Back in the 1980’s “micro” was the future. If something deserved the “micro” prefix it was at the cutting edge of advanced technology.

We cooked our dinner in a microwave.

We dabbled with microcomputers (unaware that one day they would break the world).

We were forever examining tiny things under microscopes – after all, there were only four TV channels here in the UK…what else were we supposed to do with our spare time?

Then time passed, as it tends to do, and micro was no longer small enough. We wanted our minds to be boggled as if we were eating our first microwaveable lasagne all over again.

The scientists got straight on to it, and soon had the solution.


It began with the Apple iPod Nano; a tiny version of the iPod.

The usefulness of the iPod Nano was in direct proportion to a normal sized iPod. It was about a sixth the size, and a sixth as useful. But it wasn’t designed to be any good, it was designed to be teeny tiny and look awesome on the advert.

It was a roaring success.

From the iPod Nano, the rest was, and is, inevitable. The people with the biggest brains on the planet are now involved in nanotechnology, which is: the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale.

Recent estimates suggest as many as 57% of those big brained people understand what that previous sentence means.

Impressive, indeed.

Nanotechnology also leads us off into other branches of the nano-industry, like nanorobotics. Which is: an emerging technology field creating machines or robots whose components are at or near the scale of a nanometre (10−9 meters).

In other words, we might one day create little robots who can whizz around our bodies, seek out cancerous cells or other nasty things, and destroy them. And personally, I can’t wait.

What on earth can possibly go wrong?

After all, we’re only proposing to send tiny armies of nano-robot storm troopers into our bodies.

I’m sure it’ll be fine.

And of course Apple will be on hand to provide the portable entertainment for these in no way sinister robot beings, in the form of the iPod Pico. I can’t wait to see what that advert will look like.

And to think this all began with “micro”.

(Image: tOrange.biz)



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