The word technology invokes the idea of the next innovative gadget, product or breakthrough that will have a “disruptive” impact on our daily lives by making them safer, more efficient or increasingly experiential. These future technologies showcase the creativity of the human spirit and provide further insight into how technology will continue to play a larger role in our lives.
Developed in the depths of Google (x), where long-term projects for the company are conceived, the Glass project has potential to alter our digital lives. Using Augmented Reality, Google developed glasses that display main features every person’s smart phone performs. Google’s concept is to make using the Google glasses for the internet, maps, text messaging and calls to be more interactive and run parallel with your daily life. For instance, when a person looks up to the sky, an icon is displayed for weather in that area.
Watch the Future Touchscreen Bracelet
This Watch concept is the next logical step for the smart phone. F. Bertrand’s concept called “Watch the Future” links to your smartphone and provides a large display of icons for each app. Now you have text messaging, Facebook, Twitter, GPS location, contacts, weather and much more right on your wrist. The watch’s display will allow icons to rotate depending on how you hold your wrist, and states it will track your pulse and even the emotional state your in.
James Cameron. Space. Asteroid mining. Its not a film, yet… Instead, it’s the next step in the privately-driven space exploration of the future along with consumer space travel. Throw in the likes of Larry Page of Google and Ross Perot, one of the richest men in America, and you have the funding elements behind Planetary Resources, an “asteroid mining” company. Asteroid mining is an expensive concept but the possible rewards could lead to huge advances here on earth and space beyond. Precious metals mined from these asteroids are in high demand for use in products such as electronics. Another reason for mining asteroids is the acquisition of water from them to support life and propel rockets. A network of these asteroids could allow mankind to travel farther than ever imagined because core elements would be in plentiful abundance along the way.
Car Charging Highway
It seems inevitable that we will all end up in electric cars as fossil fuel production declines, so thinking of alternative energy sources that can deliver on a massive scale is important. Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed a system of coils that can charge your car over the course of a couple of miles. The coils reside on the bottom of the car and in designated lanes on the road so commuters can pass over them without slowing down.
Since 1970 Airbus has soared in the airline/aerospace market by building commercial planes. Airbus currently has the only fly-by-wire airplane available and also builds the largest commercial airliners in use. Airbus has big plans for future planes—by 2050 they are hoping to incorporate transparent ceilings so you can see the clouds whizzing by or view the stars on a redeye flight! Other concepts include molding seats that conform to each individual passenger’s body shape and an interaction zone that allows passengers to virtually try on clothing, swing through a round of virtual golf or put you inside a video game–all while flying comfortably to your destination.
Finder Beacon Concept
Almost everyone at some point has lost their keys, watch, and/or cell phone. This amazing beacon device concept could soon provide a solution—allowing micro RFID “tags” to be placed on the most common misplaced items; later to be found using the finder device. Not only does it tell you how far away you are from the object, once in view, it will circle the area illuminating the object through its transparent handheld screen. Each tag is specifically set to the object you apply it by naming it in the device so it is simple to single out which item you want.
Philips CIty Light
Philips has always been a trendsetting, multi-faceted lighting company that employs new technology regularly. With City Light, Philips hopes to create intelligent outdoor lighting for cities that is also sustainable. The City Light resembles a tall flower as the petals change shape to capture sun and wind energy. LED lights illuminate the stalk at night to provide the right amount of light at the right time–the City Light senses when no one is around and turns off.
Ekso Bionics Exoskeleton
The Ekso Bionics Exoskeleton returns mobility to individuals paralyzed in the lower extremities, as well as dignity. Currently being tested in rehabilitation centers, the Ekso allows an individual to walk by using “legs” that do the work for you and controls the balance needed to support a person. The exoskeleton relies on a second person to control the movements but within 6 months, the Ekso will be fully controlled by the user. Although very expensive now, Ekso Bionics have planned for a 2014 public release with the price around $30-$50 thousand.
Rydeen Android Rear-view Mirror
Rydeen unveiled a rear-view mirror for your car that runs the Android operating system and provides touch-screen capability to access apps, maps and internet. This allows the driver to minimize the amount of time their eyes are off the road, compared to looking at the dash or worse, their phone. Paired with headset units, the rear-view mirror is fully functional and could be produced as early as next year.
EON Interactive Display
The interactive display is the obvious successor to the TV and computer screen, allowing hands-on interaction with elements that would usually rely on a keyboard and mouse. The EON Interactive Display may be the first commercially distributed interactive display available in the next few years. Since the holographic concept is displayed in 3D, it allows the user to look at different angles of an object and tracks the user’s body movements to manipulate the environment, allowing for many uses including seminars and gaming.
Technology mirrors efficiency and the creative genius in all of us. Our technological curiosity will continue to fuel the next great ideas; improving our lives and shaping our future.