Flying cars, retina scanning authentication, and teleportation… the technology of the future is astonishing.
Or is this the technology of today?
- The CEO of DeLorean Aerospace says his new flying car isn’t just for the rich.
- EyeLock is already offering advanced iris authentication (eye scanning).
- Chinese researchers teleported a photon from the ground to a satellite more than 300 miles away.
These advancements are developed at an amazing speed but still face years of testing before they go mainstream. Just as these developments seem ahead of schedule, there are technology innovations that are just weeks or months from being commercially available. Take a look at a few of them.
AI-Powered Home Devices
The new smart home device market has gone from non-existent to flourishing over the past few years. These AI-powered devices can help make lists, order something online or pick a song.
Google Home focuses on its ability to sync with other Google tools (search and Chromecast, for example). Apple unveiled their HomePod at the world developers’ conference in June.
The Amazon Echo was the first of these devices to market and gained popularity quickly. Sales of the product are unknown but it’s rumored that Amazon will ship more than 10 million Echo speakers in 2017.
Amazon found a market for home devices, but it also brought the idea of “smart homes” closer to reality. For instance, Alexa allows you to voice activate your home automation system so that you can arm your security system.
Beyond that, home control systems also allow you to adjust the temperature, control lighting, and lock and unlock doors.
But the real surprising ability of voice-controlled technology is being developed by Bionik Laboratories, a Canadian medical device, and robotics company.
They’re the creators of ARKE, a lower body exoskeleton made of carbon fiber, aluminum, and steel that is able to collect and analyze data about the patient. The company announced a recent partnership that will integrate the ARKE hardware with Alexa’s cognitive computing.
This could have an impact on paraplegics, and allow them to perform tasks with a command like, “Alexa, let’s walk to the door.”
Tasty Videos IRL
You’re scrolling through social media and a video captures your eye. The scene is an overhead look at someone’s hands as they proceed to prep, cook and serve a meal in a few minutes with ease.
These videos rack up millions of views and are produced by Tasty, the brain child (or food baby) of BuzzFeed. Tasty’s YouTube page is just over a year old and has amassed more than 3.5 million subscribers.
However, just as Pinterest has inspired many #pinterestfails, Tasty videos do not always translate to a finished product for internet chefs.
BuzzFeed is looking to solve this problem with the release of the Tasty One Top, a cooktop and companion app. The app has all Tasty recipes and videos built in and connects with the cooktop.
The cooktop tracks the temperature of foods and the surface temperature of pots and pans.
The unit is selling for $149 and will ship in November 2017. This isn’t the first smart appliance, but it could be the first product that connects social media virality to the physical world.
One-Touch Organ Repair
Researchers at Ohio State University have been successfully reprogramming cells in animals by injecting microchips with the genetic code. The technology, Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT), could be applied for saving human lives following a car wreck or stroke.
In lab tests, the technology was used to help mice successfully recover from brain damage. Dr. Chandan Sen, director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Cell-Based Therapies at OSU, said of the results, “This is difficult to imagine, but it is achievable, successfully working about 98 percent of the time.”
The technology is not yet NDA-approved but Dr. Sen believes tests on humans will begin before the end of 2017. The doctor is reportedly already in discussions with Walter Reed National Medical Center.
From voice-controlled technology to reprogramming animal cells, the technology of the future is quickly becoming available today.