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Weird tech for the workplace and home


Syd Bolton, Brantford Expostor

, Last Updated: 7:18 PM ET

It’s hard to refute that technology has had a positive impact on our world (and, arguably, a negative one as well). What I have noticed lately, however, is that technology is helping us do our jobs better but in some unique and unusual ways.

For example, I was recently introduced to eHat, which is a combination of a hard hat and a streaming device. When you are at a job site and need some assistance, just enable the hat and it will stream video and audio of what you see, through your cellphone, back to head office or another place where an expert can assist you in the field. The smart hat includes a light, camera, and a microphone and allows you to use it hands free. Yes folks, even hats have become smart these days.

I am not sure that it would be acceptable today, but apparently police departments in Japan used to use the Doryu 2-16 pistol camera. Looking like a pistol, it was actually a camera that used 16mm film. Like a real gun, it had a bullet magazine that could hold six magnesium cartridges that were used for the flash. The gun made a big bang when you snapped a photo, making people think a shot had been fired. All the while, the biggest damage possible was a compromising photograph.

Who doesn’t like a massage? Getting your partner to do it can be challenging, but what if they like video games? This home-built do-it-yourself kit could change that forever. If you look at the jacket produced at massage-me.at, you will see that two people are still required to make this work but the masseuse in this case is going to have a much easier job than normal.

One person lays on the ground with the jacket on while the other plays a video game using special controls built into the jacket. So the wearer gets a massage at the same time. I imagine that each game provides a different experience. I’m willing to find out if I enjoy Pac-Man or Space Invaders more, if there are any volunteers.

If you are a landscaper, you likely enjoy working outdoors with the flowers and the trees. Is there anyone who actually enjoys cutting the lawn though? Since there are robot vacuum cleaners, such as iRobot, how about robotic lawnmowers? It turns out there actually is one. Husqvarna makes the job of cutting grass as easy as the push of a button and while they are not cheap, they are certainly pretty amazing at what they do.

The tagline “Wake me up, before you blow blow” may make you crack a smile, but the ear piercing sounds of the sonic grenade might have you running for the hills. But whatever work needs to be done, this technology wonder can come to your aid in a safe and yet annoying way.

There are so many ways technology has changed jobs and these are just a few examples. I remember when I was younger and personal computers were relatively new on the scene, I used to say “I am going to learn computers because when I grow up, computers will be part of almost every job out there. Except a sanitation engineer perhaps.” The reality is, even the garbage collectors use technology to do their job. Computers are literally everywhere.

Syd Bolton is the curator of the Personal Computer Museum and the manager of Information Technology at ACIC / Methapharm. You can reach him via-email at sbolton@bfree.on.ca or on Twitter @sydbolton.

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