Now that 2010 is over and 2011 has well and truly been rung in, it is time to stop the celebrating and prepare for the future. After all, if the movie Back to the Future II is to be believed, we have four years to be prepared for a future of flying cars, hoverboards and super-smart talking houses.
However, while the movie did have an amazing vision of what life would be like 30 years in the future, not even the craziest script writer could have predicted iPhones, wireless internet and many of the other amazing space age technologies we take for granted today. So what new gadgets and inventions will be changing your life in 2011? Webmaster Drew has found a list of five gadgets set for release this year which are sure to make 2011 feel very futuristic.
1. Google TV
The all-powerful internet search engine Google has decided to dip its billions of dollars into another media platform, television. Smartly recognising that TV is becoming more and more digitalised, and will soon be almost unrecognisable or unusable without the internet, Google have decided to get in on the ground floor and revolutionise the platform. Over the past decade, the internet has created opportunities previously unthinkable for innovation and development across the world, but so far the web has been very far from the living room. Google TV users, thanks to Google joining forces with Logitech, Sony and Intel, will have the ability to search and watch an ever-growing universe of content accessible from a variety of sources, including TV providers, the web, personal libraries of content and applications for mobile phones.
2. The Deceitful Robot
Proving that it is human nature to mould things in our image, scientists have created a robot which is capable of both distorting the truth, and telling out-right lies. It can lie to humans and other robots, and can act in a deceitful manner in everyday situations. It is hoped that when the technology is further explored and released sometime next year, the deceitful robot will have a better chance at completing typical robotic tasks such as disarming bombs and aiding military search and rescue operations. (This is the line the company is spinning, but how this revolutionary technology will actually be used remains to be seen.) One thing is for certain though; it brings us one step closer to successful interaction and understanding with our robotic counterparts.
3. The Mosquito Laser
In a move which has mosquitos scrambling to find their own insect ‘007’, a very clever scientist/evil genius named Lowell Wood (depending on whom you’re interviewing, man or mosquito) has designed a laser which can kill mass numbers of mosquitos. This is a fantastic development, as not only are mosquitos incredibly irritating, but they can also carry malaria. With the World Health Organisation quoting that over 300 million cases of malaria occur each year, this is a significant problem. The device works by using infra-red lamps on a fence post to create a field of light. This field of light reflects off reflective material on another fence post, much like those used on roads and highway signs, and bounces back to its source. The field of light, or laser, can kill up to 100 mosquitos a second, at a distance of up to 100ft. Whilst it has only been lab tested; the manufacturers are working out costs and are hoping to export it to mosquito-prone such as Africa, as soon as possible in 2011.
4. Google’s Driverless Car
The folks at Google have done it again. Purely in the testing stages, they have created a smart car with artificial intelligence combining technology collated from their street-view software, video cameras inside the vehicle and different sensors on the top, front and rear wheels of the vehicle. This technology not only helps trackers locate it on the map but also helps the actual car in physically driving. In the car’s testing, there was only one accident, caused when one of the vehicles was rear-ended whilst stopping at a red-light. As to the true function the car will serve, Google argue that it will reduce the number of traffic related injuries and deaths, while using energy and roads more efficiently.
And almost on cue, it looks like the Back To The Future movie was not just entertaining fiction, but it seems as if the writers had an element of soothsaying as well. As unbelievable as it may seem, one of the most exciting contraptions which you may encounter for 2011 is beleived to be releasing, without a joke, flying cars. MIT students from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics have succeeded in creating and flying a winged car. This is said to be the wave of the future. The company which is reported to release the spaceship-looking cars is calling the flying car ‘Terrafugia’. So be sure to keep one eye on the skies in 2011.