Here are some information about interesting tech innovations that emerged recently and are too important to be ignored. It’s not like in the Jetsons, we are not there yet. But at this rate, many imaginable technologies will no longer be just part of science fiction.

#5 Robotic and Bionic Prosthetics

Prosthetic has a long history, but only now with the integration of computing and chips we will witness a new revolution of this technology. The improvements will allow more precise interfaces with the human through sensors using electric impulses to different kinds of applications. There are some interesting communication enhancements, providing a real-time control for a more natural and intuitive integration with humans. With the inclusion of microchips, these prosthetics will become smarter and adjust themselves according to the user needs.

Another noticeable think is the sense of touch, which allows a better contact with the shapes and surfaces of objects. As the technology advances, the lower will be the barriers and limitation of such tech. With the new materials and ways to build it, prosthetics will become more accessible and affordable, and the use of 3D printing has bought a new world of possibilities for that. These prosthetics will help not only on physical disabilities, but special applications to provide extra abilities, like exoskeletons for construction and military.

[Hongkiat] [Sky News] [Vox Media] [Best of What’s New]

#4 Autonomous Systems

These are systems that work in an integration of computer systems and Artificial Intelligence of some sort. It ranges from “simple” satellites and probes (Curiosity on Mars) to something more complex (the robots from Boston Dynamics). Whether through land, sea or air, the number of applications seems endless. What have had a lot of attention recently are the driverless cars. They have shown some real progress on traffic control and navigation, but also raised a few issues regarding travel and system security.

There are many military technologies involved in the development of this kind of tech, like drones for territory mapping and recognition. These systems may eventually communicate to each other through a common network, expanding their assimilation and usability. This may lead not only to a breakthrough for human exploration, but also new ways to use our resources in a more powerful and effective manner. There is an intrinsic concern for self conscious AI that might turn out to be a real threat. Fortunately, this still something for a far and, hopefully, prosper future.

[Automotive Design & Production] [Eureka Magazine] [International Law Blog] [CIA]

#3 Internet Of Things

These are things that are interconnected through a certain network, usually the internet. And what are those things? It can be anything with an embedded system that allows them to communicate. It can be your refrigerator, your car and even your house. These connected devices are able to collect data, analyze your behaviors, adjust themselves according to your life style or respond to your command requests. This will allow something like an auto adjustment of temperature of your house, illumination control, what you have to eat or need to buy, for example.

What is the most interesting is that you can control all this just using your smartphone. The focus is not only on efficiency, but also on flexible solutions. But despite all the great promises, there is still a certain reluctance and resistance on the IoT adoption. Most of that is associate with privacy and security concerns. It’s gonna be a while until it takes-off on a user base fashion, but until then we might as well be surprised with new applications of this concept in the coming years.

[The Guardian] [Forbes] [Business Insider] [Adweek]

#2 3D Printing

At first limited to some raw material and huge machinery, 3D printers have gone from prototypes to mainstream in just a few years. Eventually supporting different kinds of material and a whole new array of applications. Now they are not only used for prototyping, but also for making foods and even house construction. The 3D printing for medical purposes is already a reality, like some cases on printing parts of a skull for implants. It is a matter of time and more research to extend this for tissue and organs in a practical way.

The usability became very practical the moment we were able to download the models anywhere to build in your own printer. It still has a few caveats, though. Depending on the factoring model and the material, it may be impractical for scalability and mass production. Despite its drawbacks, 3D printing shows great potential. There are various models that serve different kinds of purposes, many of them are far more affordable now than never before. How far 3D printing will take us? Only the future will tell.

[Miami Herald] [Mother Nature Network][Harvard Business Review][TIME]

#1 Smartphones

This definitely is the one that needs to be on the list. Since it replaces a lot of gadgets we used separately, no wonder such devices are so popular. These are a true example of tech that people can’t live without, as it seems there is an app for everything nowadays. The real breakthrough happened with the announcement of the iPhone in 2007, which would change the phone market forever. Smartphones turned the mobile market into the fastest growing industry in history.

It introduced a new way of mobile gaming, which now accounts for more than 30% of the total gaming market and might surpass the consoles in revenue this year. With the use of these devices, people never been so connected as they are now through social media. It is expected that the number of smartphones will surpass 2 billion worldwide by 2016, and about 80% of the adult population will own one by 2020. Serving as pocket computers, smartphones are part of our lives now, both personally and professionally.

[Business Insider] [Hongkiat] [eMarketer] [LIVEMINT] []

High technology became part of our lives and it is too important to ignore its impact on society now. We will eventually become more and more integrated with such technologies, pushing us beyond our human limits.

The future is already here!

photo credit: Free Tibet via