It's called the Replicator and it could very well be the future of 3-D printing. Inspired by both Star Trek and CT scanners, the Replicator projects a video of a 3-D image into a synthetic resin that solidifies under certain intensities of light. The result is a super smooth, bespoke object. Right now the Replicator can only print things at the centimeter scale, but the possibilities once it is scaled up could be astounding.
New Solar Blind Harvests More Power Than Window Coatings
Soligami may sound like a delicious cured meat, but it's actually the next development in transforming windows into solar panels. While there are currently coatings that can generate solar energy from windows, they darken rooms and aren't particularly efficient. Soligami, developed by Australia-based design firm Prevalent, would hang like a drape and use unique origami-inspired folds to bounce light around across multiple panels, generating large amounts of energy.
Bad Acoustics Are A Killer. Here's What Designers Can Do About It.
Noise is all around us, whether we like it or not. We're only now beginning to understand the detrimental effects loud sounds can have on our health. Luckily, we can mitigate those effects with design thinking.
Every January, tech investors, manufacturers, enthusiasts, and journalists flock to Las Vegas to get a glimpse at what the products of the future may look like at CES. This year's crop of gadgets brought some exciting developments in artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and robotics (including one that can bake bread). But it wouldn't be CES without some truly head-scratching, and ego-deflating, entries.
More Unsettling Tech Developments Arriving in 2019
New year, new future tech to be equally wowed and disquieted by. As we leave 2018 and all of its tech-related scandals and outrages behind, it's tempting to look ahead to this year's developments with a futurist-friendly outlook. In an ideal world, tech would be used solely for good or entertaining purposes — sadly, we don't live in an ideal world. Read on to find out what future developments you should keep a discerning eye on in 2019.
Scientists Attempt to Cool Earth with Calcium Carbonate
The news about climate change may not be getting any better on the ground, but there's some hope up in the stratosphere. Scientists at Harvard will launch the first solar geoengineering experiment this spring, which will attempt to reflect some of the sun's rays back into outer space and keep our planet from reaching the dreaded 1.5-degrees celsius mark. This idea, known as stratospheric aerosol injection, mimics a natural global cooling phenomenon that can follow volcanic eruptions.
NASA's been to Mars fairly often in recent years, but they've only just scratched the surface - literally. The latest mission, called "InSight" touched down Tuesday to probe a little deeper; InSight aims to study Mars' interior through the course of its two-year mission all while remaining stationary on it's Elysium Planitia landing spot, the "biggest parking lot on Mars." Armed with an array of geophysical instruments, our interplanetary Swiss army knife will drill into the planet to collect seismic, temperature, and reflexive data in preparation for NASA's future man-helmed missions to Mars.
NASA's Newest Visualization Tool Transforms Earth Into A Living Organism
NASA's new tool for looking at our planet is seriously sophisticated. Called the Scientific Visualization Studio, the program referenced nearly a terabyte of data gathered from NASA's Goddard Earth Observing System Model to create an animation that produced petabytes (one million gigabytes) of output. The overall goal of this super-powered computational tool is to "promote a greater understanding of Earth and space science research," according to NASA.
Swedes Give A Big Thumbs Up To Microchips
Over 4,000 Swedes are one step closer to becoming true cyborgs. How? Microchips, as small as a grain of rice, inserted just above the thumb via syringe. The chips can be used to store emergency information, access homes and other familiar places, and even act as a digital wallet for train and event tickets.
A team from Facebook's Artificial Intelligence Research lab recently revealed that in an experiment designed to replicate human negotiations between two chatbots, the machines actually developed their own non-human language. While many animal species do show evidence of complex forms of communication, language remained firmly in humanity's realm until this development. What the machines' new ability will engender remains to be seen, but it's nonetheless a humbling reminder that machine learning offers unprecedented scientific and philosophical investigative opportunities.
At-Home HIV Testing Is Now a Reality
In 2017, HIV/AIDS claimed nearly one million lives, with an additional 36.9 million people living with the disease. HIV is a treatable illness if caught early, but once it becomes AIDS it is fatal. A new device developed by product designer Hans Ramzan gives people in the developing world, where the majority of new HIV/AIDs cases emerge, the power to test themselves at home for the virus, removing dependence on foreign aid.
California's High-Speed Rail Finally a Reality
For California's high-speed rail line, eleven years late is better than never. The highly contested $100-billion project is finally underway, with 20 sites along the train's planned proof-of-concept route between Bakersfield and Madera having broken ground. The 119-mile stretch is slated to be complete by 2022. The final length of the high-speed rail will be 300 miles.
Music and movies are available with just a press of a button thanks to modern technology. Now imagine that instantaneous convenience applied to cars. That's what a handful of car subscription services, which would allow customers country-wide to change automobiles as frequently as they skip songs, are angling to fully develop over the coming years.
NASA Scientists Use Tech-Forward Tools to Monitor Water Conservation
If less than 2% of the world's fresh water is usable and the earth's population is expected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050, then humanity needs to figure out water conservation, and fast. A team of NASA scientists hope to offset this crisis through weather and water-related research. They're surveying the Sierra Nevada mountain range to get a better idea of how climate change affects reliable access to water.
Japanese High Schoolers Recreate the Bombing of Hiroshima in Terrifying Virtual Reality
For the first time in human history, it’s possible to stand in the middle of a nuclear blast and remain unscathed. Students at Fukuyama Technical High School produced a five-minute VR experience that shows what it was like immediately before, during, and after the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The production took two full years to complete.