Tag Archives: Technology

Antikythera Mechanism

This here is the Antikythera Mechanism. Discovered along the coast off the Greek Island of Antikythera in 1902 by archaeologist Valerios Staiswas; the Antikythera Mechanism was found in the wreckage of a Roman ship believed to have sunk around 60 BC. The device itself dates back to 85 BC and recent studies suggest that it might be even older, and could be from about 150 BC.

The Antikythera Mechanism is the world’s first analogue computer and studies have suggested that its most likely use was to chart the movement of the sun, moon and planets, predict lunar and solar eclipses and even signal the next Olympic Games. This two millennium old device was also a calculator and could add, subtract, multiply and divide as well as being able to display the position of the sun and the moon in the zodiac. Apparently, the device also had a fortune telling aspect.

A very sophisticated device for its time, the Mechanism had thirty gears housed in a shoebox sized wooden and bronze case. The gears allowed for complex calculations otherwise virtually impossible without the Mechanism.

Today marks the 115th anniversary of the discovery of the Mechanism, most likely built in the island of Rhodes and most likely not one of a kind, although no others have ever been found. There has been numerous references to such devices in the pages of classical literature dating from 300 BC to 500 AD.

The device is a technological wonder and some its components are as intricate as eighteenth century locks. And although there were inscriptions on the device (about its workings and so), its technological and mechanical complexity was lost for at least another thousand years. Today’s Google Doodle pays an homage to the Antikythera Mechanism – from one technological marvel to another!

Pokémon Go (and get me more business)!

Pokémon, a media franchise that enamoured an entire generation of kids. And let’s face it, adults too. The franchise was created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1995 and was created as a pair of video games for Game Boy. It was then adapted into films and an animated series and has recently come a full circle with the launch of the augmented reality game, Pokémon Go.

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Pokémon Go is an example of the wonders of technology of the modern age. Everyone who watched Pokémon, dreamed of catching and training these pocket monsters (incidentally that’s where the name comes from. Romanisation of the Japanese Poketto Monsutā). The author remembers reading a post where someone suggested the exact idea of the game, a few years ago. Now, it’s quite possible that the makers had the idea themselves, while there’s also a faint possibility, that in this increasingly socially connected world, maybe someone at the right place got the idea from that post. If so, then Pokémon Go is so much more the result of a modern technology – socially connected world, realising their childhood dreams with the help of available technology.

Finally with the launch of Pokémon Go, many from that generation are getting to live their dream. Adults, mostly, are more excited than kids, with people actually taking longer routes or detours just to catch one in the area.  But, Pokémon Go is not just about realising a childhood dream, it’s also about commerce. Not just selling the game and in game products but the different opportunities that it offers.

There are something called Pokémon Gyms and PokéStops, and they are usually local landmarks and businesses. This provides an opportunity to local businesses and the game also offers something called the Lure Module, something that lures a Pokémon to your PokéStop for thirty minutes. Which means, if you are a business, you can use that to attract customers, like this museum here, which photographed the Pokémon and put them next to their various displays and then on their blog to get more people in or this clothing store here or like this clothing store here.

Clothing Store

Obviously there was going to be a negative and a recent report suggests that robbers used the game to lure unsuspecting victims in and then mug them. However, more businesses are getting inspired as well and are using the game, usually with some sort of Pokémon themed deliverable. Some businesses are also looking to apply as a PokéStop or a Pokémon Gym but as of now, these are predetermined locations by the developers. Although, it sure seems like an opportunity they’ll look into soon. Till then play Pokémon Go and get yourself some more business!