TED, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization, shares ideas in communities around the world. It covers all topics from business to global issues. Li-Fi, Bionics and flying robots are just some of the most innovative and inventive creations that will shape our future. In the past 5 years, we have seen great leaps in digital technology that revolutionized the way we live and work. Believe it or not, we are just getting started. These future technologies will get even better.
- Forget Wi-Fi. Meet the new Li-Fi Internet
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHWIZsIBj3Q Did you know that it is possible to transmit a video through an LED lamp and a solar cell to a laptop? There will be no Wi-Fi involved. You may wonder what the point of this future technologies is. Global communication require about 100 nuclear power plants. With 50 billion devices estimated to connect to the Internet by 2020, such an extension could only work if it is almost energy neutral. Li-Fi or Light-Fidelity uses off the shelf LEDs to transmit data in fast and secure way. It would be able to connect devices to the Internet without causing a massive amount of energy consumption.
- The Future of Flying Robots
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge3–1hOm1s Unlike the commercial drones sold in the market today, these autonomous aerial robots do not have GPS. Without GPS, it is hard for robots to determine their position. But, these flying robots use on board sensors to detect features of the environment, determine its position relevant to the environment using triangulation, and create a map that allows the robot understand where the obstacles are and navigate in a collision-free way. Their latest breakthrough involves the use of these future technologies in precision farming, which can help farmers improve yields and make smart water management.
- This Computer will Grow your Food in the Future
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEx6K4P4GJc What if we could grow delicious, nutrient-rich foods anywhere in the world? What if we could digitize and send food across countries? The one thing missing in agriculture is an open source platform that allows over 7 billion people to ask these questions. The industry needs a platform that inspires the youth to change the food system. The Open Agriculture Initiative at MIT introduced food computers that produce enough food to feed 300 people per month. These food computers show data about the plants – why they are dying and what is lacking. If this is the future of farming, we are in for not only cheaper but also better foods.
- New Bionics: Let Us Run, Climb and Dance
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDsNZJTWw0w Bionics explores the interplay between design and biology. It is the study of machine-driven systems that function like parts of a living organism or the whole living organism. It is the difference between human limitation and human potential. Through technological innovation, the world can be rid of disability. In the future, our shoes, clothes, braces, prosthesis, etc. will no longer be designed using artisan strategies but data-driven quantitative frameworks. They will not only make us stronger and faster, they will also embed our expressions and humanity to electro-mechanics.
The future of technology can be both exciting and downright scary because it can either replace or enhance the activities and products dear to us. That’s why we hope to innovate better tools so we can benefit from the new and improved. If lots of smart people are willing to spend a great number of years of their lives and millions of dollars on these future technologies, there is probably something to it that will help us live better lives.