Yvonne Carts-Powell

Arisia! Part 3: Dick Tracy’s Watch

In Science, science fiction, technology on January 28, 2011 at 8:57 am


This Arisia panel was extraordinary, partly because we had 6 panelists and an audience at 9:30 am on Monday of the con. (If you are not a con-goer, let me tell you: few people are ambulatory at that time of the morning — and even fewer are as articulate and thoughtful as these folks!)

Panel description: Do you remember Dick Tracy’s wristwatch? That amazing thing could be used to contact the Commissioner and you could see the guy right there in the watch face. Do you remember the Star Trek communicator? They’d flip open the little device and you were connected with anyone you needed. What has become of these science fictions? Well, now they’re science fact. A discussion of what were once, and still are, dreams of SF authors, and what became reality.

Shorter panel description: We’re living in the future, take a look at our gadgets!

(Read more below)
We discussed some cool ideas that are real now, as well as technical advances that we didn’t see coming. For me, the spread of GPS from military technology to civilian technology to something that people use for playing games (ie, geocaching) happened incredibly quickly.

Panelist David Camacho pointed out that medical technology has advanced tremendously. We now use antimatter for medical scans (the “P” in PET scans stands for “positron”, which is an anti-electron.)

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