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IT's coming right for us!
January 12th 2001, 13:34 CET by Frain

You probably already know about "IT", but then you probably don't. Everyone and his brother's talking about "IT" right now, so why don't you join the uninformed discussing that's going on everywhere? It's big news, PC style!

Check out some of these articles about IT: Inside, MSNBC, Salon, Wired.

Apparently this new technology will revolutionize our way of living, thinking, and building cities. That does sound a bit extreme to me, but could it be a hoax? To make the story a bit more interesting, there are already some patents pending and some are already courtesy of the creator Dean Kamen, (links balantly stolen from the Shugashack... sue me!):

Patents from the past: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Patents applying for: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

So what is IT? My personal guess would be some new means of personal transport while others think it's a new energy source... who knows? Do YOU?

Discuss, spread rumours and tell us about your gut feelings!
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#1 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2001-01-12 13:43:35
pianist@canada.com
FIRST POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
#2 by "PiMuRho"
2001-01-12 13:46:42
pimurho@blueyonder.co.uk
"IT" is actually a device that when added to messageboards/weblogs, causes them to start at post #2, thereby eliminating first posters! Bonus!

PiMuRho
#3 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2001-01-12 13:47:09
pianist@canada.com
In your fricking face, spackbace.

None of the patents listed pertain to "IT" they refer to the "Ibot Transporter."

From Wired:
After $50 million and eight years in development, the Ibot Transporter - a six-wheeled robotic "mobility system" that can climb stairs, traverse sandy and rocky terrain, and raise its user to eye-level with a standing person - is undergoing FDA trials, and should be available by 2001, at a cost of $20,000.


"IT" is most likely the "Stirling Motor" which it's assumed Kamen has perfected.
#4 by "asspennies"
2001-01-12 13:47:55
asspennies@somethingawful.com
It doesn't MATTER what IT is!!!!

(people's eyebrow)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#5 by "PiMuRho"
2001-01-12 13:48:55
pimurho@blueyonder.co.uk
In all seriousness, the last invention of Dean Kamen's was a powered wheelchair that could go over any terrain, climb stairs and raise itself up by balancing on two wheels (automatically compensating for movement). With that in mind, I suspect it's a transportation device of some sort.
I hope he's right. I hope it does change the world. Can't see it personally though.

PiMuRho
#6 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2001-01-12 13:49:05
pianist@canada.com
http://www.delphion.com/details?&pn=US06062023__

Cantilevered crankshaft stirling cycle machine

Allegedly an extremely efficient engine, never perfected.


That's my theory anyway.
#7 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2001-01-12 13:50:13
pianist@canada.com
Whoa shit, thanks for that info PiMuRho, it's not like I just said that or anything. 3 cheers for redundancy!
#8 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2001-01-12 13:52:34
pianist@canada.com
Btw, PiMuRho, saying "IT" is a transportation device based on his last invention is flawed, because before that he made personal dialysis pumps and such.
#9 by "PiMuRho"
2001-01-12 13:53:03
pimurho@blueyonder.co.uk
You what? When I typed it, you hadn't posted. Sue me.

PiMuRho
#10 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2001-01-12 13:53:41
pianist@canada.com
I will sue you.
#11 by "PiMuRho"
2001-01-12 13:54:09
pimurho@blueyonder.co.uk
And, I said I suspect it's a transportation device. That's an OPINION, not a statement of fact. Anyway, prove me wrong. Go on.

PiMuRho
#12 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2001-01-12 13:55:56
pianist@canada.com
So to summate everything for everyone, all the patents in the topic probably do not pertain to "IT", they pertain to the Ibot Transporter, "IT" is most likely related to the "Stirling cycle machine", and this discussion is just going to get retarded.
#13 by "Johan"
2001-01-12 13:56:47
johan@innerloop.no
Seems like a hovercar to me, judging from some of the patents.

"Revolutionize our way of living"... Can somebody hand me a puke bag, please?


Peace,

-Johan
#14 by "Andy"
2001-01-12 13:58:06
andy@meejahor.com
I desperately want IT to be a teleportation system. You have no idea how much I want teleportation to exist!

But alas I'll have to go along with the concensus opinion and guess IT is some sort of personal transport system. I'm not guessing hovercraft, though, because personal flight devices are where we're heading.

So, either it's a form of jet pack or, much more likely I think, one of those strap-on-your-back helicopter things. That would fit in with the quote about (paraphrasing) "people will buy it, but the question is will they be allowed to use it". Personal helicopters would be pretty dangerous, especially if a lot of people were using them.
#15 by "PiMuRho"
2001-01-12 14:01:02
pimurho@blueyonder.co.uk
I'm not sure I like the idea of teleporters. If data is being sent from one place to another (i.e. telepod to telepod), what happens if it doesn't get to the destination?
Essentially, teleportation is creating a copy of yourself and deleting the original. What happens when some smartarse stops deleting the original?

PiMuRho
#16 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2001-01-12 14:01:52
pianist@canada.com
This is what I meant about this discussion getting retarded. Read the patents. Do you see anything about hovering? They relate to the Ibot Transporter. Relevant link: http://www.wirednews.com/wired/archive/8.09/kamen.html

Stirling Engine, insanely efficient, revolutionary, nobody seems to care about it: http://www.delphion.com/details?&pn=US06062023__

A stirling engine would have a very low heat differential so a small one could run using the heat generated from your hand. This would revolutionize the world. A hovercar would not.
#17 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2001-01-12 14:02:53
pianist@canada.com
Oh yeah I forgot, fuck the evidence, it's a jetpack!
#18 by "Johan"
2001-01-12 14:05:08
johan@innerloop.no
If IT's a jetpack, they will have to pay royalties to our friend Broussard. =)


Peace,

-Johan
#19 by "Johan"
2001-01-12 14:11:27
johan@innerloop.no
[16] the_reformed_pianist:

This is what I meant about this discussion getting retarded.

Yeah, a PC discussion getting retarded. Didn't see that coming.

How can the discussion not get retarded when it's based on pure speculation?

Me like retarded discussions. Me not like brainy discussions. Me get headache.


Peace,

-Johan
#20 by "Foogla"
2001-01-12 14:16:08
Foogla@Somethingawful.com
re #16:

Please don't even try to participate any serious argument on PC. I get a headache just figuring out who plonked you and who not (and therefore knows what you wrote or not). Just resume your trolling and I will ignore you without plonking you.
#21 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2001-01-12 14:19:15
pianist@canada.com
Sorry Foogla... I hate to be the only one with an educated guess so far.

I'll go back to posting poorly-constructed insults in all-caps.
#22 by "Johan"
2001-01-12 14:29:36
johan@innerloop.no
What does the stirling engine do then? In layman's terms...


Peace,

-Johan
#23 by "JamSandwich"
2001-01-12 15:03:49
jmason@rhino.nildram.co.uk
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/28/16026.html

Spot on.
#24 by "AshRain"
2001-01-12 15:06:08
ikhier@wish.net
I get the feeling that this IT stuff only exist because of all the attention that IT's given.

I feel like being trapped in Forrest Gump.
#25 by "Therac"
2001-01-12 15:16:29
zenfnord@hotmail.com
Can't we all just be friends, and get back to discussing the breasts of teenagers?
#26 by "asspennies"
2001-01-12 15:23:24
asspennies@somethingawful.com
<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A49849-2001Jan11.html">http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A49849-2001Jan11.html</a><i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#27 by "mortis"
2001-01-12 15:53:39
mortis@goddamnindependent.com
i remember a family vacation driving cross-country from Houston, Texas to Los Angeles, California many, many years ago.  We began to see signs about 15 miles outside of Cochise, Arizona driving along I-10....."What is it?", then maybe about 2 miles later, another one, and bigger, \"THE THING -- What is it?\".   Almost every other mile or so, we saw another sign...and frankly, i had to know just what the hell "IT" was.  My parents, being real sports, agreed that we needed to solve this perplexing mystery.  We paid our few dollars for admission, winded around several displays, and finally found "THE THING"...and were dissapointed.

So, i suspect that "IT" will be about the same...unless it's a hoverboard, in which case i'll spooge myself.  

^M^
#28 by "SteveBauman"
2001-01-12 16:13:56
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com
I think IT is hype. They're selling it, the news is buying it, investors are investing in it, the public wants it. What else could it be? It's a marketing lesson for the world.
#29 by "Morn"
2001-01-12 16:19:39
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
"IT" is the new version of Crapola!

- Morn
<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#30 by "spackbace"
2001-01-12 16:26:44
brian@cc.gatech.edu
I have the best idea of all.

Ginger is actually a small electronic device that creates energy waves in certain frequencies that directly stimulate the pleasure cores in our brains, thus giving anyone in the room an instant, maxed out 100% non-ending best-of-their-life orgasm as they stand there and wet their respective pants with whatever juices they may have.

Fuck water, air and shelter.  This little puppy is all I need...
#31 by "AshRain"
2001-01-12 16:48:09
ikhier@wish.net
I still think Maglev Tubes make a better transportation device.
#32 by "Rambar"
2001-01-12 18:44:52
rambar@homegettingablowjob.com
Damn Baumen beat me to it :)
If it was so revolutionary the marketing department and mangement would have forced a buggy, and deadly version of it out the door already.  We'd all be taking about whether or not it v2 was actually going to be worth getting.
#33 by "szcx"
2001-01-12 18:57:39
nedocze@hotmail.com
"IT" is a monkey.  a personal, flying monkey who will carry you from point A to point B.
#34 by "AshRain"
2001-01-12 19:15:06
ikhier@wish.net
Yeah! That must be it!!! A magic monkey!

It says so right here.
#35 by "Lordie"
2001-01-12 19:37:35
lordie999@antisocial.com
Local conjecture is that Ginger is actually a single-wheeled device, utilizing Kamen's stirling engine for clean burning, friendly efficiency.  Kinda like a pogo-stick with a wheel on the bottom.  The same technology that kept the standing wheelchair balanced during shoving matches (which, if you ever get to see the movies of, are astoundingly akin to magic) could be used to keep the user upright on a single, small wheel.

Of course, this is all wrong, but when thought of while viewing the current information, it makes at least plausible sense:

- Small in size, and could probably be assembled in minutes with a screwdriver
- Consumer market version would price at under $2000 (price sounds kinda high for a wheel on a stick, but when considering the fuel efficiency and portability...it would prolly be worth twice that)
- For some reason, I can see Kamen standing on his little pogo stick, with Jeff Bezos trying his damndest to knock him over, making those loud honking laughs he is apparently known for.

Anyway, I'm almost certainly wrong.
#36 by "paul"
2001-01-12 19:49:37
pbullman@webhitzone.com
Andy:


So, either it's a form of jet pack or, much more likely I think, one of those strap-on-your-back helicopter things. That would fit in with the quote about (paraphrasing) "people will buy it, but the question is will they be allowed to use it". Personal helicopters would be pretty dangerous, especially if a lot of people were using them.


Hasn't Inspector Gadget already invented one of these?

My guess is that it is a more efficient engine. We've been stuck on a combustion engine for 100 years. Plus, I need a new car, so the timing is right!;-)
#37 by "Scope"
2001-01-12 20:25:57
ed_cope@hotmail.com
The latest ....

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The mystery invention code-named ''Ginger'' that has set the technology world abuzz may be little more than a motorized mini-scooter, judging from a recent patent application that came to light on Friday.

A Dec. 14, 2000, filing with the World Intellectual Property Organization available on the Internet at http:/www.wipo.org describes a ``class of transportation vehicles for carrying an individual over ground...that is unstable with respect to tipping when...not powered.''

This ``personal mobility vehicle'' pictures what appears to be a young girl balanced on a two-wheeled scooter. The patent application by millionaire inventor Dean Kamen and six co-inventors fits descriptions made in broadcast reports by people claiming to have seen prototypes of the vehicle.

Harvard Business School Press is said to have paid $250,000 for a book detailing ``IT'' that is set to be unveiled in 2002 by Kamen, creator of devices such as a portable insulin pump and a wheelchair that climbs stairs.

The invention is said to take just 10 minutes to assemble using simple tools, according to details from the book proposal published by media industry watchers Inside.com. Ginger could cost less than $2,000 a piece. Top computer industry leaders and investment bankers were named as backers, Inside.com said.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Kamen, 49, declined to reveal much on the device other than saying: ``While our projects are in the development phase and have client confidentiality requirements, it is impossible for us to comment further.''

Kamen and his company, Manchester, New Hampshire-based DEKA Research, did not return calls on Friday seeking comment on the patent application.
#38 by "JMCDaveL"
2001-01-12 20:57:30
jmcdavel@mailandnews.com
Score 5, Informative

http://www.delphion.com/fcgi-bin/any2html?FILENAME=WO%2F01%2F50%2FWO00075001A1.tif&PAGE=1&SCALE=0.35

Score 0, Flamebait

HAW HAW!
ITS AN ALL TERRAIN VICTORIAN-ERA RETARDMOBILE!
As if there aren't enough scooterdorks already?

--jmc
~FIST POST! LUNIX ROWLZ~!!!~~!!!!~
#39 by "szcx"
2001-01-12 21:00:47
nedocze@hotmail.com
that reply should have been "+5, Insightful"
#40 by "paul"
2001-01-12 21:16:59
pbullman@webhitzone.com
How fast does it go?
What would happen if the person fell off going 40mph? Can this thing safely go more than 15 mph? If so, there are scooters that can do this same task with very little fuel.

Why would he make something unstable when the engine isn't running?
Is the engine powered by something other than a fossil fuel? Is it powered by air? Therefore it is always running?

What is he using for the wheels?
Has he discovered a more advanced way of reducing friction while not decreasing control?

From the picture in the link mentioned by JMCDaveL in #38, I can't figure out what the use of a patent on something like that is. People have built things like that for a long time. I assume, he feels people will use this type of device in big cities where cars take up too much space. Do I need to remind people of the great invention, the Bike. It's healthly, balances better, and can probably go as fast, but with more safety

- Pal
#41 by "None1a"
2001-01-12 21:20:39
none1a@home.com
IT is nothing. It the newest way to scam VCs out of their money. The Internet has proved a wash out for those looking to make a fast buck by takeing the money of VC and doing nothing, IT is a glorious new way to do just that. Lets take the clames made by Inside.

<i>In a private meeting with Bezos, Jobs and Doerr, Kamen assembled two Gingers -- or ITs -- in 10 minutes, using a screwdriver and hex wrenches from components that fit into a couple of large duffel bags and some cardboard boxes. </i>

We've seen the same clames made of home entertainment centers, yet has any one ever put one together in under a half hour using simple tools. NO.

<i>The invention has a fun element to it, because once a Ginger was turned on, Bezos started laughing his ''loud, honking laugh.'' </i>

Kamen: The Venture Capital Firms have given me millions to produce IT, funny the only thing I have to show for it is a Multi-Million dolor banks account and some tinker toys that make a box.
Bezos: HAHAHAHA.

<i>Bezos is quoted as saying that IT ''is a product so revolutionary, you'll have no problem selling it. The question is, are people going to be allowed to use it?''</i>

See you'll have no problem selling a book telling people how make millions in a few days, but will they be able to use the system with out being busted?  <i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#42 by "PainKilleR"
2001-01-12 21:26:03
painkiller@planetfortress.com
<b>paul</b> (#40):
<quote>Why would he make something unstable when the engine isn't running?
Is the engine powered by something other than a fossil fuel? Is it powered by air? Therefore it is always running?
</quote>

What if there's some sort of stabilizer that requires power from the engine (in other words, just another application of something he's already invented and used before, as mentioned elsewhere in the thread)? The point would be that it's basicly only stable while the engine is running. Personally, I can wait until they're ready to market the thing before I start making a whole bunch of guesses as to what IT is.

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#43 by "wabut"
2001-01-12 21:28:36
wabut@yahoo.com
ginger = waterless toilet.

entire cities will redo their sewer system. Vacumn pumps will send all sewage to terrorist countries in poo missles. we'll hit france too. just because they won't notice the smell.

rats won't have anywhere to live. and if they try to live in the sewer, they'll get slaughtered by 100mph flying poo.

poop
#44 by "None1a"
2001-01-12 21:47:28
none1a@home.com
<b>PainKilleR</b> (#42):
<quote>What if there's some sort of stabilizer that requires power from the engine (in other words, just another application of something he's already invented and used before, as mentioned elsewhere in the thread)? The point would be that it's basicly only stable while the engine is running. Personally, I can wait until they're ready to market the thing before I start making a whole bunch of guesses as to what IT is.</quote>

Yes but if it where a personal mobility thing they'd have a ton of trouble selling the thing. Currently you can buy a motrized scooter for under $500 (both gas and battery powered versions), and they aren't selling that well. Why would people buy the same thing at around $2,000 even if the motor is new and it's more stable?<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#45 by "PainKilleR"
2001-01-12 21:54:03
painkiller@planetfortress.com
<b>None1a</b> (#44):
<quote>Yes but if it where a personal mobility thing they'd have a ton of trouble selling the thing. Currently you can buy a motrized scooter for under $500 (both gas and battery powered versions), and they aren't selling that well. Why would people buy the same thing at around $2,000 even if the motor is new and it's more stable?</quote>

heh, have you ever seen a kid going down the street on one of those razor scooters? Seems like half the time the kid's going to fall flat on his face because the damned things aren't stable at all (and the slightest turn with those tiny wheels means the thing's going down). As for how they're going to get people to buy the things, well that's for them to figure out, because they've got to sell them to make their money back.

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#46 by "GhostinmyShell"
2001-01-12 22:10:54
ghostinmyshell@triad.rr.com
OT: Anyone see this?

http://www.fileplanet.com/index.asp?section=333&file=54431&download=1

Fileplanet hosting *cough* clones *clones* of games...;-)
#47 by "PainKilleR"
2001-01-12 22:18:40
painkiller@planetfortress.com
<b>GhostinmyShell</b> (#46):
<quote>OT: Anyone see this?
</quote>

Maybe you should've linked to <a href="http://www.fileplanet.com/index.asp?search=zc184.exe&scope=0&file=54431">the description</a> of the file, instead of the mirrors page. No clue what the deal is with that, though...

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#48 by "None1a"
2001-01-12 22:32:50
none1a@home.com
<b>PainKilleR</b> (#45):
<quote>heh, have you ever seen a kid going down the street on one of those razor scooters? Seems like half the time the kid's going to fall flat on his face because the damned things aren't stable at all (and the slightest turn with those tiny wheels means the thing's going down). As for how they're going to get people to buy the things, well that's for them to figure out, because they've got to sell them to make their money back.</quote>

That's it tho, the razors are a nice little fad, by the time IT gets released the fad will be over and nobodys going to want one. And no I haven't seen any kids rideing them, we've been covered with snow for the last two months (by the time it's clear enough to really ride them no kids are going to want to be seen on one).

And if I'm right they don't have to make the money back on IT, rather they have made their money on it now (the VCs will be pissed but they can not do any thing about it).
<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#49 by "Gunp01nt"
2001-01-12 23:15:54
supersimon33@hotmail.com
<b>Frain:</b>
<quote>this new technology will revolutionize our way of living, thinking, and building cities</quote>
It's very American to automatically claim any new invention will change the face of the Earth, or something equally radical.
It's very STUPID to automatically take it seriously and make a big fuss about it.

That's all I'm saying.

BTW please don't take this post as a personal insult to all Americans! It's not meant as a flame.
#50 by "barspin"
2001-01-12 23:32:36
aaronjbarnes@hotmail.com
Bedfor, New Hampshire?  This Kamen guy lives 20 minutes up the road from me.

I'll be ransacking his house tonight.  Will follow up with all the details.  PC will be the first to get the real dirt.

-aaron
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