This is an anxious and exhilarating phase for mankind as we are in the brink of a life-changing innovation and development. I and for people of my generation having witnessed such a vast form of technological advancement would need to brace up as there is more to come in our lifetime. I and people of my generation have witnessed a lot of technological advancements from Cassette Walkman to iPods, CRT based Television set to LCD, LEDs to today’s Smart TVs, Desktop to Laptop to Tablets, Landlines to Mobile phones to Smartphones etc. Here are the ten most amazing innovation happening right now which could definitely change the way we perceived technology.
1. 3D Printing:
3D printing is a way of creating a three-dimensional object using all kinds of materials available from plastic, fibre, synthetic, food, tissue to metal and even 3d printed houses using cement and concrete. 3D printing has been in the market for quite long but was limited in application to only making miniature models, prototypes, sample products, model making etc. The earlier 3d printers were slow, hefty, cumbersome and costly in terms of production. It’s only in recent years that portable, fast and cost effective 3d printing has come into the market thus its popularity. A simple model made on CAD/CAM can be used to develop intricate and complex into reality. It’s the future as many who had only conceptual ideas can now easily manipulate and easily develop.
2. Quantum Computing:
Quantum Computing although is in its early stages of development only Google and Microsoft claim to have developed something similar to the concept of Quantum Computing, but its popularity is unprecedented with many countries world over working on Quantum Computing R&D. The very need of Quantum Computing comes through the limitations of silicon-based computing as the ‘Moore’s Law’ is now seen to be coming to near its extremity. We have so drastically reduced the size of transistors that there has been a rise of a new school of thought which looks at a new form of computation using electrons and photons controlled under super cold condition using the electromagnetic field into manipulate and interpret the twist and turns of every electron. In theory, it is believed that quantum computing would be exponentially far superior to any supercomputer existing today. ‘A quantum computer maintains a sequence of qubits. A single qubit can represent a one, a zero, or any quantum superposition of those two qubit states; a pair of qubits can be in any quantum superposition of 4 states, and three qubits in any superposition of 8 states.’
3. Graphene, Carbon Nano Tubes, Carbyne:
Historically we have read about the Stone Age; Bronze Age & Iron Age; Industrial Age; Silicon Age, this a start of the Age of Ultron I mean Carbon. Graphene is a transparent two-dimensional sheet of carbon atoms, it’s the strongest material known to mankind and could be used to make better batteries, medical scanners, spacecraft, planes, the bulletproof vest, computers, transistors, nanomaterials etc. Up till 2008, graphene production was costly by exfoliation, but in 2010 Andre Geim and Novoselov extracted the graphene from a piece of graphite such as is found in ordinary pencils. Using regular adhesive tape, they managed to obtain a flake of carbon with a thickness of just one atom. While carbon nanotubes and Carbyne are some unique constructs made by manipulating graphene, these have extraordinary mechanical, electrical, thermal, optical and chemical properties such as at the individual level, these unique structures exhibit: 200X the strength and 5X the elasticity of steel; 5X the electrical conductivity.
Drone are remote controlled or programmed robots usually fitted with flying manoeuvrability and although it was used for fun activities, but now has a many new and exciting application such as aerial photography, mapping, surveillance, security, search & rescue, inspection, cargo system and, of course, missile based weapon system. In fact, it is believed that if current drone sizes are super sized then they could be used for heavy construction like bridges, skyscrapers etc. The applications are limitless while it got it loads of fun for the person remotely controlling the drones.
5. Nano Technology:
Moore’s Law in computing seemed to have paved way for scientists in another field of science to look for ways to miniaturize existing machinery and mechanization and today we are on the verge of coming up close to the amazing world of nanotechnology. These are minuscule or nanomaterials or machines which could change the way we see the modern world from nanobots running through human bodies detecting and monitoring any abnormalities, to self-healing nanomaterials cast on machines, gadgets even buildings, to nanomaterials that repel liquid thus making waterproof or resistant, to nanomaterials that have a very high heat tension capacity or heat resistant.
6. Artificial Intelligence:
The field of study of Artificial Intelligence has also evolved in recent times, earlier many programs and algorithms were created for AI to conduct mundane and regular tasks which didn’t really define AI. But recently scientists have come up with a learning algorithm which allows a machine to learn, analyse, evolve and correlate the significance of an event in order to come up to a conclusion. Earlier AI relied on programming on every aspect of robotics from movement to conversation to doing tasks, but modern AI programming is intentionally kept open ended and allows a machine to deduce a conclusion.
7. Life Longevity:
Every civilization that has ever existed on this planet before or after has tried to increase the human life expectancy, while currently with the advancement in medical science man has considerably increased the human lifespan from 70 years to 90 years. Scientist in recent years using DNA, food diet, mutation study, rare anti ageing disorder, nanobots, biomechanics etc. claim to have come up with ways to increase the human life expectancy exponentially. Calico, for example, a research and development company set up in 2013 in a joint venture of Google and Apple hopes to increase the human life expectancy to 500 years or so. But to its contrary is another field of thoughts that believes on the theory of singularity i.e. humans will be able to upload their entire minds to computers and become digitally immortal — thus an event called a singularity. Whether we last as humans or machines the future is expected to have men and women having higher life expectancy.
8. Mega-scale Desalination:
The world’s biggest and largest water bodies are oceans and many countries are a bunch of islands surrounded by oceans while ocean water being salt water is of new use, but desalination is a process used by many countries especially in the middle east to suffice their water related needs. These desalination plants are too expensive and yet incapable of providing the water-related needs of the general public. Israel alone as a country has led a huge project which would motivate other countries in setting up mega scale desalination plants which could really help in the water scarcity.
9. Supercharged Photosynthesis:
Along with water scarcity also comes the inadequacy of food with the rising world population coming to 12 billion. With limited land and water resource, scientists have been working on ways to develop means to exponentially increase the food production for the rising food consumption needs. Some of the measures used to increase food production like bringing back agrarian land into an agrarian land, rain water harvesting, sea water desalination for agriculture, cloning of animals and plants, a growth spurt in animals like chickens, promoting agriculture in an urban structure like roof farming etc. At a technological level geneticists have been working on supercharged photosynthesis a process also called C4 photosynthesis, boosts plants’ growth by capturing carbon dioxide and concentrating it in specialized cells in the leaves. Researchers believe that engineering C4 photosynthesis into rice and wheat could increase yields per hectare by roughly 50 percent while also reducing the amount of water and fertilizer usage. This isn’t a form of GMO development but a new form of science which shape a better future for mankind.
10. Virtual Reality:
Finally, Virtual Reality or immersive multimedia creates a conjunction for virtual and physical elements which would make it more realistic and lets the user interact in this world. It artificially creates sensory experiences such as sight, hearing, touch, and smell. This could be a means to a new era in the field of entertainment, cinema and gaming but in the near future it could have multiple forms of applications such as virtual simulation which could seemingly adapt to this new technology. Currently, there is Microsoft’s Hololens, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Google’s Cardboard which are working on the similar related technology. While it’s very early to predict its popularity in the near future, there is no denying that it’s one of the most exciting technologies.
Originally published at www.wirtal.in.