Monday, June 11, 2012

An Engineer Reviews Prometheus

I have three comments regarding the movie.  I enjoyed the movie more than some of the critics and I will admit that it is not the 1979 Alien.  For these types of science fiction movies, the engineer needs to view the movie in the context of hardware, software, and plot.  Both plot and character development are rather weak in Prometheus - - especially compared to Alien.

My three comments - -
  1.  I am not the first to point this out - - but you can see the Windows 7 toolbar on a quick shot of one of the  ship's computer screens.  Not sure which is the more troublesome - - aliens from an unknown world or having to deal with Microsoft and Windows 7 in 2092.  We need a transformative revolution in software this century before we can start visiting distance planets.  I am not yet ready to go to LV-223 with Windows 7.
  2. Two pieces of hardware were fascinating and have huge potential.  The first is the capsule-like robotic surgical unit (and I will not spoil this part of the movie).  This could revolutionize the cost and convenience of surgery.  I can see Walmart surgery "stations" in their stores by 2090.  Gall bladder removal for $299 with a coupon.  The other piece of hardware that has potential is the remote autonomous robotic mapping spheres (RARMS - - remember that I named it first!).  I can see 3-D mapping like in the movie as being the norm in 2090.
  3. My last comment is the statement in the film that the Prometheus voyage cost one trillion dollars in 2092.  Assuming a 6% discount rate and 80-years, the present value of one trillion dollars is "only" $9.5 billion.  So what is the big deal?  Big money at the end of the century will be in quadrillions - - 15 zeros.    

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.