I remember when I started working in the telecoms industry a number of years ago, how we would lose our heads over the smallest detail of any new technology that was announced.
The launch of every updated version of the Apple iPhone was almost like a brand new invention that we did not even have a name for yet. The days when BlackBerry and Mxit changed the way we used our phones and the launch of the first tablets. There was something strange about it, yet it felt so right and so familiar.
In the last couple of years, it sometimes feels like those big tech announcements has lost some of its glamour and theatrics. Is it possible that we have reached a digital plateau? Not at all! In fact, in the last few years, technology has developed exponentially. When it comes to smartphones, the class of 2016 have specs that we would never have thought possible 5 years ago.
I suppose we have simply become so accustomed to technology pushing the boundaries, that almost nothing surprises us. We anticipate that things will evolve. If Samsung or Apple should announce today that they are launching Smart Gloves that can type on your behalf, would you really be surprised?
In case you missed some of it, we decided to list our top 3 technological advances of 2016 that should really excite or scare you.
Autopilot functionality in cars is not that new. We have seen similar functions in some high-end vehicles. However, in 2016 the company owned by South African Elon Musk has gone where no one has gone before. They have basically started to turn their cars in to driving smartphones. In 2016, the company sent out a software update to some of their vehicles on the road. These new updates turned the Tesla cars into smart, self-driving modes of transport. The cars can drive themselves, park on their own and change lanes. This is definitely one to look out for.
Robots teaching each other
Robots are an inevitable part of our future. It’s just another form of reality becoming stranger than fiction. One of the problems that robots face is the ability to learn new skills, basic skills that is second nature to humans. Something like pouring a glass of water, has to be programmed into the “brain” of a robot. This year, Tellex have announced their latest project which allows robots to teach each other new skills. This project allows robots across the world to store information and skills in the cloud, where other robots can then collect these new skills. (Source: www.technologyreview.com )
According to Scientific American, one of the greatest advancements in 2016 was made with regards to organ microchips. In laymen terms, organ chips are basically small chips that act like certain organs within in the human body. In 2010, Donald Ingber from the Wyss Institute developed the first “lung-on-a-chip”. This chip has the ability to mimic certain functions of the human lung. In 2016, many companies made great advances with regards to this technology. The idea is not necessarily to have these microchips replace the organs within people, it would rather allow us to do better and more research on the human anatomy.
According to the Washington Post, 2016 will be remembered for its advancements with regards to Space, Self-driving cars, Robots, Artificial intelligence, Virtual reality and the Internet of things.
While most of these technologies still have a long way to go, we cannot deny that the human race is in for exciting times. Or scary times for that matter, depending on what type of Sci-fi movies you watch.