Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It Was My Idea First

About four or five years ago I had an epiphany. A complete story idea sort of plummetted into my skull and couldn't escape. This happens frequently, actually...but in this case, it was an idea for a novel.

At the time, I was busy with other tasks, and so the story sort of simmered in my brain on low, taking form until the day came that I finally sat down to start writing. I wrote about 15,000 words of this story, a science fiction tale set 200 years in the future in a colony on Mars. I won't go into details for this story, as some of the ideas I've since pilferred for other stories and even a young-adult science fiction novel (not set on Mars) I may write some day.

But one itsy bitsy piece of this story was an idea I had. The future of computing. In my mind, there will be a day where individuals don't own their own computers. There is no need. Instead, there are "dumb terminals" everywhere, basically generic computers with all the processing power, but no actual data on them. Instead, each individual carries with them (perhaps as jewelry, or an implant, or something) that contains your personal computer files, operating system, and any other data. You simply walk up to a terminal, and wirelessly the terminal reads the data from your implant and you have your own custom computer system with you at all times.

So, today, I read an article...and it seems there is a company doing just that. Oh, it isn't so advanced as what I envisaged yet, but it is the first step. But let me make this clear: it was my idea first!

I know I have no rights to any monies associated with the product, but I feel I deserve at least a little fame for making this technology plausible in my uncompleted, abandoned novel.

If you're really interested in what the real-life software can do, go here. Read all about it. Pretty nifty idea, actually (if I do say so myself). I think it is a matter of time before such a technology will grow ubiquitous. Yes, you heard it here first, but I think this is the future of computing.

If you follow the progression of computing, it only makes sense. First, there was the mainframe. Then, someone had the bright idea of making "dumb terminals" that allowed multiple users to access the mainframe computer. Basically all computing power was on the mainframe.

Later, we started to see personal computers enter the market. Quite a shift. But we also started to see "distributed computing", where users could use their personal computers as "dumb terminals" to access a network of workstations. This eventually grew into the internet that we know today. But the PC still remains a mainstay. Still, with all the computer power scattered across the landscape, why not give access to each user's "personal computer" environment no matter where they go? The PDA was one attempt at this, but it wasn't quite right. As much as the PDA was a cool gadget (and still a useful one at that), it still can never fully replace the personal computer (be it a laptop or desktop).

At least not until this new technology is fully developed. It is a start. Kind of cool, though, to think that my idea might actually come to fruition. Too bad I didn't file any patents or anything. Oh well!


Lexie Ward said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lexie Ward said...

I messed up and had to delete, so here's another try.

Doncha hate that when you have a revolutionary idea and someone beats you to it? But you can still say: great minds think alike.