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Suresh Menon: Just call me Mr Gadget

Suresh Menon is a writer based in India. In his youth he set out to change the world but later decided to leave it as it is

  • By Suresh Menon for Friday magazine
  • Published: 00:00 January 20, 2012
  • Friday

iPad
  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • What gadget will replace the iPad in the future?

Of course we want world peace to go with our iPad, iPod, iPid, iPed and iPud, but we also need other things - ones that haven't been created yet. Here's my list of likely inventions:

1. Books that can be used as telephones: As mobile phones get more sophisticated (unlike the people who keep speaking loudly into them in public places), there will be a ‘back-to-the-roots' movement. Rather than reading Tolstoy's War and Peace on your phone (which, frankly, anyone below the age of 15 can do these days if they want to), you will be able to speak into Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude and say hello to your folks in another continent.

2. GPS: The new GPS will not merely tell you to turn right or left - it will actually go out and do your job so you can sit at home and watch TV. A wedding to attend? A friend to visit? A theatre performance to take in? You can be at home watching re-runs of Seinfeld while your GPS turns left or right and marks your presence at these unmissable events. Medium size for adults and large economy size for children who ought to be in school.

3. Virtual Spectator: Instead of television bringing live action into your living room so you can have a virtual feel of the Olympic Games, you will be virtually airlifted to the venue so you can watch Usain Bolt run the 100 metres. Of course if you happen to run into your boss, that will virtually be the end of your career.

4. Traffic Jam Dissipator: Cars are likely to be fitted with the swear-generator, which is useful for the times when another vehicle overtakes you from the wrong side or tries to squeeze past you into a parking space. You merely switch on the device and relax while it curses fluently in four languages, shouts and screams at the offender and asks him to attempt physically impossible postures. Good for the blood pressure too.

5. Home Movie Sensor: You can watch movies, you can hear them, and if you're very lucky you can scratch and sniff them at the cinema. But you can't smell anything from your TV. For that authentic movie experience, this is the next stage in the evolution. Of course, if the script calls for a tanker to blow up and break into pieces over marshy land with the bodies of rotting animals in a long scene, it might not prove very popular.

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6. Special Holiday Cameras: Available as video cameras as well as for still photography, these will be bought by friends and neighbours for those setting out on holidays to exotic places. The pictures and videos last until the day the holiday-maker returns home, at which point they erase themselves. Great as gifts for those whose boring holiday videos you do not want to see.

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