Thinking about the future of technology can be somewhat scary, and yet somehow mostly exciting at the same time. Star Trek fans have long dreamed of the day when a person could be teleported from one location to another. While we don't yet have a Scotty to beam-us-up, there are other aspects of technology that we could have never imagined 50 years ago. Take a look at Captain Kirk's tablet, for example. Ok, it might be a bit chunky and not as sleek as an Apple product, but take away that stylus and add a little imagination and…bam!! Can anyone say iPad?
So what's the future of technology hold in store for us now? Who knows, but one thing is for sure: there are, and always will be dreamers and innovators at work in labs, classrooms, or even garages preparing to blow our minds.
Computing: Less Is Moore
Intel Co-founder Gordan E. Moore predicted that the number of transistors in a microchip will double every 2 years. However, some computer futurists believe that someday not too far off, entire computer housings will be too small for the naked eye to see. Think about it…computers used to take up entire rooms, then smaller rooms, then desks, then laps, to palms, to micro-chip sized casings with atom-powered transistors. The next 10-20 years could see computer brains so small they are powered by a single atom. The question is, how will the extremely high cost of innovation trickle down into the marketplace?
Scientists are already working on producing lab-grown lungs and other organs that could be transplanted into humans in the future. Here is an extremely dumbed down version of the process: First, scientists must learn to build the scaffolding, or casings for the organ using 3D printers to create prototypes for study. Eventually a patient would donate cells in which the lab would use to seed onto the casing for the organ they need. The hope is that the regenerated organ will not be rejected by the body since the cells were generated from the person receiving the implant.
The Terminator is History
Let's be honest…most of our ideas about robotics come from the movies. But the real future of robotics is beginning to move away from those hard-shelled stiff and rigid movements into an entirely new direction. Enter Soft-Robotics. Scientists are beginning to look at more realistic ways that robotics can be introduced into our lives using soft and elastic-like materials that more closely resemble the human body. Check this out!
But hey, if you can't wait for the future, get yourself a robot now!