Future Technology has been a thing in the movies, now we are closer sci-fi as ever. With the advent of space travel, personal computers and mobile phones, technology revolutionised the way we live. Now experts around the globe have turned this up a notch, ready to change life for us once more. Here are 10 inventions that we will see in the next 5 years.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligent behaviour by machines. Machines can now be programmed to acquire, store and use knowledge, reason, solve problems, learn new skills, and manipulate or move objects.
This might remind you of a scene from Iron Man or even Sky Net, but this is exacrlt what it is. Traditional robots are programmed to follow a set of instruction, newer machines can now adduce, induce and deduce.
So far we have Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant, but this technology is expanding rapidly and will be the future. Saudi Arabia recently gave citizenship to a robot called Sophia. Sophia embodies Audrey Hepburn’s classic beauty: porcelain skin, a slender nose, high cheekbones, an intriguing smile, and deeply expressive eyes that seem to change colour with the light. They are dubbed as genius machines that are smarter than humans and can learn creativity, empathy and compassion.
Check out this video by IBM Watson, the AI tech will rapidly help Medical professionals diagnose and prescribe the right medication/advice.
Efforts are already on their way to provide Space exploration for the average Joe (or the minted Joe). Virgin has failed their last few tests but they are so close to providing the experience of seeing earth from space.
Currently, Virgin Galactic, SpaceX and even Amazon’s Blue Origin, want to make it a reality one day, and give us a (very expensive) seat aboard a spaceship to take us into orbit. Passengers on Amazon’s New Shepard space shuttle will be taken 100km above sea level, before parachuting back to earth.
Google have famously tested self-driving cars in America, and many car manufactures are on-board to develop technology. These cars will no doubt be the Ultra in tech, think puddle lights, 3D projectors, R2D2. I joke but Tesla already has a complex Autopilot mode that can take over some driving controls (very impressive and very scary). The ultimate experience involves simply inputting a destination and arriving there without any further involvement. This technology combined with AI, makes things a little more interesting, in 10 years’ time, these cars will be our best friends.
Solar Panel Technology
Popping a solar panel on your roof is a great way to generate free, sustainable energy for your home, but there’s one major drawback: It is often unsightly. However, Tesla’s latest product, Solar Roof, would be approved of by anyone and everyone. It covers the entire top of a house, and yet you wouldn’t notice because each tile is a smaller solar panel. They’re made of tempered glass with a solar cell contained inside.
This goes further with the addition of solar powered cars and machinery.
Hyperloop is a proposed system of transport that would see pods or containers travel at high speeds through a tube that has been pumped into a near-vacuum. The train pods would either float using magnetic levitation technology or float using air caster “skis”, similar to how pucks travel across an air hockey table.
With so little friction in the tunnel, the pods would be able to travel at immense speeds with a projected top speeds of 760mph.
The pod would initially launch using an electric motor before levitation takes place and the pod can glide at cruising speed in the low-pressure environment. Tunnels for the Hyperloop would be built either above or below ground, at only around 3m in diameter, taking up a smaller ground footprint than traditional rail and road.
Many of the current designs feature autonomous pods that can be launched on demand as frequently as every 20 seconds.
The first route planned will go from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Another route is planning to go from New York to Washington D.C. in 29 minutes rather than the 2 hours 56 minutes it takes at the moment. And Leeds to Manchester in 7 minutes.
Self-driving cars are one thing, but the Transports Research Laboratory (TRL) wants driverless Lorries on UK roads in the very near future. In fact the Telegraph reports, Fleets of ‘driverless’ Lorries will be trialled on Britain’s motorways from next year.
The idea is for up to three Lorries to drive in convoy, with the lead vehicle controlling the acceleration and braking of the two vehicles behind it. The ‘slave’ lorries, while still having a “driver” to steer them, would be able to drive much closer together, compared to humans driving, and therefore reduce fuel costs and emissions.
This will lead to standalone Lorries controlled via computer.
The basic advantages of 5G will be much greater data speeds and much lower latency with capacity for a massively increased number of devices when compared to current 4G networks. Faster means more money.
The chip will be capable of download speeds up to 5Gbps and should hopefully make its way into some 2018 or 2019 flagship phones.
Robotic exoskeletons are already being used by the military to give soldiers extra strength and abilities, making their job easier, but they could also help disabled people, especially those who are unable to walk or use their arms get about easily too. Prosthetic and robotic limbs are already a reality, and are proving invaluable, but to have a whole robotic body would provide a whole new level of freedom for many around the world.
3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file.
3D printing is taking longer to take off that many have wanted, but slowly and surely it is working its way into our daily lives. From creating aeroplane and vehicle parts, replacement joints such as hips, or pieces for a board game, it still has huge potential to change our lives in the coming years. The materials being used to print with are evolving too, and now include graphene that is “lighter than air” but 10 times stronger than steel.
Current Applications include:
- Rapid prototyping & Rapid manufacturing
- Automotive – Car parts
- Aviation & Aerospace parts
- Construction Tools & Architectural Models
- Product Design, Furniture and Lighting
- Movie props
- Medical, Dental and Bio-printing
- Food – 3D Printing is allowing for odd kinds of food to come about. Shape-changing or transparent pastas could be available at a store near you any time soon. Perhaps, if you have a sweet tooth, you’ll find 3D Systems’ ChefJet at a bakery near you. Even NASA are getting in on the act with pizza printed in space.
- Fashion – Mannequins, and clothes manufacture – On one website, users can design their own jacket and have it printed, fitted and delivered in just a few clicks.
Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are “augmented” by computer-generated or extracted real-world sensory input such as sound, video, graphics, haptics or GPS data.
Augmented Reality, or AR, has some incredible potential. It’s been around for a while now, in the form of various apps that can overlay information around you and is different from VR because it overlays information rather than simply put you in a virtual reality.
It is about to hit the big time thanks to Apple, iOS 11, and something called ARKit. With AR, you can place virtual furniture in your room to see how it will look, play virtual games on the coffee table and get information on buildings around you when you’re out and about.