There hasn’t been a lot of changes in robot vacuums over the last ten years, until now. Dyson’s new vacuum sports a 360 degree camera which it uses to determine reference points for where it is in the room. It has the suction tech Dyson vacuums are known for. It can also be controlled with an iPhone.

It’s a bit taller than a Roomba, so it’s not going to be able to go under a low couch. It’s going to be interesting to see how much this thing costs.

People’s first response has been “Why would Facebook buy Oculus Rift”? They see the current incarnation of Facebook and think, “What can you possibly do with VR on Facebook? Facebook is just a text interface! Are they just going to make VR Facebook games?” That’s really short term thinking. In order to make really ground breaking technology, you have to think long term.

For example, say that you come up with a really great product idea, but it requires a lot more network bandwidth than is currently available to most consumers. In other words, even if you wanted to build it today, you couldn’t because of the lack of network bandwidth that would be required. A lot of people would just drop the idea right there, or wait until that type of bandwidth comes available.

In research projects, you really can’t be limited by that kind of restriction. You have to project where the technology will eventually be and how fast it will get there. Technology like networking will continue to improve for the foreseeable future. The question is how long it will take for it to catch up with your idea.

With something like VR, people always ask “What kind of program can I use this with? VR office where I can see everyone? Third person shooter?” Those are exactly the wrong questions. Sure, you can make a game. You can make a environment where people run around and build things, like in Minecraft. But you can do those on a regular computer screen too, maybe even with 3D glasses. What’s the point?

The question needs to be, how can I make something so compelling that people will use it exclusively. Something so amazing that they only way to really experience it correctly is with what you’ve built. It’s the difference between Second life and Star Trek’s Holodeck.

And it’s only with long term thinking that something like that can be accomplished.

I’m hoping that whatever Facebook has planned, it takes this long term approach. Build something new and different, something so compelling that people need to use this new tech on it’s own.

This looks very, very cool.

The biggest problem with this kind of tech before was that you needed special paper (with small grids, or dots) to have it work with your computer. This doesn’t. It lets you import your drawing as vectors, with layers, using regular paper.

LG is putting 9.7-inch color and 19-inch flexible e-paper displays into production.

Could this be what the future of digital books really is? It seems a little odd to me that it would be in a multi-page format, rather than a single page that changes. I thought at first it might be interesting to have a blank book, with each page being a digital display, but…. that would be kinda stupid. A much more likely scenario would be to have posters made from these displays. For advertising, it would mean less work sending people out to change bill boards. For home, you could have large format displays for just about anything you’d want. Plus, since they would be able to change, you can make them time aware, so the poster would change depending on how you usually use it during the day. News in the morning, television schedule or cooking instructions in the evening.

I know you can do all of that now, but the real bonus here is that it’s so thin, you can put the display in places where bulky monitors just won’t fit.

Lot of possibilities.

Sooner or later, someone’s going to figure out how to put these things on cereal boxes, and you’ll never be able to walk down that aisle in the grocery store again without having your brain go into overload.

via Engadget.