Considering that the average person can pull out a device smaller than their hand and access the collective general knowledge of the world, and that a group of above average people managed to shoot a remotely operated vehicle on a planet hundreds of millions of miles away, it takes a lot for a new technological idea to make you take notice.
But that is the case with Ikei Laboratory’s Virtual Body Technology, as it explores that age old fascinating concept of virtual reality in an exciting and new way, where the user is allowed to see, hear, smell, and feel what another person would be seeing, hearing, smelling and feeling in a completely different part of the world.
It’s not quite stepping into someone else’s shoes, especially as the avatar isn’t real and the experience is predetermined, but what’s impressive is the sheer set up of the device, which revolves around a motion capable chair facing a 3D monitor, surrounded by fans that simulate smells and sensations (like the wind), while the user wears a pair of high quality headphones and fits themselves into a foot rig that’s motion and vibration can simulate walking and running. It’s extremely comprehensive in recreating genuine physical experiences.
Honestly, this kind of thing has been around for a while, and is even used in high-tech movie theaters and theme parks as an attraction. This design is slightly different though in how many sensations and experiences it can recreate and, more importantly, how accurately it can recreate them. Even with all of our technological advancements, virtual reality is still an idea that eludes us in the classic sense of the term, but this device is a practical step forward in closing in on the idea.
Right now the main motivation behind the device is to allow elderly people who may be unable to do so traditionally the chance to explore new places in the most complete way possible. However, it is also capable of scenarios like recreating the sensation of running like world champion Usain Bolt. In other words, it has the potential to provide a uniquely entertaining experience for anyone who straps themselves in.
Well, unless they choose the Jay Cutler simulator.
In the land of sci-fi cops and criminals battles, the technological advancements to the fight usually comes in natural forms (better weapons, better vehicles, incredible computer systems) to the obscure (detecting crime before it happens, anti-graffiti walls, and of course, the above shown half-man, half-machine law enforcement officers).
Oddly one of the most important, and practical, devices that never seem to get much of an update in the fictitious future of film are the handcuffs. Maybe that’s because most of us just view them as simple restraints, that don’t actually need an upgrade past the purpose of keeping a convict’s hands to themselves.
There is a company called Scottsdale Inventions, though, that has a patent in the works that aims to change that perception. With their new design, handcuffs would provide active, non-violent solutions to truly restraining prisoners. The biggest feature in this is their shock capabilities, which can remotely send taser like voltage to a prisoner through the cuffs. This could be accomplished in a variety of ways, including a remote signal, to setting parameters similar to the shock collar on a dog. Items that are also off limits like weapons or door handles could be tagged so that going near them would send a shock as well.
Should the shocks prove to be ineffective, the cuffs have one more trick available, that could allow an injection of presumably pacifying drugs to be administered in extreme situations. This would either be in the form of a liquid or gas injection system.
Even in the early prototype model, there is already a very strong emphasis on safety and prevention. Early examples of this include visual and audio warnings that alert the detainee if a shock or shot is coming. The cuffs will also keep a record of the time, quantity, and severity of shocks and injections, as well as function as a tracking device.
While flying cars and android officers might be the more exciting and flashy images of future law enforcement, it’s devices like these handcuffs that will ultimately provide the real futuristic contributions to the war on crime.