What does the future hold?
When I was young I remember watching Star Trek the Next Generation and thinking their tricorders were so cool, cordless devices that they could just press on like a walkie-talkie and speak without having to do anything else to communicate with their ship. When I grew up a cell phone was the size of a brick and computing power wasn't even near what we have in our cell phones today! Though we are a far cry from warp-speed, and transporters much of what we saw on Star Trek is becoming a reality. Wireless communication has transformed the technological landscape. Cell technology allows us access to the internet, email, text messaging, digital photos and video, social networking, twitter and much more. Our computers are now our window to the world allowing us to read the news, keep in touch with old friends, buy and download music, watch movies and television, read books and news papers via digital copy. The world has changed in the last two decades and the change is moving at a rapid pace.
In the Coming Decades:
Soon the world will change in a much broader way than we would ever expect it to. With new technologies the frontier of the future is wide open.
Nanobot Technology - Nanobots will help in many tasks but the most important will be in the medical field. With bots the size of cells these nanobots will be able to replace brain neuron connections, kill off cancer cells, seek out and destroy bacteria and viruses, and they may even allow us to cure certain types of genetic diseases. Nanobots will also help us in industrial waste industries.
Smart Vehicles - Your car will soon be driving itself. With GPS and scanning devices like laser imaging technology and object recognition software smart cars will soon be driving our cars for us. The great thing about this technology is that the car can be pre-programed for long trips. The car will avoid obstacles, react appropriately to dangerous road conditions, and find new routes if there are accidents along the way.
Personal Communications - Soon you will be able to watch a movie, listen to music, contact friends, surf the net, take pictures, and take a call all without the use of a cellular phone or device. Devices in the form of a pair of glasses or a single monocle and wireless finger motion detectors stuck to the tips of the fingers will do all the things your cell phone does. With new plasma screen technology a pair of glasses can be turned into a digital screen and your finger tip tabs a mouse. A virtual keyboard will allow you type in the air. This will change the way we communicate and are entertained forever. (I get the image of a bunch of plugged in, tuned out of reality drones).
Radio Frequency Identification - We've seen it in movies but imagine a chip placed in your body at birth that allows you to be placed into a permanent database with all your personal information from your DNA print for criminal investigations to your bank account data. All your personal information will stay with you for the rest of your life.
FUTURE TECH BEYOND TOMORROW
In the next hundred years technology will boggle the minds of us living today. When we are old the technology of today will seem like old news. Lets look at what will come next, beyond tomorrow and into the future.
Quantum Communication - Using quantum entanglement information can be instantly transmitted to space probes traveling between the stars, real time information can be shared, and communication will have no time lag at all.
Duplicated Touch - Microscopic needles will duplicate falsely made images textures and feel.
Total Immersion Entertainment - Rooms able to bring you into an environment that mimics life.
Telepathic Remote Control - Control of objects, machines, and computers by thought
Telepathic Mind Reading Technology - Dream Recording by mapping neuron connections in the brain.
Replacement Sensory Technology - New techniques will be created for people who are deaf to hear and people who are blind to see using other senses to replace or boost those that were lost.
Bionic Limbs - People who have lost a limb will have a mechanical limb controlled by telepathic link to the computer in the limb.
Life Recording - Using DNA or Quantum computing technologies an person's life will be recorded on a chip so that every moment of their life can be relived and consciously edited.
Space Tourism - Private industry with projects like Dark Sky will allow people to take trips into low earth orbit to reach destinations that once took almost a day to make in just a couple of hours.
Space Elevator - A tether will be anchored to Earth at the Equator to lift cargo and people into Low Earth Orbit via a elevator.
Rail Gun Delivery - Long tunnels filled with magnets will launch pods miles through the sky and extreme high speeds to reverse polarity collection stations deep in the earth that lead to loading and unloading locations for non-perishable goods.
Space Station Luna - No Man will not live on the Moon, he will live underneath it's surface, there will be hotels, dome viewing areas, space runways, mining operations, science stations, observatories, even restaurants on the moon or should I say in the moon.
Helium 3 Power - H3 will be mined on the moon and sent to Earth to power our cities.
Artificial Intelligence - Computing power will one day exceed the capacity and capability of the human brain. At that moment the computer will have grown beyond it's creator and then proceed to secure more data and knowledge at an exponential rate. If humans see this happen it will only take a nanosecond for the computer to learn everything there is to know.
Robot Intelligence - Robots with the advent of quantum computers will eventually become self aware.
The First Interstellar Probe - A probe will be sent via a solar sail vessel to the nearest habitable solar system.
Alien Contact - With new telescopes being created to look for Earth like worlds and better technology we will concentrate our contact efforts on those worlds most like our own and one day receive a message from across the spacial void.
So the next time you look at your cell phone, ipod, blackberry, or computer think of what your childrens childrens children will have and wonder at the extent of which humanity still has to go. Our limits are within our own imaginations.
If you think education is expensive -- try ignorance.