HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Future technological breakthroughs are occurring so rapidly, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with all the innovative improvements coming the next 10 years, 5 years, or next year.
Dr. Jason T. Cassibry, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at The University of Alabama in Huntsville, says we will see remarkable technological change in 2013, and in the years to come, including — affordable robots for professional and personal use, precise prediction of long-range weather forecasts, and mind control and communication will shape the future of gaming and cell phones.
“New technologies are the reason computers have become so powerful in a relatively short amount of time. Moore’s Law is the reason cell phones can take pictures, make calls, surf the web and fit into your pocket,” Cassibry said.
“Moore’s Law is a long-held observation, or unofficial technological rule, that states that the number of transistors on integrated circuits, or chips doubles every two years,” Cassibry said.
Gordon Moore, founder of Intel Corporation (semiconductor chip maker) presented the interpretation of the technological rule in a paper he authored in 1965. Most engineering experts believe Moore’s Law will hold for at least another 20 years.
Cassibry shared his knowledge and thoughts on technology that will soon become obsolete and new technological advances on the horizon. Those changes include:
- Mind control will shape gaming technology
Cassibry: “Gaming will probably progress to the point where the player's mind will control and communicate with the gaming station. Perhaps transmitters will communicate back and generate gaming experiences in the player's mind without requiring a screen.”
- Improved advances in cell phone technology.
Cassibry: “The next technologies for cell phones will be transparent, lightweight, foldable screens. Eventually, cell phone devices may be controllable with the mind.”
- Huge advances in robotics engineering technology for professional and personal use.
Cassibry: “Gradually, more and more people's lives will be enhanced by robots that will take care of simple, and eventually, more sophisticated tasks. Robots vacuum carpets and perform similar duties. Eventually, most people will have personal robots, like Rosie on the Jetsons to do house and lawn chores and perhaps provide health care. Military defense and now law enforcement professionals are already using drones (remote controlled robots/devices).
- Predicting weather will become more exact.
Cassibry: “Exascale computers will become more commonplace in the next 10 years and beyond, enabling highly accurate models of the earth's weather patterns. The interactions among the sun, oceans, and variations in terrain, cosmic rays, and precipitation will be better understood and will be able to leverage the enormous computing power to enable precise predictions of weather.
- Research advances for habitation on other planets.
Cassibry: “Emerging technologies in nuclear fission and fusion will enable rapid travel throughout the solar system. This will facilitate more economic space exploration and bolstering of space infrastructure. Permanent settlements on other celestial bodies are probably 50 to 100 years away.”
- Availability and affordability of electric cars.
Cassibry: “With the advancement of our understanding of materials, eventually the energy density of batteries and other electrical storage devices will catch up and perhaps surpass fossil fuels. When this happens, electric vehicles will replace other modes of transportation.”
- Preference for laptops and electronic tablets — essentially making desktop computers obsolete
Cassibry: “There will remain a small market for desktops, but most people prefer the small portability of laptops.”
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Joyce Anderson Maples