2011 is an exciting time to be alive and living your life. Day after day there are discoveries that justify the science fiction movies and the trend does not seem to be slowing down. Not a day passes when fictional technologies aren’t translated into facts of the real world. Today we take a look at 10 such discoveries or inventions that will make the coming 10 years mind blowing.
Take for example bionic hand controlled by brain signals that allows people without fingers to have fully functional hands that can pick up and handle delicate objects. This surgery-free hand is controlled completely by brain signals. Even today, Touch Bionics, the company that produces the Pro Digits hand, is able to install the hand complete with “living skin,” a plastic covering resembling human skin, for under $50,000.
The filthy rich countries of the Arab world are now focusing on other areas to earn money as the oil runs out and Saudi Arabia is particularly investing billions in the field of biotechnology. With so much money involved only new exciting aspects are to emerge with Jeddah already housing the largest Biotechnology facility in the Middle East.
Dubai has lately been the hub of all that is spectacular and exciting and this includes Architecture. It is already a champion in the tallest building competition and there still are plans for some of the most exotic buildings of time. The proposed Revolving tower is one such example which will be made of 59 independently rotating modules/floors so that inhabitants will have a constantly shifting view of the outside world. Each floor will rotate at approximately 6 meters per minute so that the inhabitants will not notice the movement. The independent rotations will also give the building an ever-changing exterior that can warp into very complex designs.
This design is sure to pave a optimistic path towards more complex and challenging designs in Civil Engineering and Architecture.
Ray Kurzweil, a U.S. computer expert predicted in 2008 that computers will have the same intellectual capacity as humans by 2020. With nanotechnology on the horizon, this is a real possibility. The fact that the transistor count will keep on increasing (using nanotechnology) despite the eventual failure of Moore’s law is testament to the belief that computers will be more capable than the human brain sooner than you know it.
One other area of research is the use of computers directly through your brain using implants. Intel is on it so expect good results soon.
7. Cars and Fuel
With ‘Green’ being the word of the century, it will only be green fuels that will make big in the future. And of all the contenders, electricity is the most promising. Hybrid vehicles are already on the roads in significant numbers and this trend is definitely going to catch on.
With Toyota, Ford, Mercury and Honda among numerous others going full-on in the hybrid car arena, nothing but good is expected. Even today you can buy a fantastic hybrid vehicle for as low as $20,000.
See those movies and Ads showing holographic pop-ups everywhere? That is not very far away actually. Google Goggles for example does visual search; you take a picture of some object in your mobile and it will search for any information regarding it on the web. The object can be some landmark, some book or a barcode even.
It is predicted that within a decade or two we will be living in those holographic-info-boxes world.
Although solar cells are on top of the list in future energy sources, there are some amazing and bizarre sources for energy that still are in their infancy. For example in the future, sugar might be the fuel running our cars and bacteria lighting our houses. But, it is solar energy that has the lead for now and is expected to fuel the world in the near future. Infact, solar energy is not very far behind from meeting the world’s need for energy and technologies emerging everyday pave a path that can only lead to success in the future. A company called Sandia has produced solar cells which are made of 100 times less material than the current top solar cells while operating at the same efficiency.
4. Health and Medicine
What’s in store in the field of medical for us is nothing short of miraculous; artificial organs. A company called Organovo has developed the first commercial 3-D bio printer that builds custom organs cell-by-cell. The printer uses different cells based on the recipient’s own body, thus significantly lowering the chance of organ rejection. Organovo claim that the technology will advance far enough to print out arteries and veins for bypass surgery within five years, with complex organs like a heart or a liver possible within ten. And other than this, we understand the DNA ever more with the passage of time and this makes cures for disease such as ‘aging’, yes aging, possible.
3. Success and Popularity
YouTube is a prime example of how lives can be changed in no time; viral videos get millions of views and the owner gets thousands of dollars. As a whole, it is the internet which has made this possible; today people don’t need to take out a loan to get their business started, you just need to have a worthy idea and the internet will let people find you. In the coming years, it won’t be surprise if suddenly Facebook is overtaken by some other previously unknown phenomena.
The robot industry is fast catching up with Hollywood movies and every now and then a robot is made which ca precisely replicate some human action such as expression, flexibility and even emotion. Expect some good innovation in this decade.
Nano-fibres will make garments tremendously more comfortable and durable. “By this process the textile products can be made more attractive, strong and responsive to customers’ choice.” And then there are clothes that can extract energy from your physical movements. “The fiber-based nanogenerator would be a simple and economical way to harvest energy from physical movement,” said Zhong Lin Wang, a Regents professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “If we can combine many of these fibers in double or triple layers in clothing, we could provide a flexible, foldable and wearable power source that, for example, would allow people to generate their own electrical current while walking.”
Furthermore, it is a good bet that soon enough we might be wearing clothes that are so much water repellant that soaking them in water for even a month will not wet them.