Create and print your own 3D objects>> Shapeways!
A lovely sunny afternoon out here in the lowlands, but then again, who cares.
Anyways, 100.000 years ago mankind was smacking stones against each other to make fire, now we have lighters, decades ago we had to find, grind & process beans to make a coffee, now we have a Senseo-machine (thank you Philips and besides, if you ask me it's not a coincidence that the Dutch are known for their pot and coffee, kinda like Ying Yang), 10 years ago we had roadmaps, now your phone knows where it is...
The point being: technological development is merely a reflection of our ability to 'manage' matter and energy, and in order to do so, over time we are working on a smaller and smaller scale. Playing your own movies at home? back in the seventies, when the video recorder was introduced it was both amazing (not needing a cinema to watch a movie) and scary to the television industry, They thought this would mark the beginning of the end of television...
So the second point being: it's always impossibly difficult to imagine the true impact of new technologies on society over time. But the fundamentals are clear, things get smaller and more personalized (how many different cellphones are there now, how many different landline phones were there 20 years ago) and so it will be, that ultimately, thanks to the advent of nano-technology, when it comes to juggling with matter, we will be free! Your typical 20th century seized factory will ultimately collapse into something the size of a big box, so like real Star Trekians we will be able to ask the computer for a coke and the computer will synthesize.
We are not quite there yet, but step by step we walk, so let's start with the ability to devise your own 3D objects online and have 'm printed: Shapeways! This Eindhoven-based company gives you the option of both uploading your own 3D designs or customise existing ones, using their online creator and then have the objects shipped to you. And I think that's cool, so just wanted to let you know.
Stay tuned for more.