13 January 2001
Remote viewers in bid to discover what
Respected US inventor Dean Kamen (left), it was announced this week, has come up with a revolutionary invention that will change the world, and is so extraordinary that it has drawn the attention of technology visionaries Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs and the investment dollars of pre-eminent Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr, among others. And though "IT" - also called "Ginger" - is a closely-guarded secret, some tantalizing clues have come to light:
IT will be "more important than TV and the internet".
IT is not a medical invention.
In a private meeting with Bezos, Jobs and Doerr, Kamen assembled two Gingers - or ITs - in 10 minutes, using a screwdriver and hex wrenches from components that fit into a couple of large duffel bags and some cardboard boxes.
The invention has a fun element to it, because once a Ginger was turned on, Bezos started laughing his "loud, honking laugh."
There are possibly two Ginger models, named Metro and Pro - and the Metro may possibly cost less than $2,000.
Bezos is quoted as saying that IT "is a product so revolutionary, you'll have no problem selling it. The question is, are people going to be allowed to use it?"
Jobs is quoted as saying: "If enough people see the machine you won't have to convince them to architect cities around it. It'll just happen."
Kemper says the invention will "sweep over the world and change lives, cities, and ways of thinking."
The "core technology and its implementations" will, according to Kamen, "have a big, broad impact not only on social institutions but some billion-dollar old-line companies." And the invention will "profoundly affect our environment and the way people live worldwide. It will be an alternative to products that are dirty, expensive, sometimes dangerous and often frustrating, especially for people in the cities."
IT will be a mass-market consumer product "likely to run afoul of existing regulations and or inspire new ones," according to Kemper. The invention will also likely require "meeting with city planners, regulators, legislators, large commercial companies and university presidents about how cities, companies and campuses can be retro-fitted for Ginger."
Why the secrecy? Kamen fears that large corporations might catch wind of the invention and "use their massive resources to erect obstacles against us or, worse, simply appropriate the technology by assigning hundreds of engineers to catch up to us, and thousands of employees to produce it in their plants". And already there are rumours that certain companies have employed remote viewers to try to spy on Kamen and his team using ESP, in a bid try to find out about "IT", so that they can produce their own version of the invention.
IT/Ginger isn't due to be revealed until 2002.
Washington Post article
ABC News Video