Six future technologies already here
From a ball with a camera embedded, to a flashlight that is powered by body heat, to a contact lens that zooms on its own — See selected six from the future that are already here:
Garmin Smartphone HUD
In-car GPS navigation requires one to constantly look at a small screen and away from the road in front of you. Garmin offers a head-up display or HUD for US$ 130. While HUD technology is not entirely new (it’s commonplace in fighter jets), with Garmin’s system, you can install a HUD in any car within a few minutes.
The system projects bright, single-color directions onto a transparent film on the windscreen – directly into your field of view. It’s compatible with Bluetooth smartphones running Garmin’s StreetPilot app.
Telescopic Contact Lenses
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego and Switzerland’s EPFL have jointly developed a type of contact lens that can switch between normal and magnified vision.
The lenses can magnify what you see by up to 2.8 times. The contact lens itself is quite thick (1.17mm in the magnifying area) and has to be used in conjunction with a special set of spectacles to achieve the magnification.
Ann Makosinski, a class 10 Google Science Fair finalist, has developed an LED flashlight powered by the warmth of the user’s hands. The concept uses Peltier plates to create what is essentially a thermo-electric device. The Peltier plates produce electricity when heated on one side and cooled on the other — the heat here being supplied by the human hand.
The electricity generated is stored and can be used to power the LEDs for up to 20 minutes. Since Peltier plates rely on temperature differential, it works better in colder climates.
Squito – Throwable Panoramic Camera
Boston-based inventor Steve Hollinger has designed (and patented) the Squito — a ball-shaped device that houses three high-speed cameras and multiple sensors.
Throw the camera up in the air and the device uses information from the sensors to stitch together images/videos captured by the camera. It has a built-in image stabilisation and at the end of its flight, it wirelessly transmits the footage to your computer.
Solar Powered Laptop
WeWi, a UK-based company, has announced that it plans to sell a laptop that is solely powered by the sun. The company’s founders came up with the idea while visiting Ghana, where electricity is scarce. The Sol is powered by Linux and uses regular computer components but houses its own solar panels that fold out to harness the sun.
It’s also engineered to withstand the elements, which means it can be used by explorers who need to stay days away from a power source. A full charge lasts about 8 to 10 hours and WeWi plans to launch it first in Ghana at a price of US$ 300-400.
3D Printed Plaster Cast
3D printing can solve one of the most common problems that people with broken bones face — itchy plaster casts. Since each cast is 3D printed individually, it can be precision engineered for the exact contours of the wearer’s hand/foot.
Not only does this provide more support, the cast itself is waterproof and can be quite sleek. The cast is stronger (with thinner holes) near the affected bone – the cast shown here is specific to a wrist fracture.
Featured: Hitesh Raj Bhagat , ET Bureau | 11 Jul, 2013, 06.21AM IST
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He lives in Bangalore, India & works for a service industry.
He is an aspirant. He likes blogging, reading, photography & learning new stuffs.
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