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Star Wars inspires research vision

posted 14 Oct 2010, 11:08 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 14 Oct 2010, 11:11 ]
A 360 degree autostereoscopic display inspired by Princess Leia and a 'tweet meter' that tracks Twitter activity are among the features of a new British Library exhibition entitled 'Growing Knowledge' which explores the evolution of research tools in the digital age.
UK-BRITISH LIBRARY RESEARCH - In an effort to stay current with the forces that will shape the future of research, the British Library is staging an exhibition called Growing Knowledge complete with visions of how future knowledge seekers will interact with digital data.

The RayModeler is a prototype for a new kind of 360 degree autostereoscopic screen.

Sony's Naoya Eguchi says its inspiration comes from the world 1970s sci-fi.

 Naoya Eguchi, General Manager, Sony Phonotics Development Department saying:

"Princess Leia in Star Wars. This is a very famous movie."

Matt Cowan Reuters Technology Correspondent Matt Cowan saying:

"This comes from Star Wars? It was inspired by Star Wars."

SOUNDBITE: Naoya Eguchi, General Manager, Sony Phonotics Development Department saying (English):


Eguchi says he's sees potential applications in the field of medical research.

Matt Cowan Reuters Technology Correspondent Matt Cowan saying:

(Manipulating image on screen by waving hand) "So this is like Minority Report. Amazing."

Curator Matthew Shaw says the exhibition is ultimately meant to address the question of what the library's role should be in the digital age.

Matthew Shaw, Growing Knowledge Curator, British Library saying:

"Libraries have always stored information, kept it safe and then provided access given catalogues and so forth. That's okay when you've got ten million books but if you've got ten petabytes of information that's a real problem. How do you store that, how do you provide access?"

Aleks Krotoski is an American academic and journalist who's serving as the researcher in residence during this exhibition.

 Aleks Krotoski, Researcher in Residence, British Library Growing Knowledge exhibition saying:

"We are saying things like what role does the research library and the public library have for the future of research? What will it do? Will it primarily be a dead-tree repository? Or will it be a place you can know you will come (to) and will find all of the information you that you need, whether it's digitized or not. Or will it simply disappear into the virtual ether? I don't think the latter, the last thing is true. I think it will evolve."

And to that end, the library has just opened up access to a new archive of broadcast news in Britain, which was started six months ago.

And though Twitter messages do not yet officially fall within its remit, the British Library is displaying a series of 'tweet meters' for 9 major cities around the globe. With no indication of what the lines on the gauges actually relate to, it's more art installation than practical tool.

Matt Cowan, Reuters.