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It's safe to say that winter has finally arrived, that tensions in the realm have risen to the highest levels they've ever been and every major character is in some form of conundrum, quandary or predicament. Unfortunately, the medieval-era fantasy world created by George R.R. Martin offers no relief in the form of technology.
For example, trained ravens carry correspondence, while horses and ships are the primary modes of transportation. Medicine for an injury might be boiled wine and ailments are treated with leeching. The champions of Westeros' crude science are called “Maesters” – a monastic order of servants motivated by knowledge.
But what would happen to the characters if they were equipped with today's technology, devices and applications? How would that change things in their running storylines? Let's find out.
Suffice it to say, MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. Also, my apologies for totally geeking out. You have been warned.
When we last left Arya, she had just been punished by Jaqen for breaking the rules of the Many-Faced God by stealing a face from the Hall of Faces and using it to anonymously kill off the much-maligned Kingsguard, Meryn Trant. Her punishment? Blindness.
No worries, Arya. I've got you covered. There have been some amazing advances in wearable gadgets that are helping the visually impaired see.
In March, two tech giants announced their joint effort to provide artificial intelligence capabilities through a project called Seeing AI. With Microsoft's advanced recognition software and Pivothead's wearable camera glasses, the two have figured out a way to bring "vision" to the blind. The app uses facial recognition, computer vision, language processing, text-to-speech, and machine learning to capture the surroundings, the emotions on people's faces and the items on a document to verbally describe everything in detail to the wearer.
The project is currently in beta testing and not yet available for purchase. Still, I'm sure Arya would love one of these to help continue crossing names off her infamous list.
The Mother of Dragons is in trouble. After jumping on Drogon's back to escape certain death in the fighting pits of Meereen, Daenarys is then captured by a legion of Dothraki bloodriders. To top it off, her dragon is injured and unable to help her. What could possibly aid in saving Khaleesi?
The answer is Safelet. This "fit-for-a-queen" device looks like a stylish bracelet, yet beneath the surface it's so much more. With Safelet you can program the bracelet and add your network of friends to serve as "guardians." If a situation arises in which the wearer is in danger, a simple activation of the bracelet will inform the guardians that the person is in trouble. It also provides the wearer's network GPS coordinates and directions on what to do.
One press of the button and Daario Naharis, Jorah Mormont and the Unsullied would be marching to your aid, Daenarys Stormborn.
You know nothing about working with a team, Jon Snow. (Did Ygrit say that?) Of course we all anticipate that Jon will be revived by Melisandre using fire-magic, much like Beric Dondarrion was revived by Thoros of Myr twenty or so times. But the whole "Et tu, Olly? stabby-stabby situation" could have all been prevented if the Night's Watch had been using Crystal Knows.
Crystal Knows uses profiles based on public data, peer and user reviews to give instant relationship advice, coaching and personality profiles to anyone you know and meet. Simply sign up for a free account, connect with the people you work with, and the service provides you the best way to communicate with your Castle Black colleagues. (Full disclosure: It gets freaky accurate as you connect with more profiles.)
There's a lot of personality on The Wall. Perhaps Jon would have known how to communicate with his brothers, instead of authoritatively mandating that their former enemies, The Wildlings, would be joining them in defense of the realm. Rookie mistake, guy.
Daenerys has placed the Little Lion in charge of Meereen. Tyrion is an underrated leader, and he really needs to come up with a comprehensive way to deal with the Sons of the Harpy problem, among other things. To top it off, he's new to the area and who knows how long his reign is going to last? He's got to make the most of it, and fast. To maximize results on his new city projects, Tyrion should check out the project management app, Casual.
There's a plethora of project management tools out there. But with Casual, the focus is on laying out a project's processes in a simple and visual manner to help a team plan and execute simple workflows. The tool isn't too cumbersome, but also not too simple. Planning and managing a project is easy and everything is laid out in order of priority in a fashion where Tyrion will be able to connect the individual with the task. Just watch your back. You're working on this project with Varys.
Post "shame walk”, Cersei might need to clean her reputation up a bit. But is there a way for her to improve her personal brand?
BrandYourself offers a free do-it-yourself tool that coaches you through the process of improving your web reputation. The web platform will analyze each of your profiles and website mentions before giving you proactive steps to make your positive web mentions show higher in Google search results. In addition, BrandYourself will track changes to a person's reputation and alert them of it. For those with a Lannister sized budget, the company has a concierge service to suppress unwanted items.
With her situation, Cersei might want to shell out the gold dragons to have the experts take care of the problem. Or, you know, the new “mountain-sized” kingsguard Ser Robert Strong might just take care of things for her.
That solid gold hand is pretty useless, Jaime. Why not upgrade to something that will give you the ability to grasp a Valyrian blade and once again become the greatest swordsman in Westeros?
3D Printing has opened the door to wonderful advances in prosthetics. To start, there's enablingthefuture.org. The website is home to the 'e-NABLE Community', a group of people from all over the globe who are using their 3D printers to develop free hands and arms for people in need. According to their site, "the e-NABLE Community is made up of teachers, students, engineers, scientists, medical professionals, tinkerers, designers, parents, children, scout troops, artists, philanthropists, dreamers, coders, makers and every day people who just want to make a difference and help to “Give The World A Helping Hand.”
Let's step outside of Westeros for a second. If you have a 3D printer and are interested in helping people, please check out this website. Start by watching some of the videos, and I guarantee you'll be inspired to lend a helping hand.
When we last left Sam, Jon asked him to become the Maester for the Night's Watch and shipped him off to Oldtown with Gilly and the baby.
Sam reads a lot of books. The bottom line is that he's got some studying to do to become a Maester. The test is tough; it's basically the bar exam of Westeros. The problem is he'll be travelling by boat, so it's not practical to be lugging around a number dictionary-sized tomes from Maester Aemon's library. My suggestion would be for him to invest in an iPad Mini 4 with cellular capabilities. This way he can download his favorite books such as 'The Book of Lost Books', 'Dragons, Wyrms, and Wyverns: Their Unnatural History','Watchers on the Wall' and the latest from Stephen King. Plus, Sam could work on some of his Minecraft creations. Sam definitely plays Minecraft.
Is there Hodor translation on Duolingo yet? If not, someone should get working on that.
And there you have it. Technology solves all the problems in Westeros. Once these are applied, the realm will be a lot safer, happier and a more efficient place, right? Now, if we could just get George R.R. Martin to download a Pomodoro app so that maybe the books would be finished before the TV series wraps up.
Let's get real, we all know that's not going to happen. *sigh*