National Geographic : 1995 Oct
VIDEO ON DEMAND Order a movie at 3 a.m. artstop, rewind, play in.Somedaythat and expensive. Each family might have to watch five or six movies a week to make it cost-effective. SHOFPING Take ott a credit card and shpat one of the sof companies debits and credits con necting consumers, merchants, and banks. REMOTE CONTROL Gaze on a star sighted through a remote controlled telescope. are now using probes. One day doctors may use similar tech nology to operate on faraway patients. ELECTRONIC MAIL Write a note, push a button, and someone inthe e-mail system gets the message in seconds. This happens millions of times a day on the Internet. HYPERTEXT Select ahighlighted phrase on a computer screen and jump directly to another file related to that topic. The link may lead to Bangkok or Buffalo or Brussels -making distance disappear in a universe of almost immediately accessible information. COLLABORATION 3 Gather colleagues through their comput ers. Miles apart, they make instantaneous changes on the same document and discuss the work as it progresses. This type of shared workspace is now becoming available. INTELLIGENT AGENTS Dig through mountains of information with a "personal intelligent agent"-a custom ized program that searches networks for specified topics, saving hours of human toil and frustration. These aides are currently at work in some large databases.