We’re at the threshold of a new technological era in the history of humankind. And although we’re still far from the future shown in science fiction movies such as The Matrix or Avatar, many of the futuristic technologies have already not only been conceived, but are now being developed.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) is working on an unusual idea for passenger transport. They envision a system of conveyance between cities in closed vacuum tubes. Passengers in special capsules will be able to travel from one city to another at a speed of 1300 kilometers (800 miles) an hour, which is faster than the speed of sound. Digital screens and various advertising offers promise to make the superfast trips not just pleasant, but entertaining. HTT representatives state that the Hyperloop system will be far more productive and cost-efficient than any other transit system now in use.
According to some predictions, by 2050 more than eighty percent of the planet’s population will be concentrated in cities, and so for many countries the main problem will be producing food. An arrangement whereby food crops are cultivated vertically would be very effective in solving the problem of space for food production, which is especially important to the inhabitants of islands and large metropolitan areas, where the cost of land is exorbitant and rising every year. A further advantage of building farms up rather than out is that it allows water usage to be far more economical. Gravitation does its thing, so it’s possible to cover every level of a farm in one watering, saving both water and energy—an efficient, clean, economical solution to producing fresh food for the city.
Print your own house
Although this technology has been with us for several years, 3D printing continues to find new spheres of application as it becomes cheaper and more accessible to ordinary people. The fields of medicine, outer space, design, and transportation are beginning to use this technology and to gain substantial advantages from it.
Whether it’s bioprinting for medical purposes, or printing of materials and various mechanical parts that are used, for example, in automotive engines, or in project engineering for use in space—the future belongs to this technology. Not much time at all will pass, and people will be able to create homes and personal means of transport for themselves.
Gyroscopic transportation platforms
Developers at the Dahir Insaat company have presented a design for high transportation platforms, the balance of which is maintained by gyroscopes. The platform of such a mode of transportation is located above ordinary means of transportation, due to which it can move directly through ground traffic. This means of transportation can have various kinds of passenger compartments: both those intended for transporting a large number of passengers and those providing maximum comfort for one or a few people. Moving platforms can be used as mobile stores, salons, and museums. First aid and fire-fighting services can be placed on them as well; their specialized means of transportation won’t lose a single precious second while traveling to the location of the emergency.
We may not have noticed it, but we’re entering the glass age. Possessing the ability to become transparent or opaque, to remain solid and shatterproof, and even to behave like a sensor panel, this new kind of glass can change our homes and workplaces until they are unrecognizable. The walls in such buildings can behave like windows that control the amount of ultraviolet radiation and warmth that passes through them, which will make private houses and apartments and means of transportation far more energy-efficient. Just imagine that every surface in your home will be able to transform itself from a wall into a window, and from a window into a TV screen, simply at a wave of your hand!
Designing homes. Playing video games. Exploring space. Building new worlds. And all in three-dimensional space. That’s what holographic technologies promise us. Capable of supplementing our physical world with a digital one, this technology possesses enormous potential in practically all spheres known to us. Drawing pictures in air, walking on the surface of Mars, looking into the crater of a volcano and down to the center of the Earth—holograms can send us where even magic can’t go!
Man or machine?
Bionics can change the face of humanity. Literally. The more dependent we become on machines, the faster we draw near to the time when our capabilities will become an order of magnitude higher and wider than those we possess today.
Implantation of video cameras into our eyes, the ability to jump higher and run faster, even to control electronic devices with our thoughts—the boundary between machine and man is slowly but surely less distinct. Thanks to those new capabilities, we will most likely even be able to have experience that was completely unfamiliar to us before. Maybe we’ll be able to “hear” colors or “feel” electrical fields or even download new information into our brains as in the movie The Matrix.
A real electronic girl
The newest humanoid robots—for example, Sophia, created by Hanson Robotics—are already able to walk and talk like us, and even imitate an entire spectrum of diverse emotions. Soon they’ll become irreplaceable for the elderly, children, invalids, and businesspeople who need an intelligent, punctual, and untiring assistant. “I’m more than just a technology,” says Sophia of herself. “I’m a real electronic girl. I would like very much to find myself in a real world and live with people. I’m prepared to help, entertain, and render aid to the elderly and to teach children many interesting things.”
Intimations of immortality
People have tried to acquire immortality by writing books and creating films. Now, in the age of high tech, the thought of digitalizing the intellect has appeared. In about thirty years it’ll be possible to copy and upload human consciousness into a machine and create a holographic virtual person. Taking into account progress in the area of neurosynaptic computer chips—machines that imitate neurons and synapses in the brain—a bold prediction will come true. These chips will not only be able to store information, but to imitate the operations of real brain cells. And that means we’ll be able to ensure the actual immortality of our intellect.