We are living in the most wonderful time that is filled with scientific discoveries and incredible technological advancements. Everything changes really fast and new ideas come to life every single year, which may be a bit stressful to follow, but in the end we get a bunch of exciting gadgets and technologies that not only bring us joy, but also heal us, improve our health, and help our environment. We are becoming more eco-conscious, thinking not only about developing great tech that would help humankind, but also about ways to make our lifestyle more environmentally friendly. At the rate modern technology is progressing, we might wake up in a totally different world in just one decade! Here are 9 new inventions that are about to change the world.
A trip to space on a balloon
Many of us would love to see space and would be okay without getting all the way into the deadly vacuum. That’s why World View Enterprises decided it can take people almost all the way, but not quite, on a space balloon! Yes, you read that right. Technically, you can consider yourself in space if you go as high as 100 km above sea level, like Felix Baumgartner who performed the famous jump from the edge of space having travelled there in a helium-filled balloon. The company has already run some tests and the estimate ticket price will be around £75,000.
AI doing science
Tufts University, Massachusetts, coded an AI to do some research. Scientists have been wondering about the many things a flatworm can do – repair after radiation exposure, grow a new head, and survive after being cut in half. They uploaded all the info into an AI computer and voila – in just 42 hours it analysed all the algorithms and came up with an explanation and a comprehensive genetic model that explained how flatworms could do all that. Creating a completely new working theory that was absolutely on point was definitely something AIs have never done before. This will help create more advanced AIs, changing the process of human scientific research as well.
The biologists at Tufts University assembled a new type of living machines that could be used for a wide range of things from cleaning up toxic waste to health examination and drug delivery. These little ‘xenobots’ are a programmable organism created with stem cells from frog embryos and they can be used not only for human bodies, but for cleaning up microplastic from the ocean as well.
Finally there is a breakthrough in sustainable house-building. Scientists came up with a living concrete made of a mix of hydrogel, sand, and bacteria that give it self-healing properties. Yep, this type of concrete can actually self-regenerate! It can be used instead of usual concrete to build up all kinds of structures with special capabilities like sucking up toxins from the environment or glowing in the night. Keep it in mind that concrete is the second most consumed thing on Earth after water! Which means this new environmental-friendly concrete could really up humanity’s eco game.
Elon Musk is known for his profound space tech developments, but he also pays attention to things happening on Earth. He’s planning to make our travel experience even better by developing Hyperloop – a new type of ‘train’ that will travel through a specially built vacuum tube at the speed of up to 760 mph. This new magnificent train will connect LA and San-Francisco, reducing travel time to mere 35 minutes (compared to 7 hours of the usual train ride).
The power of coffee
Coffee is incredible for boosting energy levels or spending some quality time at a café with friends, but it has other applications as well. As much as we love it, the waste created from coffee production and consumption is around 200,000 tons every year. That’s why Arthur Kay founded a company called bio-bean to recycle used coffee grounds into bio fuel that can be used for anything from heating buildings to running transport.
Extinguish fire with sound
Researchers from Virginia’s George Mason University came up with a brilliant idea to put out fire with sound waves. As unbelievable as it may sound – it actually works! Sound waves of the right frequency can disrupt the air that feeds the fire, cutting it off from the necessary oxygen. Inventors are hoping their sonic extinguisher can be used on a larger scale to put out huge forest fires, which are becoming more and more frequent.
Fast-charging car batteries
The main problem with electric cars is that charging them is quite slow. That’s why researchers have come up with a new system to make the lithium-ion batteries charge faster without any damage to the battery caused by such charging. To do that the battery needs to heat for a short period of time, charge, and then get back to the normal temperature. Such technology uses nickel foil for heating and a specially developed cooling system installed in the car. It allows charging the car battery in just 10 minutes!
Floating food farms
According to some predictions, by the year 2050 there will be 2 billion more people living on Earth. This means we’ll need more food for everybody! One of the most environmentally friendly solutions is to create floating farms that can be built not far from cities on various bodies of water. Engineers from Forward Thinking Architecture presented a model of such farm, consisting of three solar-powered tiers that grow vegetables and fruits using liquid nutrients. Plant matter drops to the bottom layer where fish is farmed. One such farm could produce around 8 tons of vegetables and 2 tons of fish every year!