A Brief Overview of What to Expect
I am coming across more and more articles about technology that almost sounds insane. Haptic feedback, virtual reality, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and other fields of research are growing by leaps and bounds, revolutionizing everything from medical science to game design. At times it feels like I’ve been rocketed into a really wild science fiction universe.
It seems like only yesterday that I was squealing with glee at my laptop while reading about the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Seriously, guys, I don’t know if you remember the Virtual Boy, but I do. I was flipping excited about VR technology advancing to this level.
Screaming in horror from the comfort of your living room.
What a great time to be alive.
But as soon as Oculus Rift arrived on the scene, virtual reality technology continued to improve at breakneck speed. Virtual reality was once a droolworthy fantasy, but it now seems like it is genuinely on the cusp of becoming mainstream. The HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, SteamVR … the list goes on and on.
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Virtual reality software advancements are only the beginning, my friends! There are so many scientific developments reinventing how we interact with the world. I learn about something new and fantastic almost every day. I can’t even keep up. Honestly, the rate at which we’re cranking out new, exciting stuff is making it more difficult to tell whether something is a hoax.
LOL – enjoying my personal levitation device!
Have you heard about the Amazon Echo, a user interface system that can run your life like a virtual butler? This voice command device is really popular and it’s constantly improving as new features are introduced. If you plug your electronic devices into smart outlets, it will make your house close to being automated.
Then there’s the Microsoft HoloLens, which is a set of glasses that combines holographic projections with voice controls to transform normal computer programs into interactive environments. Yes! This is a holographic computer system that’s already being sold! You can even Skype with it!
Or how about this research which uses ultrasound to produce three-dimensional objects that can be seen as well as felt? Holograms you can touch! It’s currently being explored for medical applications, but the deployment of haptic feedback technology is becoming more commonplace in our daily lives.
Speaking of haptics, did you know that there are shoes that use GPS technology to give you directions by sending vibrations through your feet? This is great when traveling to locations where the local language might make it hard to ask somebody for assistance. Though you could always just plug in these totally sweet earbuds that will translate whatever is being spoken into your native tongue right into your ear.
But who cares about shoes or earplugs when there is a brain implant that lets you control machines with your thoughts? No, really – it’s a small biocompatible device planted directly inside your skull so you can simply “think” commands. This is pegged to begin human clinical trials in 2017! Cybernetic implants that can be used to control mechanical replacement limbs!
The urge to punch you with my cyborg arm is literally one thought away from happening.
All these innovations barely scratch the surface of how technology is making the world more accessible, more interactive and seem smaller than ever before. I just hope someone lets me know when we’ve finally invented a practical hoverboard, Marty McFly-style.