Mobile phones in future could be thumb-sized in pockets, and in practically an instant, be effortlessly transformed into PDA-sized devices to send e-mail.
In the final keynote of the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) Thursday, Justin Rattner, Intel’s chief technology officer, shed some light on work around programmable matter, as he teased the audience with what Intel believes would apply as technology in the next four decades.
The idea of programmable matter, he explained, revolves around tiny glass spheres with processing power and photovoltaic for generating electricity to run the tiny circuitry. These particles called catoms would move relative to one another via electrostatic.
The concept of programmable matter can be thought of as “the ultimate form of digital printing”, Rattner told ZDNet Asia Wednesday in an interview. “You literally could make an object of any imaginable shape, or design an object of any imaginable shape, and simply ‘hit the print command’ and the matter would take that shape…
This particular technology, though, is far from being an illusion–Intel’s scientists and engineers, who have been laboring in exploratory research, have come up with early prototypes at the centimeter and millimeter scale, according to Rattner, who is also senior fellow and vice president of the corporate technology group at Intel. “And we’ll go from millimeters to microns, I guess, some time over the next five to 10 years.”
This would be amazing, if it materialized. However, I must note that I am still waiting for the flying car and robot servant that the future promised me many moons ago.