Bradbury's "crystal wall" a reality

At MSNBC.com, "practical futurist" Michael Rogers asks if telepresence will lead road warriors to choose electrons over airplanes.

Maybe, maybe not. Anyone younger than, say, me, is perfectly comfortable being virtually present 24x7, but the price of these devices is, as Rogers points out, nearly prohibitive. In time the devices may become common.

But for the time being, Rogers concludes:

Leave it to science fiction author Ray Bradbury to have the final word on telepresence. In his 1951 short story 'The Veldt' some future parents give their children a nursery with walls that recreate the African veldt so realistically that the father has to reassure the nervous mother: 'Walls, Lydia, remember; crystal walls, that's all they are. Oh, they look real, I must admit - Africa in your parlor - but it's all dimensional, superreactionary, supersensitive color film and mental tape film behind glass screens...'

I don't know about "superractionary, supersensitive color film," but I do know that Ray Bradbury will appear at IF2007 in September, live and in three virtual dimensions, transported by crystal wall to Louisville.

The future really is here.

Wayne