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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Advances In Science Towards 2020 : Microsoft Perspective:

In an age where people ask questions like -"What if a great man of the last century – Gandhi, say – had had access to the communications networks of our age when he made one of his most important speeches?" The result is 'Telecom Italia Gandhi', an astonishing 60-second spot that has just started airing in ItalySuch an ambitious project with such a high-profile director needed the very best in VFX support, and Framestore CFC were delighted to fill that role. The result is the video titled, Telecom Italia Gandhi. If people can think about yesteryears and relate to current day technology anc could come up with such interesting stuff, what if the current hero's(technology)advance could look like say 15 years from now. On a serious note, some answers/indicators are coming out. Kevin Schofield points to microsoft research's recently released report called Toward 2020 Science, a painstakingly written report from a wide body of experts in terms of a broad look at how computing is going to affect the sciences over the next 15 or so years.
Excerpts from an interesting article titled : Everything Everywhere :
Computers could go from being back-office number-crunchers to field operatives. Twenty-four hours a day, year-in, year-out, they could measure every conceivable variable of an ecosystem or a human body, at whatever scale might be appropriate, from the nanometric to the continental. These new computers would take the form of networks of sensors with data-processing and transmission facilities built in. Millions or billions of tiny computers — called 'motes', 'nodes' or 'pods' — would be embedded into the fabric of the real world. They would act in concert, sharing the data that each of them gathers so as to process them into meaningful digital representations of the world. Researchers could tap into these 'sensor webs' to ask new questions or test hypotheses. Even when the scientists were busy elsewhere, the webs would go on analysing events autonomously, modifying their behaviour to suit their changing experience of the world. These sensor webs will frequently be just single layers in a stack of data-collecting systems. These will extract information at different temporal and spatial scales, from satellite remote-sensing data down to in situ measurements. Managing these stacks will require massive amounts of machine-to-machine communication, so a major challenge is to develop new standards and operating systems that will allow the various networks to understand each other. Sensors and networks of sensors will need to be able to communicate what their data are about, how they captured and calibrated them, who is allowed to see them, and how they should be presented differently to users with different needs. The roadmap with the findings of the document is available here

(Image Courtesy : Microsoft Research)

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