Changespotting

Rachael McKinnon rounds up the best the web has to offer

A glimpse of the future

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The minimalist movement is taking hold of the housing industry.
The minimalist movement is taking hold of the housing industry.

Car accidents caused by drivers unintentionally slamming their feet down on the accelerator instead of the brake might be remedied by a Japanese invention that combines the two pedals into one.

We're fortunate enough to be part of the generation that's seeing science-fiction become reality. Case in point: technology in development by IBM which could see the rise of personalised billboards communicating directly to passers-by, like those seen in Minority Report.

In the US, a universal translator is in its developmental stages and could impact on the world of international diplomacy. It may also change the future of global backpackers and could make its human counterparts more than a little nervous if it's effective.

Aspirations towards capacious, sprawling dwellings may be dwindling as people trend towards "rightsizing", or setting themselves up in tiny prefabricated houses. Mansions: out, 100-square-foot homes: in!

Here's a question you probably never thought you'd ponder: will Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle become a slightly-less-uncertain-principle? It plagued Einstein throughout his lifetime, but quantum computers might have the answer.

Lastly, if you've been dreaming of the day that you could receive phone calls vicariously transmitted through a creepy, amorphous robot, then dream no longer. Video calling may well become passé once this Osaka University masterpiece, the Telenoid R1, makes its way into the arena of long-distance communication.

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