Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"The writing is clicking away in my head and piling up, and unless I get it on paper somehow it's going to create uncomfortable pressure in my skull."
- Isaac Asimov

Cinematophote (Blue Optic Plate)  
  The first reference to a tablet-sized, handheld screen.  

This remarkable story predicted not only television and instantaneous visual communication across the earth. It also predicts the couch potato.

Advanced thinkers, like Vashti, had always held it foolish to visit the surface of the earth. Air-ships might be necessary, but what was the good of going out for mere curiosity and crawling along for a mile or two in a terrestrial motor? The habit was vulgar and perhaps faintly improper: it was unproductive of ideas, and had no connection with the habits that really mattered. So respirators were abolished, and with them, of course, the terrestrial motors, and except for a few lecturers, who complained that they were debarred access to their subject- matter, the development was accepted quietly. Those who still wanted to know what the earth was like had after all only to listen to some gramophone, or to look into some cinematophote. And even the lecturers acquiesced when they found that a lecture on the sea was none the less stimulating when compiled out of other lectures that had already been delivered on the same subject.
From The Machine Stops, by E.M. Forster.
Published by Oxford and Cambridge Review in 1909
Additional resources -

Here's another quote that describes the device in greater detail:

    "But it was fully fifteen seconds before the round plate that she held in her hands began to glow. A faint blue light shot across it, darkening to purple, and presently she could see the image of her son, who lived on the other side of the earth, and he could see her."
It could be argued that a German engineering student named Paul Nipkow actually invented television in 1884. He patented an electromechanical television system that made use of the idea of scanning an image and transmitting the pieces of the image sequentially. He created the Nipkow disk, a rotating scanning disk camera that placed a rapidly rotating disk between a scene and a light-sensitive selenium element. It was designed with 18 lines of resolution. It is not known whether or not Nipkow actually built a prototype. Electromechanical versions of televisions waited until the early 1900's; electronic systems rendered them obsolete in 1934.

Also, in 1879, an instrument called a telelectroscope was invented; this device transmitted a simple visual scene over phone lines. Here is how it was reported in Scientific American:

We have recently on one or two occasions alluded to the telectroscope invented by M. Senlecq of Ardres. We now have before us some very ingenious and curious applications of selenium, in which its peculiar property of changing its electrical conductivity when exposed to light varying in intensity is utilized. The several devices are the invention of Mr. George R. Carey, of Boston, Mass. Perhaps the most curious of these instruments is the selenium camera obscura, which is capable of transmitting telegraphically an image of any object and making a permanent impression of it at a distant point. In this case a person may sit before the camera in New York while his photograph is made in Boston. Mr. Carey employs two methods of accomplishing the object, one being something like M. Senlecq's, and the other totally different. We hope to present to our readers before long the details of these interesting instruments.

(Thanks to Jim Linwood for suggesting this story.)

Comment/Join this discussion ( 2 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Machine Stops
  More Ideas and Technology by E.M. Forster
  Tech news articles related to The Machine Stops
  Tech news articles related to works by E.M. Forster

Cinematophote (Blue Optic Plate)-related news articles:
  - Americans Give Up Friends For Net

Articles related to Display
A New Way To Run Into Things
Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style
Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Nobe 3-Wheel Electric Vehicle Parking Like I, Robot
Spidercar, Spidercar, does whatever a spidercar does.

Michelin Self-Sealing Tires On Ford's Explorer
'...a seal of compressed plastifoam to save the air.'

Mushroom Eats Plastic, Saves Planet
Fungus Amongus, SaveUs!

Juggalo Face Paint Disrupts Facial Recognition
'... designed to foil facial recognition systems.'

Mojipic Smart Voice Vehicle Emojis
KITT, what's your response?

Unusual Twist On Woman Dates Robot
'My hearing, vision and awareness went along with that excellent imitation of a young Adonis...'

BrainNet Triple Telepathic Gaming Threat
'In the gloomy half-darkness the three idiots sat babbling.'

AVAS Noisemakers Required For EVs By EU
'...a sound tape to supply the noise of a soi-disant "[internal combustion]" engine...'

Pun Generation Via Neural Nets
'You said you wanted him to be able to distinguish between laugh-power in different gags...'

Blood Battery Robotic Fish
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.