out, leaving my friend’s friend to abandon the car where it was, and carefully retrace his steps looking for the ” !+##@% key card!! ”

Technology is always entertaining, but only occasionally wonderful. Now, for a really useful  slice of the future, try our e-learning courses….!

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