Star Wars, watch out! By the year 2021, technologies are destined to be both amazing and mind-boggling. Not only will they change the way we live and work, but also the way that we interact with one another.
Here are a few of the ways that life will change — and also predictions for when these changes might happen.
The paralyzed will walk again: On September 11, 2012, I wrote an article about a suit known as the exoskeleton by ReWalk, which was basically a mechanical suit designed to help the paralyzed stand and walk. During the trials, the suit was tested on a woman who had been paralyzed in an automobile accident in 2007. The result was that she given the ability to walk and then return to a seated position on her own. Due to these trials, and the prediction that the suit will be available by 2013, one could hope to see this technology become available for every paraplegic who needs it.
4G will become the new standard by 2013: A no-brainer. This should not come as much of a surprise, since most of the major carriers are in the process of changing to 4G, or are in the process of rebuilding their networks to take advantage of 4G technology. The only downside to updating to an all-4G network is that all of the older phones that currently operate using 3G or less technology will need to be replaced.
Insect-sized, robotic spies: In an article I wrote on August 14, 2012, I discussed the theory, purported by some people, that this technology is already being used by the government. However, in reality, this technology may not be fully developed until 2016. So, if it is developed, what use would it be to the government? First of all, these robot insects could potentially have the ability to fly where no other spy devices could, providing video and audio feedback to a snooper agent. That makes the implications obvious in that these little bugs could be used to listen in, or spy, on the ordinary citizen. My question, however, is why? I know that anyone wishing to spy on my personal habits or conversations would be bored to tears.
Traveling to outer space: I know there are times that I would like to escape from a current situation, but outer space? Well, today this technology is limited to the rich, costing $200k for a trip through the stratosphere (via Virgin Galactic). By the year 2016, however, it could become more than just a novelty as it begins its ascent into normalcy, which could lower the cost to a mere $10k per trip or less.
3D printing: I wrote an article on July 26, 2012, describing the basics of 3D printing and the fascinating promises that this technology offers. In the article, I acknowledged that this software and hardware is currently limited to use by the richest corporations and/or individuals, but in the future, it is expected that prices will drop dramatically and allow the technology to become a part of everyday life. When this happens, users will be able to create their own 3D blueprints. Since the process holds the promise of being able to render anything into true, three-dimensional proportions, users could build anything they like right on their desktop.
Crash-proof cars: This technology is already being seen in some of the industry’s more expensive vehicles. In fact, last weekend, our daughter was looking at purchasing a new Mercedes SUV. She was amazed about the vehicle’s ability to alert the driver in the event that it got too close to another car. From what she described, I discovered that not only does it warn you if you get too close to another car that may be in your blind spot, but it will actually stop itself to avoid a potential accident. If you want a less-expensive car, Honda has also been advertising this same technology in its 2013 Honda Accord. This is just the beginning, however, since according to all reports, all cars by the year 2020 will be coming with standard safety equipment intended to make them crash-proof, including radar, sonar, and other avoidance technologies.
1 terabyte SSD memory card: Yes, it is coming. According to Moore’s Law, which has successfully predicted the advancement of technology and computer power, a 1 terabyte SSD memory card should become a mainstay for all reasonably priced computer systems by the year 2014.
$100 DNA testing: This testing would individualize a patient’s treatment based on the human genome. It is expected to become a reality by the year 2016 and is already in the research and development department at BioNanomatrix, a company known for its position on the leading edge of medical technology. This new technology is expected to cost less than $100 and provide the results in about eight hours. With this quick result time, it is hoped that your doctor will be able to customize your treatment more quickly which, in turn, should help you heal more quickly.
Fusion energy: An article that I posted here at LockerGnome on October 24, 2012 studied the possibilities of fusion energy. In the article, I noted how fusion has the potential to change the way we generate energy and how, if it is employed, it could make us less energy-dependent on other countries. In fact, it would allow the US to eliminate the need for fossil fuels. However, this type of technology is a ways off and it will probably not be until the year 2019 that we start to see fusion become a force in the energy market. It may take until the year 2030 before we see our energy choice shift from fossil fuels to fusion.
Web 3.0: When the Web was in its infancy, Web 1.0 was just about searching and finding stuff. Web 2.0 was about becoming social. Web 3.0 will deal more with technology and the convergence of networks to make finding data easier. Here’s a better description of where we’ve been, where we’re going, and what Web 3.0 promises:
Comments are welcome.
Source: Matador Life
CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by wasabicube