The world we live in is constantly evolving. And fewer things change as rapidly as the technologies we use to live more comfortably and safely. While advances in things like medicine and transportation can be exciting and are often the focus of news reports, there are also less noticed innovations constantly being made in every field. Small innovations that help us to save money, live more safely, and solve the problems of yesterday are constantly being quietly integrated into every field. Here are 5 exciting electrical innovations you may not have heard up but which are certainly making a change to the way we look at power.
- Wearable Technology and Virtual Reality.One of the most interesting areas of technological development is the integration of small pieces of technology which have the potential to revolutionize the way that we look at ourselves. As we became more creative in how we distributed power, we developed the ability to use more and more useful devices. Lights, heaters, refrigeration, and technology all were allowed to become popular and widely used because we made advancements in power generation, transportation, and distribution. As we get better and better battery technology, our ability to insert devices capable of giving us previously unavailable knowledge about ourselves only increases. We might be able to sense medical issues approaching, track our metabolism and health indicators in real time, and get early warnings for all sorts of disease. While these technologies are still very new, there are a number of wearable devices on the market which integrate biosensors.
- AI. Most people have heard about AI. The idea behind AI is that we may eventually be able to create computers which have the ability to think on or above the level of a human. If we create programs such as these, there are a number of potential issues we will have to navigate. While philosophers and scientists still appear to be a long way off from solving the hard problem of consciousness (basically asking how the subjective experience of existing that we have is caused), it is possible that we will create artificial beings with that same experience of self and of existing. How should these beings be treated? Will they work with us? Or will they create issues? A rogue AI could destroy humanity, and many tech experts are worried about the damage this technology could do.
- Integration of Statistics and Computing into Daily Life. Many of the problems we solve today could be eliminated if we were better able to cooperated with one another. For example, traffic jams are only caused because of human reaction time. If everyone accelerated their cars uniformly at the same time, there would be no such thing as a traffic jam. Many engineers and thinkers believe that increasing the sensor technology on cars, and potentially allowing all cars on the road to pool their computing power to create the most efficient routes for everyone involved will decrease the time we spend on the roads, saving time, money, and emitting less pollution. Imagine if your car knew that in five minutes, the light a few miles ahead would turn red for 2 minutes to allow an ambulance to pass, and rerouted you automatically.
- Wireless Technology. We all benefit from some wireless technology. Things like radio and wifi are huge conveniences in the modern world. We are able to get information nearly instantly from anywhere on the planet, and can do so without being physically connected to any database or system. But wireless technology still has a way to go. For example, wireless charging of devices is a technology that is being developed, and has the potential to eliminate outlets from our homes. This could shake up the electrical industry, and open the doors for new safety standards which protect consumers and save lives. Looking for new ways to transport more and more without wires will help give us more options in how to live our lives.
- Cameras and Face Recognition. This last technological advancement is one which has huge potential, and also worries many people. While it would be convenient and potentially safer to have, for example, your car or home only unlock when it sees that you are at the door, many worry about the amount of information that would be created. If a government or company decided to abuse this technology, it could install cameras all over the place, and get detailed information about where every person is at any time. This dystopian view may seem grim, but technology is power, and power can be used for good and for evil. Like any tool, using it correctly and with good planning is the best way to ensure that you will be safe and happy. So pay attention to these technologies, and make your voice heard.