Through the ages, philosophers have pondered the innermost secrets of the world, but in the end it was only speculation. With technology now advancing everywhere in leaps and bounds, it's possible to take a new approach to this question – maybe a bit less philosophical, but at least technically sound. A potential tool for this the cable presented at HANNOVER MESSE 2014 by Teichert Systemtechnik, which can capture interactions in three-dimensional space.
The linear shape sensor, as the recent startup calls its innovation, looks like an ordinary cable, but its integrated sensors allow it to detect its shape in space. The shape data is provided for external analysis through a port at the end of the cable. When the cable is manipulated into a different shape, the external virtual model of the cable changes accordingly. This property makes the cable ideal for many applications in a wide variety of areas. For example, it could be used to determine the positions of flexible devices such as endoscopes or pipeline pigs, or to enable intuitive control of multi-axis robots or machines. With many other potential uses in research, construction and medicine, it's enough to make a philosopher jealous.