15/10/2011 Click


15/10/2011

The tech show travels to Japan to see the protoypes of what could be tomorrow's gadgets and reports from Heathrow Airport on a hi-tech personalised pod shuttle.


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Transcript


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year. Now on BBC News it is time Welcome to Click, I'm Spencer Kelly.

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This week Willie at... -- we'll be looking at.... Will you please make

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up your mind on what you want to This week on Click win in Japan

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uncovering some of the weird and wonderful prototypes that may or

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may not make it to our world -- we're in. Roads? Where we're going

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we don't need roads. We are looking at how well a futuristic

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transporter could change the way we travel. All that plus the latest

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Tech News and a look at how to put virtually anything anywhere. We

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have a app that let's your friends change how you see the world in

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Webscape. Welcome to Click, I'm Spencer Kelly.

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There's no doubt that Japan has had a tough year. First the earthquake

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and tsunami and then the radiation leak and more recently the massive

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typhoon that has hit its coastline. As well as the human cost these

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disasters have also affected the manufacturing and technology

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industries. On top of that, Sony's servers have been hacked and

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Nintendo has been struggling to make anyone care at art its new 3D

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hand-held gaming console. -- care about. But in the background

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research into new technology has been ongoing. Dan Simmons reports

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from Japan's massive are Andy technology Expo on some of the

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stuff that is being planned for the coming years. The tech world's

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autumn is spiced each year with a looking glass directed towards the

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future course see attack. They come here not to see what's hot to hit

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the shops as they do in Vegas or Berlin. Nor grandstand a new mobile

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as they might in Barcelona or Hong Kong. As the year draws to a close,

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Tokyo offers inspiration. They are the suits with the cash. To turn a

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prototype into a product. Many of the ideas here may never see the

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light of day. Which is why we've come to see what's been dreamt up,

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before it's commonplace - or forgotten. Pretty interesting idea,

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so something new, never felt a touch screen like that before.

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concept should hit the button. Because the people pressing this

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touch screen, are feeling something very different from anything we've

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experienced. I felt as if I was touching a real

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button. One reason some of us don't like

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touch screens is that we can't feel the buttons. But here unlike

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conventional phones where a metal rod delivers vibration though out

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the handset - Kyocera has added a thin glass cover that sits above

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the screen to deliver more precise feedback straight to your

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fingertips. At each end lies a ceramic

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piezoelectric strip that generates a charge from the pressure applied

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to it creating different vibes across the screen.

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And because the screen itself is flexible, the level of pressure can

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be measured. So you can click a button once then

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push harder for a second, third, fourth, or fifth deeper click

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When it's switched to a second level click, I could feel it even

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more, it's very impressive. Imagine selecting a lower case

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letter and then pressing just a little harder, clicking to an upper

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case option. Japanese firm, Alps has gone one step further with its

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dual-touch system. So in this game, the purple circle can be moved from

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side to side by pressing harder at Pulse where Murata were showing off

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a system that doesn't require touch at all -- elsewhere. We already

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have some pretty smart sensors in our smart phones. They detect

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things like light or proximity to the face which is how the

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Smartphone knows how to turn the screen off to save energy when you

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are taking a call, but what Murata are working on is something that

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will detect motion so that you could move between options without

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actually touching your touch screen. These are the sensors no longer

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reliant on cameras to detect movement. One of these could be put

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behind a screen here for example or in a tablet for example in a mobile

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phone. We can now move in or around and then zoom around a particular

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photo. We then cooking hands wet and in the winter wear gloves

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unfortunately doesn't detect on touch screen so that this interface

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uses it is easy to work the sensors offers us a new way interact and

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More motion sensing - this time using a camera. Israeli outfit

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Primesense helped develop the Microsoft Kinect system that uses

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gestures to control games. Here's their PC version - running Forum8's

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software, that "sees" much smaller realistic movements - so here the

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driver can use his feet as he might in a real car to accelerate or

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brake. In the real world the future of

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cars might well be electric IF we didn't need to spend so much time

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charging them up. NEC showed off a superfast charger

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cutting the time for an 80% charge from 4 hours to 30 minutes.

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Advances for handsets too - NTT DOCOMO's prototype smartphone

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'sleeve' juices up a mobile in just 10 minutes.

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Time for lunch.. And a little help from the SOFTWARE side of things IF

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you're trying to stay in shape. Increasingly we're turning to our

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apps to help count the calories but what if you're in a restaurant - no

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barcode or brand name will help you know what you're eating. This app

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attempt to use photo recognition to tell you the nutritional info by

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And if you're serious about losing weight you'll want one of these. It

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measures the tiny amounts of acetone in your breath. In case

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you're not sure it tells you whether you're hungry and perhaps

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more usefully when you're body will burn the most fat should you chose

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to exercise, so you can schedule your workouts and your TV dinners..

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Here's a different way to control your TV set through what appears to

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be just a piece of plastic, when we twist it we can go up a channel and

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when we twist it the other way back down a channel. Not just twisting

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but bending as well you can bring the volume up or down accordingly

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now what inside here is two pieces of thin polyester coated with

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electrons which give a different signal depending on whether you're

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twisting or bending this device and that signal is then sent to the

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control centre on the side of the panel which is powered by a battery

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now you don't need to plug it in or change the battery because that's

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powered by these die sensitised solar panels; the device then sends

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a radio signal to the TV set which tells it to go up down or if you

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fancy off. Again, it's easy to see how this

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might add an extra twist to gaming - although I couldn't help

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wondering how long it would last in the hands of a 5-year old.

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We couldn't leave Japan without a nod to the tech it's most famous

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for - the robots. Often very impressive but, beyond amusement,

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difficult to imagine their One idea at the show was this self

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correcting walking assistant using similar balancing technology mixing

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gyroscopes and motor feedback as these cycling robots.

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Where these mainly Japanese technologies go from here will

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depend largely on whether they're picked up by big manufacturers. But

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if, in the future, a gadget seems just a bit bizarre. It may well

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have first appeared here, as a prototype one autumn at Tokyo's

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tech show. Dan Simmons on the weird, wacky and

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sometimes actually quite useful research on show in Tokyo this

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month. Next up, a look at this week's Tech News.

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A disastrous week for RIM with BlackBerry outages spreading across

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the world affecting millions of computers. The failure of back-up

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systems to kick in after databases were corrupted could cause

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irreparable damage to Rennes that has built its erect quotation on

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solid. It has shed half a million users in America and analysts say

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more could switch to an iPhone and Android smart phones that do not

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rely on a centralised system. Apple has launched its new operating

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system that offers messaging, its answer to BlackBerry Messam does.

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Germany's justice minister has called for an investigation after

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hackers expose a programme that has been spying on citizens. Berlin's

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Chaos Computer Club said Federal trojan can activate wed cans or

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computer market aims to track activities in a person's home or

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monitor Skype calls. The area has admitted using the software since

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2009 but says it was not illegal. You might not have the money to go

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into space but your science experiment might make it to the ISS,

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if you're aged 14-18. The YouTube Spacelab competition encourages

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people to send in a short video detailing their idea.

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Finally you don't usually see dot- matrix printers any more, much less

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plucked into a computer on a tricycle but Nicholas Hanna put

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these together as he rode his modified trike through Beijing as

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part of its design week. It is a modern twist on an old Chinese

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tradition of writing calligraphy in water.

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I lived on a crowded island. My morning commute to work is a

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crowded one. My personal space is 0. But at Heathrow they are offering a

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new system, automated driver Les iPods that offer public-transport

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with a personal touch. We could only send Peter Price along for the

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There's something strange taking to the sky over Heathrow. Four seater

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pods are moving overhead, whisking travellers from car park to check-

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in in record time. Travelling at 40 kilometres an hour, these battery

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powered vehicles use lasers to stay on track. We're used to seeing

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monorails at airports, but this system's different. The pods are

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automated, driverless and operate on-demand - waiting at the station

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until they're needed rather than running around empty. This system's

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a hybrid of public and private transport. It's like public

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transport because like a bus or a monorail, you just hop on the next

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one. It's also a bit like private taxi because you tell it exactly

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where you'd like to go and the pod, which is individual to you, takes

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you there, from A to B without stopping anywhere in between. So,

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business parking station A please. Here we go. Here at Heathrow, the

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pods are replacing buses shaving about 10 minutes from the average

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journey time. That's time saved thanks to each pod being controlled

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by a central computer. Its software is on a mission get the pod to its

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destination in the fastest time. Two operators monitor the comings

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and goings via CCTV, but don't be fooled, it's computer rather than

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human that's doing the thinking. Computer-controlled transport like

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this is known as personal rapid transit or PRT and it's ambition

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goes beyond airports. Well, this was designed to work in cities. Not

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the very big cities like London, which is a very unique place, but

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also designed for somewhere like Bristol. I just thought that

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transport's not very well done. I thought if it was thought through

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properly you could find a better way to do it. The idea's been

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around for some time but in the past people have been carried away

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with trying to do automation, you know the technical things. We've

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always tried to provide a service to people which would actually do

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what the passenger wanted. It all looks very futuristic, but the idea

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of PRT has been around for decades, and it's development has been

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anything but fast. It was conceived in the 50s and one of the first

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trials took place in Paris. Leaving gaps between trains is inefficient

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says the science, so this project aims to run pods as close together

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as possible, maximising capacity of the track. The carriages of this

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little train are connected by light waves. Each carriage carries a

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laser which bounces its beam off the carriage in front. It measures

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how long it takes the light to travel and calculates how far away

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the next carriage is. Slightly too close for comfort perhaps. While

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the Parisian system was abandoned, PRT has once again caught the

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imagination with several systems currently in development around the

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world. This is the UK's most high profile transport project: High

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Speed 2. Brand new tracks across these fields will link London and

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Birmingham. It's still many years away, but the trains look strangely

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conventional. One man who specialises in transport design,

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thinks future high speed travel could benefit from some blue-sky

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thinking. I think they're being built on an old system. By their

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very nature they have to be built going past the outside cities

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because it's so expensive to go through them. So that's one problem,

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because you then have to get from the city to the high speed train. I

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also think that stations haven't changed at all for about 100 years,

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they're still a piece of concrete and you get wet when it rains.

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is Paul's vision of the future, doing away with platforms and

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stations all together. Slow moving trams pick up passengers in the

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city centre before speeding up to pull alongside passing express

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trains. Then it's a gentle stroll across to continue your journey.

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The doors close, the tram slows and returns to plying the city streets.

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The idea is that you can seamlessly move from one destination to

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another rather than stopping and starting. Because I think the

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railway system at the moment is a bit like pre-internet, the

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telephone, where you had to press a button and then someone connected

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it through wires. Rather than being able to choose where you want to go

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and do it right then. So the idea that you can just jump on a tram

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and go anywhere in the continent is just a better way of looking at it.

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It's a glossy vision, but some experts are cautious. All transport

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infrastructure, but particularly railways, is very expensive to

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construct. To make it viable you need high densities of traffic, big

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capacity. Railways are also very demanding technically. If anything

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goes wrong, the railway stops. So have to be absolutely sure that you

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can make the equipment work reliably and you get a lot of

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people down the line of route. It is difficult to do and if you use

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untried, untested technology, the risk is that it you will end up

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with something that simply doesn't work. I don't believe the railway

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in the form of a tram or the steel rail will ever become anywhere near

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replacing the road. The road is just so much more flexible, it's

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cheaper for most people most of the time. In the UK only 8% of

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passenger miles are by rail. Almost all the movement, and this is true

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of all developed countries, almost all the movement is by road.

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Heathrow's at least, these pods are a futuristic way of easing

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congestion on the roads, by replacing buses they're smoothing

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the businessman's trip to the airport. But although the airport's

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expansion plans are ambitious, rapid transit as a mainstream

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method of transport could still be decades down the line. Now, you may

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have noticed that Kate Russell does not get out of the Webscape studio

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that often. That may have led you to wonder if she gets a bit lonely.

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Apparently she does not, she has lots of friends around to her place.

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Apparently that includes me. The thing is, I have never been around

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to her place. This is Webscape. How could I get lonely when I have a

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life-sized Spencer standing in my living room? Aurasma Lite lets you

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place images in the world around you without the need for a marker.

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Snap a picture as the location, and a graphic element from your camera,

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the next time anyone use the same location through the application,

:18:50.:19:00.
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up pops your contribution to the world around you. This would be a

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great way to create a high technology treasure tried, laying

:19:06.:19:16.
:19:16.:19:16.

clues around your garden or over you are holding a... You can play

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on your iPhone. Make sure you do not play with anyone with a

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different smart phone. It could end up with a fight. The application is

:19:29.:19:33.

incredibly easy to use. Although the website says it only works with

:19:33.:19:43.
:19:43.:19:47.

an iPhone 4, I had no issues on my 3G. If that is too high technology

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for you, why not pass some time reading ancient papyrus.

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Ancientlives.org is a scientific project where participants are

:19:58.:20:02.

asked to help translate fragments from ancient text that belonged to

:20:02.:20:12.
:20:12.:20:18.

the Egyptian exploration Society. This is another Zooniverse project.

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They have added quite a few new projects to their list since I last

:20:23.:20:27.

visited the website. If you want a really good excuse to waste time on

:20:27.:20:37.

the internet, this is probably the right website to bookmark. I am

:20:37.:20:40.

doing some very important scientific research. If you must

:20:41.:20:50.
:20:51.:20:52.

know. Like all Zooniverse projects, it is well designed. It's still

:20:52.:20:56.

feels like you are contributing to a series scientific project. Of

:20:56.:21:04.

course, you are. If you have a story you want to tell, why not try

:21:04.:21:13.

self-publishing? Movellas .com is the easy to use electronic book

:21:13.:21:23.
:21:23.:21:26.

writer. You cannot charge for books written through Movellas .com, but

:21:26.:21:30.

it is about distributing your words to anyone who is interested in

:21:30.:21:35.

reading them. Lot in with Facebook to harness your personal crowd and

:21:35.:21:39.

then tap away. You can invite a couple of collaborators if you need

:21:39.:21:45.

someone to proof-read your work. When you're finished, click publish

:21:45.:21:48.

instantly. Then wait with trepidation to see what the world

:21:48.:21:58.
:21:58.:21:58.

makes of your work. London is famous for its underground trains.

:21:58.:22:02.

What many visitors to the city do not realise is that the bus service

:22:02.:22:10.

could be your best option for many journeys. The largest problem is

:22:10.:22:13.

that the timetables can be confusing. You never quite know

:22:14.:22:23.
:22:24.:22:24.

when a bus is due. Not any more with Bus Checker for iPhone, iPad

:22:24.:22:30.

and iPod. You can check when it is due and where it is going based on

:22:30.:22:36.

actual information from Transport for London, not the timetable. You

:22:36.:22:41.

complain your journey and I am not surprised this application has led

:22:41.:22:49.

to the top of the charts since it was launched. It cost �1.99 to up

:22:49.:22:53.

load. A great investment for anyone planning to visit the city for the

:22:53.:23:02.

Olympics next year. Apple has opened the doors of the iCloud

:23:02.:23:06.

website, customers can sign up for the service that backs your data up

:23:06.:23:16.

to the cloud. You cannot actually use it until you have are graded to

:23:16.:23:21.

the latest operating system, when that update became available, the

:23:21.:23:25.

service groaned under the weight of demand, seem incapable of coping

:23:25.:23:30.

with the extra traffic. Let's hope the iCloud service is a little more

:23:30.:23:39.

robust. Zynga has announced Project Z, a platform for playing social

:23:40.:23:44.

games and chatting with friends, powered by Facebook connect. It is

:23:44.:23:50.

not quite live yet but you can go to ztag.zynga.com and snag your

:23:50.:24:00.
:24:00.:24:00.

favourite user name ahead of the masses. See you online.

:24:00.:24:05.

Kate Russell. If he missed any of Kate's things they are up at our

:24:05.:24:14.

website. There is a link to the entire programme on BBC iPlayer.

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The tech show travels to Japan to see the protoypes of what could be tomorrow's gadgets and reports from Heathrow Airport on a hi-tech personalised pod shuttle.

Includes technology news and Webscape.


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