Do you remember watching Sci-Fi series like Star Trek as a child and wondering if the cool gadgets and technologies you saw there would ever become real? Children who lived a hundred years ago had the same wonder reading Jules Verne’s incredible novels, and many of the technologies he imagined exist today: the submarine, the rocket that took men to the Moon, and so on.
Thus, why wouldn’t teleportation decks, or food replicators, or the Holo-deck become real, everyday items sometimes in the future? In fact, that future is not very distant. Computers gave people the power to perform complicated and time-consuming calculations, and the internet gave them the possibility to access knowledge and to share it. These two elements put together have encouraged the technological boom of the last two decades.
Moving Towards A Smarter, Safer Future
Computers, mobile phones, game consoles, advanced industrial robots are examples of technology at work – which used to be only theoretical possibilities during our parents’ youth.
Smart is the keyword for new technologies: we have smartphones, smartwatches, move towards smart homes and even discuss smart cities. All these advancements are not for the sake of technology in itself, but to make our lives easier, safer, and better.
As long as we will strive to improve our lives, new technologies will continue to appear. As we are speaking, we are getting closer and closer to the materialization of a series of technologies that we used to believe impossible to achieve.
Here are just a few technologies of the future, some being closer to an initial MVP (minimum viable product), while some on the way to advance from theory to practice:
Technologies Of The Future That Are A Lot Closer Than You Think
1. Quantum Computing
The word quantum itself is pretty impressive and makes us think of advanced spaceships and know-it-all computers autonomously running the world. So a short definition is in order here, to be on the same page.
Traditional computing chips recognize the basic unit of data, the bit, with the value 1 or 0. That’s how every desktop computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet in this world works: with a series of 010101 instructions which it interprets as your command to open a browser window or play a song.
In quantum computing, the bit can have at the same time the value 0 and 1. What does it mean? Simply put, it means that computers will become incredibly faster in processing information and performing calculations.
Right now, quantum computers are still ahead in the future, but the IBM Q project is making the first definite steps towards creating them. If we look at their IBM Watson artificial intelligence unit, we can definitely say that the company has the brain and manpower to achieve this ambitious project.
2. Prosthetic Limbs That Can Feel
Losing an arm or a leg is a daily tragic occurrence for millions of people across the globe. Right now, the best medical science and technology can do for these people is to give them realistic looking prosthetics with a limited range of movements.
But soon enough patients will be able to regain not just the full range of motions they were capable of performing with their hands and feet, but also to regain their sense of touch. How is this possible? With the help of artificial skin, first reported as a definite achievement in Science Magazine, the October 16, 2017 issue, according to a report by CBS News.
According to this report, the team of researchers working on the project stated that the artificial skin they created is already capable of differentiating between a firm handshake and a limp, sweaty-handed one.
3. Growing Organs In Labs
Just like severed limbs, malfunctioning organs plague many people and represent one of the top causes of death all over the world. Transplants are capable of solving only a part of all the cases of people waiting for a heart, lung, kidney, or liver.
But what if we no longer have to rely on another donor (alive or brain dead)? What if doctors can create the organ a patient needs; one which is fully compatible with their body? This technique has been the dream of generations of healthcare practitioners who also enjoyed watching Sci-Fi doctors performing near miracles with advanced technology.
However, that dream is not as distant as it seems, because scientists have already managed to grow a beating human heart in the laboratory, using stem cells.
4. 3D Printed Food
We all envied the captain Jean Luc Picard on the spaceship Enterprise, who could always get his favorite food from the food replicator, while we had to be satisfied with whatever our mothers cooked. Soon enough, we may be able to create our ideal dish without any work at all – simply by giving an order to the 3D printer for food.
The first demonstrations of 3D printed food are already in place. We will just have to get used to the idea that our lunch will come from a machine, not from the kitchen.
5. Uploading Our Brain Into a Computer Mainframe
Who wants to live forever? It is not just a memorable song by British rock band Queen, but a question people have been asking themselves since time immemorial.
But, how can we exceed the limitations of our physical bodies? One answer to that may be moving our entire collection of memories, knowledge, feelings – everything that creates our individual personalities – into a computer. From a physical to a digital existence is a huge leap, and we are not quite there yet.
So far, scientists have managed to upload the brain of a worm into a Lego robot successfully. It is a very long way to go until the immensely complex human brain can be safely transferred to a computer mainframe, but once the first step is ready, more scientists will work to create the path to that future possibility.
6. Mobile Phones Will Become Increasingly Thinner
Latest generation smartphones are quite thin, but can they get even thinner than this? So far, a few manufacturers have experienced with original, foldable designs, but they still belong to the realm of trade fair curiosities. None of these models have made it so far to the mass production phase.
However, the seed is already sown, and the possibility envisioned. It is just a matter of time before these crude prototypes develop into viable, saleable products.
7. Nanotechnology Used in Healthcare
Nanotechnology means creating miniature robots. Why would we want tiny, microscopic-sized robots? For instance, we can send them to places where a human being cannot fit to perform a task. And the most complicated work of this kind is fixing a problem inside our bodies, performing minute micro-surgeries on veins, the brain or other areas which are difficult to reach by traditional surgery.
There is a lot of theoretical documentation and research on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine. Undoubtedly, at least one of these concepts will materialize into smart miniature robots which will help us cure diseases and perform complex surgeries.
Do you know any of the exciting technologies that will boom very quickly? Share them in the comments section. We love to hear from you!
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