Feeds

Ten... fantasy gadgets you wish you owned

Look to the future

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Telepathic Lens - The Lensman series

RH Numbers

Trying to read someone's future is so boring - I don't know what people see in crystal balls. Mind reading is so superior. Which is why I want the Lens, a telepathic device from the planet Arisia found in Edward E. 'Doc' Smith's Lensman series.

Lensman series

The Lens bridges the gap between all alien life-forms, providing multi-lingual speech and mind-reading abilities. This planet could really benefit from such a tool. Guilty verdicts would be delivered instantly in court; nobody would dare cheat on their spouse; and all of mankind would live in harmony without a single bad thought in their head. Well, maybe not. In all likelihood, women would be reminded every seven seconds what us men are really thinking about, so security measures would need to be taken. Then again, only one woman could become a Lensman, so if we're being true to tale here, such perversion wouldn't be a problem. However, a 'Thought Screen' would still be a necessary peripheral, to block mind-hack attempts.

Unfortunately, the possibility of a mind-reading device is rather slim - a shame because I could really do with the extra cash from cheating at poker. We can measure blood pressure and tell when someone is lying, but we can't tap into their thoughts exactly. Nor can we solve war through the power of mind reading. In fact, the Lens would probably be used as a tool in war, rather than one to prevent it. Unthinkable huh?

Commercial possibility 0%
More info Project Gutenberg

Teleportation belt - The Tomorrow People

RH Numbers

Teleportation - you didn't seriously think we'd leave this one out did you? Who in their lifetime hasn't thought about the convenience of jumping from A to B instantaneously to avoid an inconvenient drive or rainy walk home? It's another concept that people have been dreaming of for years. Even the genie in Aladdin could teleport.

The famous 1970s TV show The Tomorrow People featured such a power too. With the help of super computer TIM, the Tomorrow People could teleport long distances, providing they wore a special 'jaunt' belt. How much would one of those fetch at Sotherbys?

The Tomorrow People

The idea of teleportation was probably more popularised through the Star Trek transporter device that brought us the classic phrase, "Beam me up, Scotty". But how could we fail to mention a race of people called "Homo superior"? They just don't come like that anymore. Ooh er.

The earliest story to depict teleportation was Edward Page Mitchell's 1877 tale The Man Without a Body, in which the protagonist transmits his atoms over a telegraph wire, only for reassembly to be cut short by a battery outage. Other hat tips go out to Buck Rogers in the 25th Century's elevators, the bracelets in Blake's 7 and Red Dwarf's Matter Paddle.

The idea may be a common one, spanning every corner of pop culture, but it remains a near impossible task. Teleportation has only been achieved at a quantum level, where the original object being teleported has had to be destroyed in the process. Theoretically, a long way into the future, living organisms could be dematerialised and rebuilt, but its a very risky procedure that would more than likely result in death. Or your head being replaced by that of a fly. Not nice either way. ®

Commercial possibility 10%
More info IMDB

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.