Original article was published by Peter Aniedi Akpantuen on Artificial Intelligence on Medium
10 Crazy Ideas That Will Change The World
Call them CRAZY, DUMB, IMPOSSIBLE,etc., Ideas have always shaped our world one way or another. From Atomic bombs to GSM, Artificial Intelligence to IoT(Internet of Things), all these in time have changed the way we live.
In this post I have listed 10 mind boggling ideas that will or are already changing the way we live and do things.
1. Nanobots will connect our brain to the cloud
Okay this might sound scary and unethical but According to Ray Kurzweil (the world’s foremost futurist, authoring bestsellers like “The Age of Spiritual Machines” and “How to Create a Mind”) by 2050 nanobots will plug our brains straight into the cloud and it will give us full-immersion virtual reality from within the nervous system.
Just like we do now with our smartphones, we will be able to do it with our brains; we’ll be able to expand our neocortex in the cloud. And forget about memory problems, evidence problems, etc. Scary right?
2. Energy Storing Bricks
Scientists have found a way to store energy in the red bricks that are used to build houses.
Researchers led by Washington University in St Louis, in Missouri, US, have developed a method that can turn the cheap and widely available building material into “smart bricks” that can store energy like a battery.
Although the research is still in the proof-of-concept stage, the scientists claim that walls made of these bricks “could store a substantial amount of energy” and can “be recharged hundreds of thousands of times within an hour”.
The researchers found a method to convert red bricks into a type of energy storage device called a supercapacitor.
This involved putting a conducting coating, known as Pedot, onto brick samples, which then seeped through the fired bricks’ porous structure, converting them into “energy storing electrodes”.
Iron oxide, which is the red pigment in the bricks, helped with the process, the researchers said.
3. Space Tourism
photo credit: tech start up
According to Business Insider, Space tourism could be feasible in 2050, but likely only for the very wealthy.
Rocket companies like Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX will push the envelope with space travel enough that tourism will be feasible in the year 2050.
For example, “someone who could afford to pay 100 million quid could spend a week in orbit… but it would only be for rich people in 2050.” he said. “It’s not going to be something that’s cheap anytime soon.”
4. Sweat Powered Smart Watches
photo credit: wearable technologies
Engineers at the University of Glasgow have developed a new type of flexible supercapacitor, which stores energy, replacing the electrolytes found in conventional batteries with sweat.
It can be fully charged with as little as 20 microlitres of fluid and is robust enough to survive 4,000 cycles of the types of flexes and bends it might encounter in use.
The device works by coating polyester cellulose cloth in a thin layer of a polymer, which acts as the supercapacitor’s electrode.
As the cloth absorbs its wearer’s sweat, the positive and negative ions in the sweat interact with the polymer’s surface, creating an electrochemical reaction which generates energy.
5. Robot Butlers
House chores are always tiring, isn’t it? Oh well, never worry again. We have Robot butlers now!
We already have the robot vacuum cleaners and smart home appliances. Larger, more useful robots are springing up too.
We could easily be living in a future packed full of useful robots helping around the home as butlers, chefs or general dogsbodies.
6. 3D Food Printing
We’re not quite in a world where Star Trek replicators exist and we can magic up anything we want out of thin air. But 3D printing technology is coming along quickly and companies are already experimenting with printing food.
Fridge running a bit low? Not a problem for future you, just print some cakes, vegetables or even a pizza. We’re dreaming big here.
3D printing is taking off in other areas too. From creating aeroplane and vehicle parts, replacement joints such as hips, or pieces for a board game, it still has huge potential to change our lives in the coming years. The materials being used to print with are evolving too, and now include graphene that is “lighter than air” but 10 times stronger than steel.
7. Heart Monitoring T-Shirt
Wearable sports bands that measure your heart rate are nothing new, but as numerous studies have shown, the accuracy can vary wildly (especially if you rely on them to count calories).
In general, that’s fine if you just want an idea of how hard you’re working out, but for professionals, accuracy is everything.
Using a single lead ECG printed into the fabric, this new t-shirt from smart materials company KYMIRA will accurately measure heart beats and upload them to the cloud via Bluetooth. Once there, algorithms process the data to accurately detect irregular heartbeats such as arrhythmia heart beats, which could prove life saving.
And it’s not just athletes who could benefit. “The possibilities this product offers both sportspeople and the general public is astonishing,” says Tim Brownstone, CEO and founder of KYMIRA. “We envisage developing this product to be used for clinical applications to allow those who may already suffer with heart conditions enough warning of a heart attack.”
8. Tactile Virtual Reality
Researchers from Northwestern University have developed a prototype device which aims to put touch within VR’s reach, using a flexible material fitted with tiny vibrating components that can be attached to skin.
The system, known as epidermal VR, could be useful in other cases as well, from a child touching a display relaying the gesture to a family member located elsewhere, to helping people with amputations renew their sense of touch.
In gaming, it could alert players when a strike occurs on the corresponding body part of the game character.
The team’s design features 32 vibrating actuators on a thin 15cm by 15cm silicone polymer which sticks on to the skin without tape or straps and is free of large batteries and wires.
It uses near-field communication (NFC) technology — which is used in many smartphones for mobile payment today — to transfer the data.
“The result is a thin, lightweight system that can be worn and used without constraint indefinitely,” says Professor John A Rogers, who worked on the project.
Scientists hope that the technology could eventually find its way into clothing, allowing people with prosthetics to wear VR shirts that communicate touch through their fingertips.
Li-Fi has been experimented with for the last few years and has some interesting potential for uber-fast data transfer speeds. Li-Fi uses light to transmit data rather than Wi-Fi’s radio waves. This technology is theoretically capable of transmitting data at much higher speeds and is also less prone to interference.
Because the visible light spectrum is around 10,000 times larger than the radio spectrum, there’s a lot more potential for bandwidth. It’s also thought that if Li-Fi does manage to take off it will be considerably cheaper than Wi-Fi.
10. Floating Farms
The UN predicts there will be two billion more people in the world by 2050, creating a demand for 70 per cent more food. By that time, 80 per cent of us will be living in cities, and most food we eat in urban areas is brought in. So farms moored on the sea or inland lakes close to cities would certainly reduce food miles. But how would they work? A new design by architect Javier Ponce of Forward Thinking Architecture shows a 24m-tall, three-tiered structure with solar panels on top to provide energy. The middle tier grows a variety of veg over an area of 51,000m2, using not soil but nutrients in liquid. These nutrients and plant matter would drop into the bottom layer to feed fish, which are farmed in an enclosed space.
A single Smart Floating Farm measuring 350 x 200m would produce an estimated 8.1 tonnes of vegetables and 1.7 tonnes of fish a year. The units are designed to bolt together, which is handy since we’ll need a lot of them: Dubai, for instance, imports 11,000 tonnes of fruit and veg every day.