In the past, physicians, scientists and other ordinary people used to devise several machines or devices to make our lives a little more comfortable like the remote control invented in 1955, cordless tools (1961), three-point seat belts (1957), smoke detector (1969) and many others. There are pictures of some devices from the past below. Can you guess what they are? This device is used to: a. Hear sounds from the human body b. Read medical prescriptions c. Watch birds in the wild 2. This machine is: a. A household typewriter b. A telegraph c. The grandfather of the fax machine 3. This tiny gadget is used to: a. Count the days of the week b. Make mathematic calculations c. Work as a pastime 4. This paper device was installed in: a. Automobiles b. Planes c. Ships d. Space ships e. All of the above 5. The image below comes from: a. a famous video game b. The MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology c. a security camera from Donald Trump’s apartment 6 BIZARRE VERSIONS OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY The human species has become great at creating new technology that it’s a miracle we don’t have 2-meter arms. Among smartphones, smartwatches and selfie pods, you may think we have reached the peak of technological sophistication, but your grandfathers had access to some of the same “innovations” we have today, however they weren’t so eye-catching. The e-reader of 1922 Meet the great grandfather of the e-reader Kindle. This technology from the decade of 1920, called “Fiske reading machine” was created by an ophthalmologist and worked in a simple way, with each book printed in a series of small cards which were introduced in the machine. The user just needed to place the eyes on the monocle to read. The innovative technology of the time allowed that 93000 words to be reduced to 13 cards. News delivered home in 1933 Who said our great grandparents didn’t have access to immediate news? This technology from the 30’s was an ingenuity that allowed the distribution of newspapers to families wealthy enough to buy the equipment. It consisted of a kind of printer that received radio signals, converted them into texts and images and printed the newspaper directly at home. Sadly, newspapers took hours to be printed and the machine only got signals between midnight and 6 AM. Portable technology from the 17th Century China is known for its advancements in technology, but you would be surprised to know this portable technology existed in oriental lands since the 17th Century. It’s not a super advanced technology but it was pretty useful at the time: it consisted of a ring used by salespeople to calculate the value of goods. The small granules had only 0.07 cm and could only be moved with a kind of safety pin. GPS in 1932 Well, it’s not like the GPS we have today that receives signals from satellites around the globe but it’s a primitive technology with similar use. This technology invented in 1932 by an Italian company allowed the driver to travel with a “great precision”. A box with the map of the route was placed in the car. As the car followed, the map rolled automatically thanks to a system that collected information from the speedometer, giving the driver a precise location. The “Street View” of 1979 The MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA), developed the grandfather of the Google Street View which enabled people to explore the streets of the city of Aspen in Colorado. Its goal wasn’t so ambitious, however, as Google’s, it allowed the locals to explore the streets, see old pictures and listen to interviews with old residents. The project was aided by many students and cars on the streets. After the shooting, the images were “connected” on a computer to do exactly what Street View does today, including traveling along the streets, turning the camera and providing a list of the local market. Answer the questions below 1. How do people read books today? What about you? 2. Do you believe the Fiske machine was a successful product? 3. Did we reach the peak of our technological development in 2018? 4. Do people still read the newspapers nowadays? 5. Have you ever seen an abacus? Do people still use it? 6. Can you use an abacus to make calculations? 7. What were the limitations of the 1932 GPS? 8. Do you believe many people acquired the GPS in 1932? 9. Have you ver used Google’s street view? 10. How useful is Google’s Street view for you? 11. Do you own a GPS in our car? 12. How do you look for shops or markets today? 13. What’s the best way to buy something, in your opinion? 14. What devices do we need today to navigate? 15. Can we replace all devices for a single smartphone? 16. What can we expect in the future when it comes to technology? Expressions To be good / great AT something – ser bom/ grandioso em algo To be good / great AT doing something – ser bom/ grandioso em fazer algo She is excellent at preparing business reports. My children were terrible at playing cards.