A Swiftly Changing Landscape

A cool infographic by Raconteur accompanies Desjardins’ article posted on VisualCapitalist.com. You can check out a high-resolution version of the visual element through a link in the story.

In a fascinating peek into the not-so-distant future, Jeff Desjardins, writing on the website Visual Capitalist, takes a by-the-numbers look at how technology is fueling a swiftly shifting media landscape. When, and how, we get information has changed dramatically in just a few years, and if trends count for anything, bigger changes are ahead. As Desjardins puts it:

“Over your lifetime, the consumption of media and entertainment has already changed drastically.
“For Boomers and Gen Xers, the shift has been earth-shattering. Both generations will remember a time before mainstream computing when TV was dominated by the Big Three TV networks (NBC, ABC, and CBS), and newspapers and magazines were the main way to stay in touch with what was happening.
“Even millennials have seen fundamental shifts in consumption of media. After all, they experienced the rise of social media, online news, streaming, and digital video firsthand. Many of them will remember their college getting access to Facebook for the first time, the death of Napster, and the funny sounds their 28.8k modem made as it struggled to successfully download a single image file.”

It’s fair to assume that the coming changes will affect virtually everyone who consumes information. Of course, if you’re reading this, you’re already a little ahead of the game, and you probably know you can read ELEVATOR WORLD on your computer, phone or tablet. Where will you be reading it a couple of years from now?

This “ANYmal” Gives This Editor the Creeps

You may have seen a video making the rounds on the Internet in the past few weeks showing a robotic “dog” quickly and jerkily making its way up to an elevator call button panel, quickly punching a button, then hopping in for ride. The video serves as a showcase for a new software framework developed by roboticists in Switzerland that operates a prototype four-legged robot called ANYmal. Both the software and ANYmal were developed by Robotics Systems Lab of ETH Zurich, and will be presented at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Robotics and Automation Society’s upcoming conference in Mexico on November 15-17.

While the ANYmal is undeniably neat, it kind of gives me the creeps. It’s freaky fast, bringing to mind the zombies in the movie World War Z or the rapidly evolving vampire-like monsters in The Strain series. UPDATE: A colleague pointed out the video may have been sped up. Still freaks me out.

 

 

Coming Soon to a City Near You?

U.K.-based Daily Mail has reported on what is says could be “the world’s tallest building ever.” Analemma Tower would be suspended from an orbiting asteroid 31,068 miles above Earth. It would hover above various places as it swings in a figure eight between the northern and southern hemispheres each day.

If the importance of a tethered high-strength cable sounds familiar, you may remember it from various space-elevator proposals. Here, one would be attached to an asteroid that is lowered to Earth and attached to the tower.

Could this be the start of a new wave of building design, or is it as Eugene Pharr commented, “just a ‘space elevator’ that is not anchored at the bottom”?