Technology moves at a relentlessly fast pace in the modern world. It can sometimes feel like every single day there are new technologies and innovations that will change our futures forever. But in a steady stream of announcements about new massive futuristic technological upgrades and cool gadgets, it is easy to lose track of the amazing ways the world is progressing.
For instance, there are artificial intelligence programs writing poems from scratch and making images from nothing more than a worded prompt. There are 3D-printed eyes, new holograms, lab-grown food and brain-reading robots.
All of this just scratches the surface of what is out there, so we’ve curated a guide to the most exciting future technologies, listing them all below.
Sometimes new future technologies can offer amazing development, with the possibility of changing the future… while also being incredibly creepy.
This is one way to describe the idea of necrobotics which, as the name suggests, involves turning dead things into robots. While this sounds like a plot to a creepy horror film, this is a technology being explored at Rice University.
A team of researchers turned a dead spider into a robot-like gripper, given the ability to pick up other objects. To achieve this, they take a spider and inject it with air. This works because spiders use hydraulics to force their version of blood (haemolymph) into their limbs, making them extend.
Right now this concept is in its infant stages, but it could mean a future where dead animals are used to further science… it all feels very Frankeinstein-like!
Not every technology bettering our future has to be complicated, some are simple, yet extremely effective.
One of these kind of technologies has come from some Finnish engineers who have found a way to turn sand into a giant battery.
These engineers piled 100 tons of sand into a 4 x 7 metre steel container. All of this sand was then heated up using wind and solar energy.
This heat can then be distributed by a local energy company to provide warmth to buildings in nearby areas. Energy can be stored this way for long periods of time.
All of this occurs through a concept known as resistive heating. This is where a material is heated by the friction of electrical currents.
Sand and any other non-super conductor are warmed by the electricity passing through them generated heat than can be used for energy.
E-skin could help us hug long-distance friends
While modern technology allows us to communicate verbally and visually almost anywhere in the world, there is currently no reliable method of sharing the sense of touch across long distances. Now, a wireless soft e-skin developed by engineers at the City University of Hong Kong could one day make giving and receiving hugs over the internet a reality.
The e-skin is studded with flexible actuators that sense the wearer’s movements and convert them into electrical signals.