TV on demand

TV on demand

Back in September last year we reviewed a video on demand service called They feature talks from some of the worlds most remarkable people. This month I would like look at a couple of talks from this website that I have found very interesting and I hope you will too.

The first talk is by a guy called Pranav Mistry who has been developing a new way of interacting with computers.

The video can be found at or at this shortcut

Rather than using a mouse and a keyboard Pranav feels that a gesture type interface is the way forward and has developed a quite amazingly sophisticated input device for a computer that can be carried around as part of your clothing. The computer screen can be projected onto any surface (wall, writing paper, newspaper) and can be interacted with by hand movements, for example to see what time it is Pranav draws a circle on his wrist with his index finger and the computer attached to him projects an image of the Windows clock onto his wrist!

When he picks up a newspaper, the computer “reads” what he is looking at and projects relevant information onto the page to enhance the news article (video, statistical information etc). All in all, this is a compelling video that shows us what we could expect to see in technology in the coming years. Certainly the general principle of using gestures to interact with our computers seems to be the way forward, it’s something that we do naturally and we don’t really have to learn. Who knows perhaps sign language will be the language that is taught in the school of the future?

The next talk that I found very interesting was by a guy called Jamie Haywood who setup an Internet company called “Patients Like Me” inspired by his brother Stephen who contracted ALS (a terminal disease).

The video can be viewed at or at this shortcut

What the family wanted to do was to gather as much information about Stephens condition as possible, review as many other people in the same situation as him and use that information to make the best decisions about his treatment, the drugs that he should use and how best to get the most from what little time he had left.

Although the talk is a very sobering look at life – it’s also however inspiring because out of this research came the website which allows any of us to review our own conditions. It allows us to learn from other people who match our symptoms and allows us to learn about new treatment methods and ways of managing our individual health situations.

One good example can be found in the symptoms section of the website there are currently 9535 people suffering from Insomnia. From the website you can see what drugs (both “over the counter” and “supplemental”) or treatments are being taken, how effective in each case these treatments are over time.