Technology is brilliant for helping old folk find stuff.
Like the button on the wireless phone you press and follow the beep-beep sound to where you left the receiver. You can then use the landline to phone your mobile and find where it is hiding.
These procedures are more difficult when you don't know where your hearing aid is. Or your specs. Reunited with specs and hearing aid, you can settle down to watch some TV. If you know where the remote control was. Hint: it's usually somewhere down the sofa. The sofa is easy to find. It's the big upholstered thing with cushions.
It's not easy when you are sans eyes, sans ears and increasingly sans brain cells. Help is now at hand from your computer. A project called Kinsight, based on the Microsoft Kinect games console, will enable even the most forgetful to keep track of devices that regularly go Awol.
The system uses object recognition algorithms with which I am sure all of you are familiar. So don't ask if anyone has seen your specs. You will be told to go away and use your algorithms.
The computer scientists based their design "around the principle that objects only change locations when humans move them". Or have been tidied away by Her Indoors.
The hardware involved includes sensors and in-depth cameras attached to a computer which analyses where the lost object is likely to be and goes looking for it. Even if the programme is unable to locate the missing item it can tell where it was last seen.
This will come in handy when I use my desktop computer to work out where I put my laptop.
Remarkable as this technology seems, it pales into insignificance compared to the students at MIT who have made a bunch of bananas into a piano. They have developed a kit called MakeyMakey that can turn fruit, animals and even humans into keyboards.
They also used a head of broccoli to make internet video phone calls.
One of the students managed to play a tune on his cat. With this gizmo you could theoretically play O Spanish Eyes on your granny. She may be confused as to why you have attached her to a computer using alligator clips and a USB cable.
This is assuming you can find your granny.
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