For a reasonably technologically-savvy person, I sometimes find myself utterly amazed by what nowadays technology can offer.
Like, for instance.
I’ve been wearing glasses since my early teens. One pair of glasses that I got myself roughly 20 years ago were so called “chameleons” – the specs that would become tinted in the sunlight. I suppose that made me an early adopter of photochromic lenses, but the problem was, they did not work that well. They would take forever to darken in most blinding sunlight, and would become just barely tinted at that. I abandoned them quite quickly, and ever since always made do with having two pairs of prescription glasses on me – one clear, one tinted.
My most recent pair of clear glasses was nearing its fifth or sixth year of life – despite some fancy-shmancy anti-scratch coating that I paid for when I got them, the lenses started to get worn out. I decided to get myself a new pair and figured I’d go for the photochromic lenses again, with Transitions.
I am astounded at how well they work.
There is maybe a 5-second interval of discomfort and having to squint when I first step outside into sunlight, and then it’s as if I’m wearing sunglasses. What’s more, my eyes don’t feel covered by a darkened glass – from inside out, I can barely tell that the lenses become tinted. The first couple of days of wearing them, I couldn’t help but stop at every other shop window to check my reflection and confirm that yes, in fact, the glasses looked dark grey on the outside.
Brilliant! I’m practically in love!
How about something more domestique…
Natasha saw one at our friends’ house and decided to buy a Roomba for ourselves. I realize that robots have been in use in various industries, wherever repetitive tasks are being performed, for decades now. But I’ve never had a first-hand experience with any, let alone with a robot with a certain level of artificial intelligence.
It’s a damn vacuum cleaner!
Which goes around a room all by itself. It bumps into walls and other obstacles – not very bright, by the looks of it, – but then finds ways along the former and around the latter. It makes different attempts to get into tight corners, angling this way and that. It methodically crosses the room and seemingly finds a way to go over every square inch of the surface in a pattern that cannot be understood by mere humans.
And – wait for this! – when it knows that it’s running out of juice, it propels itself towards its base and docks for re-charging. Really!
It is not perfect; it can obviously only do the floor – no stairs or pieces of furniture. But it does relieve us from having to actively participate in the process.
Passive participation is another matter. I could watch the little thing glide around the floor for hours.