Things to Look Forward to for the Future
What things in the future can we look forward to?
I recently had a conversation with someone and we discussed what to anticipate about the future. We could only really think about negative things (e.g. resource shortages, increased terrorism, etc.) and not so much positive things (e.g. increased life expectancy, improved medicine, etc.).
“Resource shortages are about to end (most of them). In the next several decades asteroid mining, followed by nanotechnology applied to mining, will lead to enormous increases in resources. Two asteroid mining companies, Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries, are gearing up with credible teams, investors and business plans.
In addition, we have terrestrial ways to increase available resources that are becoming mainstream. Plasma converters turn all manner of waste (except radioactive) into fuel and reusable materials. Permaculture-based systems can recover materials such as water-borne fertilizers and spilled oil.
Chemists at Colorado State University have recently figured out how to make totally recyclable plastics. By adjusting temperature, this "impossible" material holds a shape when cool. It breaks down under high heat and can then be reconfigured into a new shape with appropriate catalysts and cooled to hold that shape. There is apparently no limit to the number of cycles.
This plastic can be made from non-petroleum biomass compound. According to Prof. Chen, one of the chemists, "More than 200 pounds of synthetic polymers are consumed per person each year – plastics probably the most in terms of production volume. And most of these polymers are not biorenewable,"
Hemp fields, now starting to reappear in the United States and elsewhere, can provide ample amounts of renewable, carbon-neutral biomass, clean diesel fuel and numerous other resources that are beneficial to humanity. (http://biodiesel.engr.uconn.edu/...)
As documented in my book, multiple safe, sustainable and scalable ways to produce abundant clean energy are available now, with more likely to become available within the next few years.
While specific, temporary resource shortages may well occur from time to time in the future due to geographic/political constraints (e.g. rare earths) and temporary technological limitations, the future is one of abundance.
Oh, and human lifespan worldwide has been rising steadily at a rate of 3 months per year for over a century. (What Happens When We All Live to 100? ) We can reasonably anticipate that breakthroughs in biology and nanotechnology will enhance healthy lifespan significantly in this century. Numerous top institutions including Harvard now have scientists researching antiaging protocols. A group of leading researchers from multiple institutions recently called for human trials on Metformin--an Rx drug that's actually a flower derivative and so arguably a dietary supplement--as a possible antiaging treatment. (The problem with getting such research approved is political; the FDA does not recognize aging as a disease.)”
“"In cycles gone by, though harmony was established, yet, owing to the absence of means, the unity of all mankind could not have been achieved. Continents remained widely divided, nay even among the peoples of one and the same continent association and interchange of thought were well nigh impossible. Consequently intercourse, understanding and unity amongst all the peoples and kindreds of the earth were unattainable.
"In this day, however, means of communication have multiplied, and the five continents of the earth have virtually merged into one…. In like manner all the members of the human family, whether peoples or governments, cities or villages, have become increasingly interdependent. For none is self-sufficiency any longer possible, inasmuch as political ties unite all peoples and nations, and the bonds of trade and industry, of agriculture and education, are being strengthened every day.
" Hence the unity of all mankind can in this day be achieved. Verily this is none other but one of the wonders of this wondrous age, this glorious century. Of this past ages have been deprived, for this century—the century of light—has been endowed with unique and unprecedented glory, power and illumination. Hence the miraculous unfolding of a fresh marvel every day. Eventually it will be seen how bright its candles will burn in the assemblage of man.
“Behold how its light is now dawning upon the world’s darkened horizon. The first candle is unity in the political realm, the early glimmerings of which can now be discerned. The second candle is unity of thought in world undertakings, the consummation of which will ere long be witnessed. The third candle is unity in freedom which will surely come to pass. The fourth candle is unity in religion which is the corner-stone of the foundation itself, and which, by the power of God, will be revealed in all its splendor. The fifth candle is the unity of nations—a unity which in this century will be securely established, causing all the peoples of the world to regard themselves as citizens of one common fatherland. The sixth candle is unity of races, making of all that dwell on earth peoples and kindreds of one race. The seventh candle is unity of language, i.e., the choice of a universal tongue in which all peoples will be instructed and converse. Each and every one of these will inevitably come to pass, inasmuch as the power of the Kingdom of God will aid and assist in their realization.”
-Abdu'l-Baha (1844 - 1921)”
“It's much easier to see the negative things than the positive things. We can see that increasing automation takes over jobs, but we don't see the much greater increase in new types of jobs that the automation creates. It's easy to get worried about increasing pollution without understanding that this increases the economic incentives to find a solution. However, those who do work out what the positives are, are the ones that make a fortune from making those positives available to people. There is therefore a big incentive to find the positives in any situation.”
“Self driving vehicles, tube public transportation, mandated preventative health measures, decreased infant mortality, increased longevity, implanted or attached computer devices, artificial intelligence, telepathic enhancement, genetic enhancement, world peace (if we survive long enough), elimination of racism.”
Top 10 Things To Look Forward To In The Future
The last part of our ‘Year In Review’ series looks at things that we can eagerly anticipate. From new ways of charging your phone, to mind-controlled devices and recycling human waste, these are advancements in technology we think we could expect in the future, that would better the human race.
1. The Phone Of The Future: Foldable, with Bendable Batteries, and Physical Buttons That Appear and Disappear?
With the development of flexible displays world’s most flexible phone in 2013. Combine this technology with bendable batteries and tactile touchscreen technology: we could not ask for more as we’d have the ideal phone of the future.
2. New Ways Of Charging Electronic Devices
Running out of juice? Not to worry. You can walk or run in your shoes,breathe à la Darth Vader-style, use your body heat, stop by a street sign, or use water: take your pick.
3. Interactive and Technologically-Fashionable Clothes
When fashion and technology collide, things can get pretty interesting and fun. With the debut of a dress that display tweets in real-time, we’re just waiting for it, along with programmable T-shirts and color-changing and size-altering clothes to be produced en masse.
4. Human Waste Becomes Useful
In an effort to help save the earth, waste could become ‘clean energy’ or the likes of it—so as to lessen pollution—don’t you think? Maybe our poop and pee could either truly become edible again, or become a source of electrical power or fuel for vehicles. The thought of it sounds gross, but if the ‘au naturel’ substances are successfully made useful, that ‘shit’ would be great!
5. New Ways Of Commuting
Bored of taking the train or bus; walking, cycling or driving on regular roads? The future may have something you’d like in store for you. How ‘bout swimming to work? Can’t swim? Then cycle on elevated bike lanes or fly in your car to avoid road hazards, buses and cars. We do wonder what other forms of transportation would be built in the future.
6. Waterproofed/Sauce-proofed Everything
Using your phone in the toilet, and dropping sauce or beverages onto paper and your clothes, would soon be worry-free events. With companies developing super-hydrophic coatings, compounds for paper, and non-stick coatings, everything would become waterproofed—making stains or wetness nonexistent.
7. Easiness Of Long-distance Relationships
Keeping long-distance relationships have never been easy. But with the help of technology, it’s becoming a breeze. Besides the usual texts and phonecalls, couples can now share in a social-networking app that’s only meant for the two in a relationship. For something more physical, there will soon be devices that send physical kisses and sex-simulating devices to help maintain the romance.
8. Edible Food Packaging
With edible packagings for cocktails, ice-cream and burgers—and soon-to-be invented edible food and drink containers, the future is near and we would all soon save the earth from plastic wrappers.
9. New Ways of Sharing Information
Sharing information will get more innovative and tangible. As we move into the digital era, and lose the physical touch, in the future, not only will you be able to physically print photos—but also print songs, webpages, books, files and (believe it or not)
What do you think?
10. More Mind-controlled Gadgets?
As a step forward into the shoes of the fictional character telepath Professor X of X-Men, humankind has created mood-controlled tails, and mind-controlled animal ears and skateboards. We’re expecting more mind-controlled devices in the future; but will these devices that pick up brainwaves soon make us all pseudo-telepaths?
Top 30: Things To Look Forward To In 2033 - Part 1
As we approach the end of another decade, it’s hard to imagine where the last 10 years have gone. The introduction of smart phones, hybrid cars and websites such as YouTube and Facebook have made the past couple of years the most technologically revolutionary in modern times. As we wrap up our review of the past 10 years, what emerging technologies do we have to look forward to in the future? Well, thanks to the good people at SVEDKA and their 2033 campaign, we’ve decided to do just that and take a look 24 years into the future to see what the year 2033 has to offer. Here, then, is the first part of our top 30 things to look forward to in 2033.
10. VR Windshields
Designed by Jeongche Yoon and Hoyoung Kihl, the “IPSE” car will create a virtual environment on your windshield, recognizing outside surroundings then translating them into virtual objects and living things. For example, in “underwater” mode, other vehicles appear to the driver as sea creatures. With preexisting distractions like texting already an issue, this concept seems to have red flags all over it. However, if you’re looking for ways to stay entertained on a long road trip, nothing gets your blood pumping like a great white swimming by at 90 mph.
9. Folding Electric Motorcycles
In the spirit of “compact mobility,” UK-based designer Nick Fisher has developed a folding electric motorcycle called Evergreen. When not in use, Evergreen collapses down into an easy-to-pull form (kind of like a wheeled suitcase). The Evergreen is powered by an electric motor housed on the rear wheel. The movement of the forward wheels, as well as regenerative braking, would help keep Evergreen moving. Though comfort may be sacrificed, Evergreen certainly is one answer to navigating downtown traffic without worrying about that elusive parking spot.
8. Mechanical Horses
What would John Wayne ride if his Westerns were filmed a century later? Jason Battersby would nominate his Project Nomad as a front-runner for the Duke’s mobility. His mechanical horse can ride like the wind, climb up steep grades and navigate rocks and boulders. For its energy, Project Nomad uses an internal GPS chip to locate lush vegetation for fuel -- energy it also transmits to its rider. Vegetation? OK, you may have lost us on that one, Jason, but Project Nomad does look like an innovative and fun way to maneuver around town.
7. Open-Source Cars
A major trend in software engineering has been the widespread adoption of open-source technology (i.e., the product’s source code is accessible to all). This freedom of distribution allows for any developer to create his own applications for a product (think iPhone apps). Within that mindset, a company in the Netherlands is working on an open-source car entitled C,mm,n or “Common.” The company is encouraging anyone who has thought of a way to improve upon automobiles to do so with their design -- this takes “having it your way” to a whole new level.
6. Solar-Powered Yachts
If you’re like us, the one thing keeping you from splurging on a 50-foot yacht is greenhouse emissions. Well, now our wait is over. A Swiss company called CODE-X AG is scheduling to release a yacht that runs on solar energy combined with Formula 1 engines. The CODE-X-YACHT features solar panels on the top of its hull that transfer energy to two electric engines. What looks like a standard in the James Bond oceanic fleet of vessels, the CODE-X-YACHT is far from being dubbed the Prius of the open seas.
5. The Plantagon
As the population of urban city dwellers grows year after year, the importance of developing sustainable food sources follows in kind. But, amongst all skyscrapers and commercial developments, where does one find the real estate? The Plantagon is a design for an enormous urban greenhouse, placing a spiraling vertical farm in the heart of a city. Cutting our dependency on country farmers needing to drive their goods in town, the Plantagon gets the job done while shrinking carbon footprints.
4. Elevated Wheelchairs
If you suffer a mobility threatening accident at some point between now and 2033, the future of wheelchair technology may level the playing field a bit. Designed by Melbourne student Jake Eadie, this elevated wheelchair changes the way we see wheelchair-bound people by giving them a kind of equal footing in day-to-day body language situations. The concept design has two modes -- sitting and standing -- and employs durable shock absorbers for rough urban terrain.
3. Photovoltaic Fabrics
Imagine never having to find an outlet to charge your dying cell phone. Filed under the category of “awesome,” a U.S. solar tech company called Konarka has developed a special jacket woven with ultra-thin photovoltaic cells that will recharge your cell phone when you simply place it in your pocket. The uber-thin wires are woven into wearable solar clothing -- shirts, hoodies, boxers, or whatever you’re into. Though efficiency is currently only at 3%, we’re confident that by 2033 your solar jacket will soak up enough rays to power even the most intense of peripherals.
2. Voice-Controlled Chariots
2033 brings chariots back to the urban setting -- except this time, they’re green. The design team of Mike and Maaike has created an environmentally friendly vehicle called the atnmbl which would be summoned by phone and controlled via a set of simple voice commands. The atnmbl takes designated driving to a whole new level as the vehicle would not allow you to actually drive. This means passengers can drink, read its flat-screen display or simply relax and watch the scenery pass by through the panoramic windows.
1. Handheld Fusion
Nuclear energy conjures up images of large power plants and teams of white-coated scientists.On the other hand, researchers at DARPA have put extensive resources into the ability to control a fusion reaction in the palm of your hand. The same energy source that powers the sun, fusion holds the key to nearly limitless energy. DARPA has indicated that their chip-scale high energy atomic beams could lead to “handheld power sources” -- the development of such technology would revolutionize our concept of energy and its integration into our daily lives.