10 Reasons the Future is Going to be Great
With some of the modern-day television and movies foretelling doomsday viruses, end-of-the-world scenarios, and entire civilizations dying off because of technology, it is no wonder that many people are afraid of what the future holds. If we relied upon the media to forecast our future, then we would all be doomed. Alternatively, there are still plenty of real-world reasons, why people fear what might happen in the future.
Given the threat of global terrorism, climate change, and the possibility of nuclear war, it is understandable for some people to fear what lies ahead. Some people, however, easily forget how far we have come in recent decades, and the massive strides that we have made in several industries. Additionally, the promise of further progress in the fields of technology has some futurists optimistic that there will be a major transformation in several fields including medicine, agriculture, law enforcement, automotive, and much more. With this transformation, we could potentially eliminate many of our current world problems.
In addition to correcting problems, we are living in an incredibly exciting and innovative time when things that were once considered science fiction can now become a part of our daily routine. As the years go by, our ability to invent and create new technologies increases, making the future more exciting than ever before.
Despite what you may have heard, there is current growing research to show the days ahead may not be so dark, here are 10 reasons the future is going to be great.
10 Advances in Medical Technology Will Increase Our Life Expectancy
You may be familiar with the phrase, “nothing is certain except death and taxes,” and while most of us begrudgingly accept this as our fate, the future has different plans in store for our life expectancy. Thanks to advances in medical technology, the idea of immortality may not be limited to fairy tales any longer.
The average life expectancy saw a dramatic increase during the 20th century and is considered one of society’s greatest achievements. With the average lifespan currently at 81, it is expected to increase to 120 years old in the future.
According to research, the average human lifespan could grow exponentially in comparison with our ancestors before us. Scientists have studied at a cellular level what makes us age in an effort to increase the average life expectancy. In the past 20 years, over one trillion dollars have been invested into biomedical research with successes shown by the tenfold in laboratory animals. Additionally, the number of scientists working on extended lifespan has increased.
While we are young, we spend a great deal of time, energy, and finances on the next anti-aging fad. The good news is, scientists are dedicating resources into increasing life expectancy through the elimination of disease and illness. Innovations in these areas have already begun using stem cell therapies, increasing survival rates, and advancing in laboratory diagnostics.
There are many working theories on how we age, and how it can be stopped. What we know for certain is, it is a continued topic of inquiry for scientists.
9Innovators Can Make Progress Using 3-D Printers
If you enjoy DIY projects or have an innovator in your family, the future of 3D printing holds some exciting new possibilities for you. 3D printing first appeared in the late 1980’s as “rapid prototyping technologies,” for its ability to quickly and affordably create prototypes. Shortly after, a patent was issued to a Dr. Charles Hull and he developed 3D Systems Corporation.
As we moved into the 20th century, 3D printing has evolved into a manufacturing technology that enables the production of products, or parts. The process of additive manufacturing turns 3D models into objects by building layers. 3D printers are used in a variety of industries including medicine, aerospace, and education.
The original prototypes were unaffordable and thereby inaccessible to the public, but modern technology has made it possible to have a 3D printer in every home. While we move towards the future, we can look forward to some exciting trends.
Imagine if you will, that a part breaks in your dishwasher, the standard protocol would involve a repairman, or wait for a replacement part. In a 3D-printed world, the process is as simple as looking the part up on the internet, and printing it at home, or at your neighborhood 3D printer.
In addition to producing your own consumer goods, doctors will be able to print living tissue, knee replacements, and even pain medications and antibiotics. The 3D printers are even equipped for Nano-printing, which means you can print batteries the size of a single grain of sand.
8Modern Technology Aims to Make the Blind See
There have been some incredible breakthroughs in the field of medicine, which have helped to fight disease and extend survival rates. Thanks to advanced carbon-fiber and plastic composite prosthetics, amputees can have a variety of specialized limbs, all adapted for specific tasks. Modern technology has even transformed the lives of the deaf and heart of hearing with cochlear implants. With the help of DARPA, the future is looking a little brighter for blind and visually impaired individuals.
The Defense Advanced Research Project, a research division within the Pentagon has unveiled plans to build a cortical modem. This device is based on the field of optogenetics, which studies cells within the living tissue and finds techniques to control them. The cortical modem will harness the power of our DNA to help the blind, read, write, and see.
This proposed device likened to “Terminator vision,” taps straight into the visual cortex to augment reality and could replace virtual reality completely. The modem utilizes a direct neural interface chip designed to display information without the use of glasses. Although this project is still in process and needs some work, it looks promising. Upon successful completion, the cortical modem will be the size of two nickel and would cost around $10.
Testing of the cortical modem hasn’t yet begun, and scientists are currently unaware of the health effects of the technology. DARPA has had success with the Atlas robot and biometric tracking technology in the past, which leaves scientists hopeful for the cortical modem project in the future.
7Micro-satellites Will Spread the Internet World-wide
There is no denying that the internet is one of the most significant advances of the 21st century. Communication has come a long way in the thirty years since the creation of the world-wide-web. Some experts even say that the internet is revolutionizing our lives. The internet is available everywhere we go across multiple devices including laptops, smartphones, tablets, and PCs. With wi-fi networks available wherever you go, we are always “plugged in.” Some futurists even believe the internet has replaced all forms of communication. Whether you depend on the technology or not, experts agree that the Internet of the future will be unrecognizable.
Tech giant Google plans to invest over one billion dollars in a project, which will send 180 satellites to provide the internet worldwide. This project was founded to provide internet access to areas of the world without connections. These satellites will orbit the Earth at low altitudes, after which they will expand with larger satellites. Also, Google is working on a project titled, “Project Loon,” this is aimed at providing high-altitude broadband balloons to remote parts of the world. Together with Facebook, Google is trying to reach populations that were otherwise unreachable. Through their acquisition of the company, “Titan Aerospace,” Google is also working on solar-powered drones to help in their efforts to expand internet access.
If Google succeeds at this project, it could result in Internet access in third world countries, and other inaccessible areas of the world and the benefits of this are endless.
6Self-driving Cars Will Become a Reality
An autonomous car, or self-driving car, is a vehicle that can navigate itself without human involvement. The first prototype of these cars dates to the early 1920s, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that the first self-sustained car appeared. Since that time, many companies have developed working prototypes of these vehicles, which are still in the testing phases today.
The benefits of these cars are astounding and include a reduction in traffic accidents, injuries, deaths, less traffic, and much more. Despite these advantages, there have been some legal and technical obstacles when trying to get these vehicles manufactured to the mass market.
There are, however, hopes for self-driving cars in the future. With companies like Google, Tesla, BMW, and Mercedes releasing or planning to release autonomous cars, the automobile industry is about to change dramatically. Currently, Singapore already has a driverless taxi service in place, and several large corporations have announced plans for trials of their self-driving vehicles.
The future with self-driving cars is much safer with an estimated 650,000 lives saved every year, and a financial savings of $230 billion in auto insurance. Additionally, self-driving cars are estimated to change the real estate market and how your vehicle is purchased and financed.
Futurists are saying we should prepare for the ride of our lives, as the transition to self-driving vehicles is comparable to the invention of the telephone. By the year 2021, an average of five percent of vehicles in the United States are expected to be driverless.
5Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Will Profoundly Change Our Lives
When you hear artificial intelligence, you might think it only belongs in the science fiction arena, but it is used every day and has a huge effect on our lives. Artificial Intelligence performs human tasks, which normally require human function through the use of computer systems and developments.
There are currently several examples of AI that we use in our lives, the most recognizable would be the popular digital personal assistants, Siri, Cortana, or Google Now. These programs will find useful information in response to questions or prompts you ask. Another common instance of artificial intelligence involves the use of video games, which are now designed with characters who can learn behavior and respond to stimulus. Additional examples include smart cars, fraud detection, smart home devices, and much more.
In the field of medicine, artificial intelligence is reducing mortality rates and providing quicker and more accurate diagnosis. The once invasive surgery techniques are now delivered with minimal medication, shortened hospital stays, and smaller incisions.
Artificial Intelligence has already made a profound impact, but it is expected to change our lives in the future profoundly. With the help of AI robotics, we can respond quicker in dangerous situations, reducing, and possibly eliminating deaths in potential disasters. Scientists also predict that a combination of human and artificial intelligence could create a potential super human.
It is believed that everything we hold of value can be changed with a future of artificial intelligence, including civilization and even central issues like climate change.
4Science Will Improve Our Food System
The Earth’s food system is quickly running out of land, which is inhibiting the food production in the world’s growing population. According to agriculture maps, more than one-third of the Earth’s land is currently used to graze cattle or grow crops. Thus, the earth is running out of water and farmable land, this is partially due to our inadequate food system. It currently takes over 1700 gallons of water to yield one pound of beef.
Thankfully, there are several advances in the works, which promise to improve our food system in the future, and limit our dependence on the Earth’s precious resources. Innovators have already developed alternative meat products that are environmentally friendly and use 74% water, 95% land, and 87% greenhouse emissions. Additional startup companies are working on replacements for other common foods like milk and eggs.
Another development in the works involves the use of indoor farming, these are now a feasible option thanks to advances in solar energy, robotics, and artificial intelligence. These automated indoor farms will utilize nearly 10% less water and land in comparison with a traditional farm.
Over the next 40 years, the global population is expected to increase to nine billion people, to meet the needs of a growing population, science and technology will advance in several areas. In the future, we can expect to see investments in agriculture, biofortification, and improved food security.
The most promising future development is the use of technology to address the growing number of people who go hungry every day.
3Renewable Energy Can Provide 80 Percent of U.S. Electricity in the Future
You have most likely heard of renewable energy or even incorporated it in your home, or office to do your part for the environment. Renewable energy is energy derived from natural resources including the wind, sunlight, and water. This form of energy is always renewed and cannot be exhausted. The most popular modern day form of this energy can be seen in solar paneling. Renewable energy can produce electricity and plays a major role in reducing greenhouse emissions and fossil fuels.
A study released by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory predicts that renewable energy resources can soon provide up to 80 percent of the electricity in the United States. The study was conducted to determine how renewable energy can meet the needs of a rapidly increasing population. Using the current solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal, and hydropower, this 80 percent increase is a promising possibility for our future.
Increasing this renewable energy will provide substantial benefits for our economy, climate, and health. Not only will it drastically reduce global warming, but it will improve public health, and provide many economic benefits. In a future with 80 percent fewer renewables, our carbon emissions will also be reduced by 80 percent, and water use will be cut in half.
This future is both possible and affordable, and we already have the tools in place to begin, however, we need to make improvements to our current electricity grid first. Additionally, the United States needs to implement a clean energy policy for renewables.
2Drones Revolution Could Sweep the World
The military and the CIA have been using drones, or unmanned Ariel vehicles since the early 2000’s for use in attacks and other tactical efforts. The CIA was also utilizing these for surveillance before the September 11th attacks. Just a decade ago, the term “drone,” was only associated with terror attacks, war, and spy activity, however, today they are used much differently.
The fear surrounding drones has lessened, and they have become quite popular in the modern day. One of the most popular uses of drones in recent years is to capture live events including weddings, sporting events, and concerts. Drones are also helping large organizations like NASA with surveillance in unknown areas. Additionally, these amazing Ariel vehicles are helping shooting movies, aiding law enforcement, and even watching wildlife.
If you thought all that was great, there is so much more on the horizon. In fact, drones are projected to change the revolutionize several areas in the future. For starters, helicopter-style drones are expected to offer farmers an affordable alternative for spraying crops with pesticides and fertilizers.
The field of archology could benefit greatly thanks to the use of drones equipped with heat-sensing cameras. With thermal images, researchers could capture what is hidden beneath surface areas and structures. Thanks to a project grant awarded to Harvard-MIT, drones have aided in humanitarian work with the delivery of vaccines to critical locations throughout the world.
As we advance into the future, drones are anticipated to expand internet access, deliver food, and much more.
1Virtual and Augmented Reality
With virtual reality, you can interact in a video game, swim the barrier reef, or hike the Appalachian trail right from the comfort of your couch. Virtual reality is a computer-generated environment that creates any reality of your choice, through images fed to your eyes from two small lenses. There are currently several VR headsets available through Google, Samsung, and other leading tech companies.
Augmented reality blends virtual reality and real life to create images within applications to provide a composite view. Augmented and virtual realities both utilize the similar forms of technology and they each coexist together to serve the user with a comparable type of enriching experience.
Both technologies are commonly sought after for entertainment purposes. However, tech developers are investing in improvements to reach new areas with the technologies. Additionally, augmented and virtual realities have shown great potential in adding to the medical fields in helping to heal PTSD. Automotive manufacturers are even using AR/VR to improve upon product designs and enhance technologies.
We can expect a lot more out of virtual and augmented realty in the future. Augmented reality is expected to fall in line with mobile technology and could include the creation of mobile applications. Other areas to look forward to include assisting the military with enemy positioning, engineer prototyping, and anatomy training for medical students.
Virtual reality also looks very bright beginning with nanotechnology, this idea will upload the human brain into a computer system or gaming system, to allow you to experience graphics fully.
While fear can be a rational response to the unknown, there are many reasons to believe that the future will be promising. Although it is common to fear technology, the past has shown that it can and will be a promising addition to our lives. When the telephone was first introduced, many people were hesitant to accept it, and now we are hard pressed to find someone without one.
The same held true with the first personal computer and the introduction of the internet. What we can learn from that is, our fears were proved irrational, and your technophobia was unnecessary. As you move towards the future, the same theory holds true; there is every reason to believe your future will be bright.
With another year, ahead of you, you have a clean slate, which means the world is your oyster, and whatever the future throws your way is in your control. In case you don’t like what the future has to offer, the best thing you can do is prepare.
The best way to prepare for the future is to be ready for all possibilities, not just advances in technology. You can expect to see population growth, economic growth, and climate changes. As you move towards your future, place yourself in a position to take advantage of future opportunities should they come your way. It’s also a good idea to educate yourself and remain curious. When you do these things, you will be better equipped to handle your bright future.