Progress and innovation have somehow bridged the gap between the elite and the common citizen. Exactly how long ago was it when mobile communications and microcomputers were gadgets out of a James Bond movie? Nowadays, practically anyone can own gadgets that were once reserved only for the SEALs, CIA or FBI.
Once upon a time, GPS was used to track down terrorists and other such elements. Now, parents can use the same technology to track down teenagers on a day out with the rest of the posse. There are quite a number of smart phones in the market today that have built-in GPS chips. These can support the free Latitiude software from Google, which allows one to track the phone’s location using Google Maps. This can be done using another phone, or from a PC through the Internet.
We used to watch Dick Tracy and his watch phone – now we can choose to have one, too. LG is releasing the GD910 watch phone this year, which is practically a mini-computer strapped to your wrist. The LG GD910 offers 3G data speeds of up to 7.2 mega-bits per second and is equipped with a 1.43 inch touch screen, a camera and videophone capabilities. It can even be an MP3 player and is Bluetooth capable.
And speaking of phones, nearly all new models are now equipped with miniature cameras, another gadget that used to be exclusively the high-tech spy’s domain. As the seasons pass, these cameras are becoming increasingly advanced, and while the image quality does not match that of actual digital cameras, they still serve the purpose if all you need to do is snap a quick photo of a family picnic by the lake.
And the list goes on and on – from satellite images that can now be viewed over the internet as opposed to a top-secret computer lab in a Tom Clancy novel to self-parking cars and the Hummer. We’re certainly living the SEAL life at some level now.
We may not be SEALs, but we can wear the dive watches that they wear and use gadgets that they use – without having to duck and hide every fifteen minutes or so.