“Any sufficiently advanced technology is equivalent to magic.”
-Arthur C. Clarke
Nothing else delights and inspires quite like technological innovation. From observing the universe to manipulating the smallest microchip, inventions are helping us do more and achieve more than we ever thought possible. Here are five exciting advancements that seem to come from the future.
Types of Futuristic Technology
3-D printing, also called additive manufacturing, is a process of building solid objects by layering building materials via digital manipulation. Although the process has been around for some time, new advancements are taking shape. For example:
- Cazza Construction, a company based out of Dubai, has created a 3-D printing technique specifically applicable to construction. Its printing crane, dubbed the “Minitank,” can layer up to 2,153 square feet of concrete per day. Not only is this significantly faster than conventional construction processes, it also produces less waste. If adopted on a large scale, this technology could reduce the impact construction has on the environment.
- Graphene, the thinnest building material on Earth, is now being used in 3-D printers to create extraordinarily lightweight objects that are stronger than steel. This has the potential to revolutionize areas of science that deal with polymers or metals.
“Ambient intelligence” describes any environment in which electronics are sensitive and responsive to the presence of people. It is currently being used for a number of purposes.
- Facebook has begun to use ambient intelligence to identify users at risk of suicide. Using algorithms, the technology combs Facebook in search of warning signs contained in users’ posts and comments from their friends. This data is then used to contact people and encourage them to reach out and seek help.
- The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network that is created when electronic devices are connected to the internet and/or each other. These devices can include everything from cellphones to coffee makers, washing machines, lamps, wearable devices and more. The increased streamlining of IoT technology may lead to augmented and virtual reality, hyperconnectivity of devices, and nanotechnology.
The Conscious Computer and Machine Learning
It’s easy for computers to produce logical outputs. It’s far more difficult for them to produce outputs that resemble natural human behavior. Scientists are overcoming this challenge in remarkable ways. Developments in artificial intelligence include:
- A machine called AlphaGo, which managed to beat a world champion player of the strategy board game “Go” after inputting a database of 30 million possible moves.
- TrueNorth, a neurological computer chip able to arrive at decisions partially by using digital pathways that emulate the randomness of human thinking.
- Robot arms that learn to grasp objects through trial and error, just like humans do.
Conversational Voice Interfaces
Although conversational voice interfaces such as Cortana and Siri are already very popular, engineers are continuing to push the limits of what these systems can achieve. For example:
- Voice interfaces are learning to move beyond a limited set of commands in ideal conditions and can now recognize instructions in loud, busy environments.
- Conversational voice interfaces have the potential to become commonplace. Engineers are working to seamlessly integrate them into everything from entertainment systems to vehicles, alarms, lights, appliances, wearable technology and more.
Drone technology has already proven useful in a multitude of areas including: film, photography, agriculture and wildlife surveillance. Now, companies such as Amazon and UPS are exploring how drones could be used to deliver consumer goods. The ways we obtain food, medicine and small everyday items could change our perceptions of convenience and accessibility. Engineers also see them as contributing to the IoT.
Futuristic technology can make life easier and more exciting or simply test the limits of our own imaginations. The presence of futuristic technology has fundamentally altered the ways we interact with each other and the world.
Additional Source: The University of Manchester
Developing the Technology of Tomorrow
The technology of tomorrow will be invented today. The online Bachelor of Science in Software Development from Husson University can help those seeking to revolutionize this exciting field reach their career goals. Husson offers a practical curriculum designed to teach the skills students need to succeed in this rapidly growing industry.