4 Technologies That Could Change Your Life
Today, technology is such a big part of our lives that it’s difficult to imagine what life would be like without it. From smartphones and laptops to tablets and e-readers, we are living in the age of technology. Although most people understand the benefits of being connected to the internet 24/7, few realize just how powerful and impactful new technologies can be.
We take for granted many of the things that were once considered science fiction a few years ago, but others have only become possible with the help of innovation from tech companies and individual inventors. Here are eight technology innovations that could change your life — for the better.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence (AI), sometimes called machine learning or artificial general intelligence (AGI), is a technology that gives computers the ability to perform tasks normally requiring human cognitive abilities. Some examples of AI applications include voice recognition, translation, image processing, and computer vision.
In recent years, research in machine learning has led to breakthroughs such as natural language processing, speech recognition, video understanding, robotics, autonomous driving, game playing, recommendation systems, data science, and digital assistants. As we move away from physical robots toward virtual and mixed reality, AI could become even more pervasive.
2. Bio-engineered Meat
In 2014, British scientists announced they had successfully grown meat in laboratory conditions for the first time ever. Their invention was made using synthetic DNA that allowed them to grow real meat without needing any animals. Scientists have actually been mimicking meat since the early 1900s.
When scientists were experimenting with meat, they would take some muscle cells from a cow or pig, place them in a petri dish, add blood and serum, and then use electricity to make sure the muscle cells continued to live. Today, much less work goes into creating lab-grown meat than it did back then. Nowadays, they can just get a strand of DNA from a cell and put it in a petri dish. By putting these two components together, scientists can create meat.
3. Clean Energy Technologies
Clean energy technologies are changing the way people power their homes while making our planet cleaner. From solar panels to electric cars, clean energy options are becoming cheaper and more accessible every day. Most recently, Tesla introduced its new solar roof tile product which enables homeowners to generate their own renewable energy via rooftop tiles that capture sunlight and convert it into electricity.
Elon Musk claims this new product will help combat climate change. Not only does the product save money compared to traditional methods of powering a home, but it also creates the opportunity to generate income. Other companies are providing similar products to meet increasing consumer demands, including SolarWorld, Sunrun, Vivint Solar, EnerNOC, Enphase, Eaton, Schneider Electric, Sungevity, SunRun, SunPower, LG Chem, Panasonic, Sharp, Semprius, SMA, and many others.
4. Flying Cars & Robotic Insects
At Future World Expo 2017 in Hannover, Germany, researchers showcased a quadcopter drone that maneuvers itself without human assistance. The prototype features four rotors and, at the moment, only flies forward. Researchers claim the quadcopter drone could eventually replace helicopters and airplanes. Another advancement in flying car design came out of NASA’s Langley Research Center in 2008.
The agency’s “autonomous aerial vehicle” design won the agency’s $10 million prize for advanced propulsion concepts. After 20 years of development, NASA unveiled its winning plane concept dubbed “Langley Raider”. The helicopter-like aircraft resembles a model airplane from the 1970s and seats two pilots. The craft uses ducted fans instead of propellers and boasts airfoils that resemble bat's wings. A few months later, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory released a paper detailing its plan to launch automated, piloted spacecraft into