Discoveries are made every day, and some of the things we consider science fiction in most epic movies are being turned into realities. Inventions are being made that blow our minds off but the next ten years may be the greatest of all. The technologies being made will make it easier and faster to accomplish most of our day to day activities. Innovative ideas are increasing exponentially each year and to give you a peak into what changes we will have seen by the year 2020, here is a list of 10 amazing innovations that will change different sectors of our lives in a huge way;
1. A plane that can fly anywhere in the world in 4 hours
The British aerospace firm Reaction Engines is working on a plane that can fly anywhere in the world for just four hours. The plane will also to fly in outer space. In the video, chief Engineer Alan Bond explained that air entering the new “Sabre” engine system could be cooled by more than 1,000 degrees Celsius in .01 seconds. The cooling rate will be at 400 megawatts and will allow the plane to “breathe” oxygen. That ability would allow a jet engine to run at higher power than what is possible today. More power equals more speed and therefore the plane will be able to fly at 5 times the speed of sound very easily. (Source)
2. Personal assistants
Soon, everyone will have a PA since artificial intelligence assistants will be making a proper entrance. Guile 3D Studio has developed an amazing AI assistant known as Denise. Once you install Denise to your computer, it is able to execute tasks on your behalf by either speaking or typing your request. Denise is able to check and send emails, manage your diary in case of meetings and appointments, draw up itineraries, search the web, give you the day’s weather forecast, call someone on Skype, give you the day’s news, upload videos on YouTube, upload images on Picasa and so much more. (Source)
3. Bionic arm
DARPA has an innovation underway for veterans with upper limb loss. The artificial limb moves like the real thing and will do just about anything. One can play the piano, pick a cup and sip coffee with it. It gives back natural hand movement and weighs as much as a normal arm. It also looks pretty close to the real arm except for the fact that it’s made of metal. The arm is directed by the brain just like a human arm. (Source)
4. Interaction change
Our interaction with people and things has changed over the years due to the internet, smart phones etc. But that’s not all; in the near future a huge change will be made in the way we interact with surroundings. You will be able to look at a building or place and get the information on the subject using just your eyes. Goggles by Google have an early concept of this idea which is an app that allows you to take a picture of an object and immediately receive information about it on your android phone.
According to Ray Kurzweil, a top futurist, “by 2020 we’ll routinely have pop ups in our visual field of view that give us background about the people and places that we’re looking at. In other words, your memory will be constantly, instantaneously aided by the information available on the Internet. The two will begin to become indistinguishable.” As the technology improves, you may be able to suggest a move in the chess game and more! (Source)
5. Jetpack technology
Jet pack international has made great strides in their jet pack technology H202 and H202-Z jet packs. This hydrogen peroxide fueled jet packs will allow users to fly at 77 miles per hour and at a maximum height of 250 ft for the H202-Z while the H202 will allow users to fly at a speed of 70 miles per hour at a maximum height of 250ft. (Source)
Nanotechnology is currently being used to design renewable energy technologies like solar energy. According to Kurzweil, “the cost per watt of solar energy is coming down rapidly and the total amount of solar energy is growing exponentially. It has in fact been doubling every two years for the past 20 years and is now only eight doublings away from meeting all of the world’s energy needs.”
Sandia Solar Cells have come close to achieving this since they are made of 100 times less material than that of the current solar cells, operating at the same efficiency. Current panels are heavy and massive and require large motors to track them when tracking the sun. Sandia’s cell on the other hand only needs to be moved a fraction of a millimeter for it to track the sun efficiently and it weighs close to nothing. (Source)
7. Estimote beacons
Estimote Beacons are small beautifully designed sensors that can be placed anywhere in the world. When you install them, either on a product shelf or next to a door, they start broadcasting tiny radio signals that can be picked up by smart phones. The app then triggers different actions like welcoming customers to a store, helping customers navigate the store and displaying coupons. (Source)
Invetech, an Australian engineering firm, has teamed up with Organovo, a medical company, to produce a 3-D bio-printer that can fabricate organs to order. The device builds up organs a layer of cells at a time and uses the different cells based on the recipients own body. This significantly lowers the chances of organ rejection. For the more complex organs, the printer lays the cells over a pre-made scaffold. The printer is still in its early testing phase but the companies believe that within five years, they will be able to print out veins and arteries for bypass surgery and within 10 years for complex organs like the liver and heart. (source)
The 21st century has seen remarkable innovation in robotics. Though we are yet to make them help around the house or do our construction, there have been big strides that point towards a better future. The University of California, San Diego, used the self guided learning process to make a hyper-realistic Einstein robot smile and make facial expressions.
Boston Dynamics have a biped robot that dynamically balances using a human-like walking motion. (Source)
10. Amazon Prime Air
Amazon has a project that will have drones fly packages directly to your doorstep in 30 minutes. The plan, according to Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, requires more safety testing and approvals from the FAA but he estimates the ‘octocopter’ drones will be available to customers in 4 to 5 years. The drones will deliver your package 30 minutes after you hit “buy” on Amazon.com. (Source 1, 2)
Nano technologists are working on making clothes more comfortable to wear. According to Prof Ashwini Agarwal of Delhi IIT, “fibres and filaments are one-dimensional structural materials for textiles. Through nanotechnolgy we can decrease its module value and increase its strength. Not only nanotechnology can be deployed for fibres and filaments and for creating composite nano fibres, but it can also be deployed for surface modifications and finishes of yarns and cloth. By this process the textile products can be made more attractive, strong and responsive to customers’ choice.” (Source)
Fiber based nanotechnology is also being used to harvest energy from physical movement. The “power shirt” will be able to generate electricity that can power small electronic devices for soldiers, hikers and others whose physical motion can be harnessed and converted to electrical energy. (Source)
12. Cars and fuel
We already have hybrid vehicles on the road but the electric cars sound promising too.
According to a prediction by Kurzweil in 2008, computers will have the same intellectual capacity as humans.
“People are looking to nanotechnology to carry on Moore’s Law, which allows chips to be smaller, faster and consume less energy,” says Jim Tully, the vice president and chief of research at Gartner.
“To this end, semiconductor giants such as Intel, IBM, HP and others are looking to build ever-smaller silicon circuits for use on processors and communications interfaces, paving the way for smaller, faster, more power-efficient computer systems and other devices.” (Source)
Intel corp researchers also predict that by the year 2020, you won’t need a keyboard or mouse to control the computer. Users will use brain waves to open documents and surf the Web. “We’re trying to prove you can do interesting things with brain waves,” said Dean Pomerleau, an Intel research scientiest. “Eventually people may be willing to be more committed … to brain implants. Imagine being able to surf the Web with the power of your thoughts.” (Source)
Dubai is building a tower with fancy and extremely practical applications. The building will have 59 independently rotating floors so that the inhabitants can get a constantly shifting view of the world outside. The floors will rotate at approximately 6 meters per minute each and the inhabitants will not notice the movement. The building will also get an ever changing exterior that can warp into complex designs from all the rotating. The wind turbines built in between every floor will produce pollution free energy that can power the tower and also several buildings surrounding the area.
15. Scanner Cinema Experience
Manchester based animator, Richard Ramchum is the founder of the #Scanners Cinema experience that will allow everyone to watch a film differently. Viewers are supposed to wear a headset that reads brainwaves. The headset then manipulates images one sees according to their subconscious mind. In this way, edit points will be created and the narrative changed when one blinks. It will give people a glimpse into their dream world since the film one sees will be a visual record of your subconscious mind. (Source)
Did you know that AT&T ads made predictions to some of astounding technologies some 20 years ago? Many of these technologies are now commonplace. Check out some of their ads!