Episode 6 Technobytes


Episode 6

Investigating new and future technology. This episode showcases augmented/virtual reality and explores if it's possible to make a real lightsaber.


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Transcript


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This is Technobabble! Well, not quite.

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Actually, this is Technobabble's younger sibling, Technobyte,

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but it's no less tech-tastic.

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And it's time to check out the latest ponderable puzzle

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via our randomly named messaging app.

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How will augmented reality

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change in the future?

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Now there's a question, Hannah.

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A question I can't answer.

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Let's call in the reinforcements.

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I am sending Maya off to meet a bunch of UK developers

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that specialise in augmented reality.

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Helping her is techspert

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Kieran Sawyer who knows all about

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this extra-dimensional technology.

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Thinking about it, you've got virtual reality,

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which I know a little bit about.

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You get something, you put it in the virtual world, walks around,

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touches things, does things, but augmented, don't have a clue.

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-It's essentially, the opposite.

-OK.

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So we are bringing this virtual content into the real world,

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so it appears in front of you every day.

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-How does it actually work?

-OK. So, what you have is a device

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-which we have taught to look for something.

-Mm-hm.

-OK?

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When it recognises that thing, it will then create that content

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and show that content in front of you.

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It brings it all to life in the real world.

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-Could you show me?

-Yeah, definitely.

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So, we have an iPad here which is taught to look for this box.

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All right. Oh, my gosh, it's just turned into cartoon,

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and it's opening. The box...

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The box on the table is not doing anything but this box...

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And a car has flown out of it. This is insane. How is it doing this?

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What it's doing is it's looking

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at this and it's recognising the box.

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It recognises the box and then

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shows this content.

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So if you don't like the colour,

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for example, you can change it.

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Wow. So I am literally editing this box.

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-But there's no car in real life. I'm so confused.

-You can move the box.

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You can move...

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Wow! And how does the technology work behind this?

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Essentially, what we're doing is we've got a device that has

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an app on and we're just looking for something.

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We've taught the device what to look for and then when it recognises it,

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it then starts to make magic come to life.

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-I've showed you a really simple version that involved the car.

-Yes.

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Now I've got something really cutting edge you might

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want to come and look at.

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-What do you think?

-Yeah, let's go. Let's have a look.

-Shall we go?

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So this is putting you into augmented reality.

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-It's live and not many people have done it.

-How is that happening?

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We have got a camera there with some infrared sensors.

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When you move around, that tracks your body, OK?

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All those movements that you do then appear here in real-time.

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OK, so that is me in my favourite dress on that screen.

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-That's you right there.

-That is incredible.

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-Right, so...

-SHE CHUCKLES

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-And this means, can I kick?

-You can.

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Try kick the ball.

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-Oh, you're not very good at that, are you?

-I'm missing.

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-What I can do is start throwing some stuff at you.

-Wow.

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-What did you just throw?

-Pies.

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-Pies at me?

-Yeah.

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I want to be something else.

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Something else?

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I'm a penguin! Woo!

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-Shall we turn you back to yourself again?

-Yes.

-Back to normality.

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-From here, a spitting image.

-Perfect.

-Basic...

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Hi, Mya Two, covered in spiders.

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So what is AR actually used for right now?

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Might be using it for learning things, so, like, at school.

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So at the moment it might be that you're learning about volcanoes.

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Obviously, volcanoes are quite difficult to understand

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because you can't really go up and see one,

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it's a little bit dangerous.

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But what we could do is create a 3-D version that then could

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explode in front of you, show how they explode,

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cut them apart so you can look inside the volcano

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and exactly how it works.

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How is it going to change in the future?

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So, in the future I don't think we'll actually need devices at all.

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You know, we're going to be able to walk around and just see AR.

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It's just going to appear and it'll be part of everyday life,

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and we'll probably struggle to tell the difference between what's AR

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-and what's not AR, actually.

-That is insane, Kieran.

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I'm still just trying to get my mind around it now.

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-Talk about jumping out the screen at you.

-You're not wrong, Mya.

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Look, there's more.

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This is HoloLens - a smart glasses headset that mixes reality

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with holograms.

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There's no screen or mouse, just holograms created by gestures,

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apps controlled by your voice and navigating with glances.

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This much anticipated bit of kit could transform the everyday way

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we interact with the world.

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From making your TV massive to doing spells like Harry Potter

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and even playing golf on Mars!

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-That is out of this world.

-Hm, nearly 7% funny there, Mya.

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American thrill-seeker's are working on combining virtual and

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augmented reality to make real-world videogames.

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Like a cross between Laser Quest and a games console,

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this could be the theme park of the future,

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letting you take down fantasy monsters and interact with

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physical objects in a truly immersive world.

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Bring it on. When can I have a go?

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Not till I've had a go, Mya.

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BREATHES HEAVILY

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I can sense a force,

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a Technobabbler force. BREATHES HEAVILY

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Hey, blogster,

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could we build a real lightsaber?

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BREATHES HEAVILY

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IMITATES DARTH VADER: The Force is strong with this one.

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BREATHES HEAVILY

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Great question, Eugene.

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I've always wanted a lightsaber powerful enough to cut through

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reinforced steel, storm troopers and cute little kittens.

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Ooh, no. Maybe not kittens.

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Accessing databanks.

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A Star Wars fan in the US of A claims to have built something

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close to a lightsaber using a powerful blue laser and

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two strong lithium-ion batteries.

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This DIY version can burn through paper,

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cardboard tubes and even a plastic ping-pong ball.

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But there's a flaw.

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Unlike a classic lightsaber, which has a short, easy to handle beam,

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this home-made laser never stops unless something gets in the way.

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And that means in the throes of battle,

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the slightest slip from your laser lightsaber could take out

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your enemies, friends,

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or that unsuspecting person waiting for the bus.

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Back to the drawing board.

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And staying in America,

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a defence firm has developed the metal vapour torch.

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It looks just like an ordinary torch but at the push of a button

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fires out a fiery blade

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powerful enough to slice through solid metal.

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This jet of flame is created by a chemical reaction between

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copper oxide, magnesium and aluminium particles.

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Sadly, the torch's effect only last a few seconds.

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Useless if you're mid dual with a Sith Lord who won't hesitate

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to finish you off as you fumble to find a refill.

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There is a new hope though because

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techsperts at Harvard and MIT universities

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have made an unusual discovery.

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Light is made from tiny particles called photons.

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Most of the time photons weigh nothing and don't like to play.

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If you shoot one laser beam at another the photons in them

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just pass right through each other without so much as a high five.

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But, in an extremely cold vacuum chamber researchers got photons

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to join together, making completely new hardened molecules

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that behaved very differently.

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These photons pushed against and deflected each other,

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just like a Jedi lightsaber!

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Well that was...enlightening! Hee-hee!

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What have blockbuster movies and Technobytes got in common?

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They all have to end at some point,

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though this is definitely to be continued and not the end.

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See you next time!

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Technobtyes is the snack-size version of CBBC's Technobabble which investigates new and future technology. This episode showcases augmented/virtual reality and explores if it's possible to make a real lightsaber.


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