The Distant Future, The Year 2000
With technology’s ability to change in the blink of an eye, there’s no doubt that we’re going to experience what we never thought possible in our lifetime. But what are those experiences? And will they lead to a workfree utopia? Or will we just keep progressing technologically until we talk using 1s and 0s?
Technological advancements are moving at a faster pace than you may think.
- Super And Hypersonic Jets
- Smart Floating Farms
- Genetic Sequencing
- 3D Printed Food
- Microbial Mood Rings
- Holographic Telepresence
Although not as cool as teleportation, supersonic and hypersonic jets may be the next best thing. Since the Concorde retired in 2003, commercial airliners haven’t broken the sound barrier – but there are plenty of companies willing to help them try. Hoping to usher in a “new era of supersonic air travel,” companies like Boom Supersonic plan to engineer aircraft to travel up to 1,450 miles per hour (mph).
And if you think supersonic just doesn’t sound fast enough, Boeing would have to agree. Boeing announced their plans for building commercial, hypersonic jets that would fly five times the speed of sound, reaching speeds of up to 3,800 mph. This would drop the travel time from New York to Shanghai from 15 hours to two.
By 2050, the UN predicts that the global population will increase by two billion people, meaning there will be a demand for 70% more food. Thankfully, the farm of the future is (almost) here. A floating, three-tiered platform that can supply fruit, vegetables, and fish, Smart Floating Farms uses the roof as a solar energy plant, the middle level for crop production, and the lower level for aquaculture.
“The purpose of the Smart Floating Farms project is to help reduce ‘food-risk’ associated problems for growing cities, make food production more transparent, and use clean energy to produce fresh food closer to home.”
Referred to as “the future of medicine,” genetic sequencing can be used to edit genes that carry diseases. “The most anxiously and immediately awaited outcome of this new capacity is its application for correcting genetic deficiencies that lead to a range of maladies, from cancer to diabetes to Alzheimer’s.” Think of genetic diseases as “typos” in the multi-billion letter sequence of the human genome – with genetic sequencing, those DNA typos can be edited, helping eliminate the disease.
Though clinically curing diseases is seen as the most important aspect of genetic sequencing, the technology can also be used to control the spread of diseases. “By enhancing sterility among diseased, female mosquitoes,” genetic sequencing can prevent the spread of malaria by sterilizing those mosquitoes who carry the disease.
3D printed food is already here, though it’s in its infancy. A company called Natural Machines has created the world’s first 3D food printer called “Foodini.” Foodini users need “a WiFi connection to choose recipes from Natural Machines’ community site, … [and] they can choose from a library of shapes or create their own to print.”
Five food capsules can be loaded into the printer and the food is printed in a box about the size of an oven. We’re well on our way to walking up to a 3D printer, hitting the pizza button, then walking out with a fresh ah-pizza-pieaah.
A microbial mood ring will surely be helpful, but will it be fashionable? These are the questions that keep us up at night.
Basically, in the last decade, scientists have discovered how big of a role our microbiome plays in keeping us healthy and disease-free, and every person’s microbiome is different. The microbial mood ring contains a complete replica of the wearer’s microbiome and changes colors if the ring comes in contact with microbes or viruses that are harmful to that unique microbiome. It’s also able to connect to your smartphone and can alert you if you encounter viruses.
Full-body, 3D holograms of people (as seen in movies like Star Wars and Kingsman) may be coming to a living room near you. The futuristic hologram technology from Queen’s University in Canada, is comprised of three cameras that take video from different angles. That video information is then transmitted over a network and displayed on a cylindrical screen and produces the 3D hologram.
The holographic telepresence is “all about sharing a sense of presence – proximity, intimacy, and a sense of interpersonal space can be achieved remotely.” Video chats with distant relatives are always heartwarming – imagine how you’ll feel when Aunt Irene is in your living room?
Looking Ahead And Moving Forward
We’ve come a long way in not only the last century, but in the last decade or so. From the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007 to the introduction of virtual reality apps, technology has pushed at the boundaries of what people have considered possible. Though you won’t be printing a burrito in your kitchen or getting your groceries from a floating farm in the next three months, it’s safe to say that innovative, life-altering technologies are closer than you think.