Top 10 Technologies Of The Twenty-First Century

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Without a doubt most of the top ten Technologies of the 21st Century are yet to be discovered, which is why considering the top ten technologies so far is so astounding and displays what we have accomplished and will make anyone wonder what we have yet to accomplish throughout the century. In the first ten years of the twentieth century, people were amazed at windscreen wipers, electrocardiograms and neon lights; the first ten years of this century has produced self-cleaning glass, a fully self-contained replacement heart and a power source that burns, boils or bashes nothing at all. Many of these twenty first century advancements are still unknown to people throughout the world, but this list of the top 10’s was carefully put together to showcase the  most significant advancements in technology thus far.

10. Rechargers in the Road

The drive to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels has taken many paths, but it has turned a new corner through the efforts of the Korea Advanced Institute of Technology. Engineers there have created a system of electric strips that they embed in the road surface and use to recharge electric buses. Although the technology is still in its experimental stage, the prospects are very good and the pilot project being run in an amusement park in Gwacheon is having exceptional success. The power passes between the strips and the vehicle through a magnetic transfer and maximum charge pick-up was achieved when the gap between the vehicle and the roadway was thirteen centimeters (approximately five inches). It is envisaged that in the real world, this means of maintaining the electrical charge of a battery-driven car will reduce the size of the battery required by eighty per cent and the cost of running the vehicle by two-thirds.

9. Pig Urine Plastic

As the world struggles with the demand for plastic products, the environmental impact of large-scale farming and the need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, a Danish think-tank has come up with a way to do all three by making the first from the waste of the second rather than the third. Agroplast has gained some positive results in their pursuit of recycling pig urine into household items and dinnerware. Basically, urea is a compound of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and carbon and is readily found in urine. The ability to commercialize the substance into a cost effective product is a financial boon for the company. As pig urine is the most difficult of farm wastes to dispose of safely, it has made sense to use this source for the venture. The added bonus is that making biodegradable plastics from ingredients other than petrochemicals reduces the demand for fossil fuels. If there had to be one last point to seal the deal, it would have to be that the urine-based plastic products can be made for about a third less than conventional plastic. So next time you’re at your Danish friend’s barbecue and he hands you a plastic plate and offers you a sausage, remember that you may be saving the environment of Denmark and the resources of the western world, even if it means the sausage isn’t the only piece of pork in your hand.

8. Personal Propulsion Unit – SoloTrek XFV

In the mid 1960’s promises were given that jetpack propulsion was the way of the transportation in the future. Those of us around then are still waiting for our own jetpack unit, so that we can zip around the neighborhood or around the world laughing at all those cumbersome vehicles on the roads below. While it looks like we’re going to waiting for some time yet for our jetpacks, the latest advance in the field of personal VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft has recently passed a vital stage in its development. The SoloTrek XFV is a high-power system that incorporates two sizeable propellers, one on either side of the pilot at shoulder height, and an engine/control structure that clings to the pilot like an oversized playmate demanding a piggyback. Although it promises maneuverability and ease of operation in confined spaces, the assurance that it can transport an individual in a standing position for up to two hours does sound a little like an invitation to travel on any of a hundred overcrowded public transport systems in the world.

7. Artificial Trees

The issues surrounding Global Warming cannot be simplified, but one of the major challenges is that of addressing the excess of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Rooted in a science project on which he worked with his daughter, Klaus Lackner’s study and consequent proposal is to create Artificial Trees. The “trees” would suck CO2 from the atmosphere and deposit it in the spaces beneath the earth’s surface that have been left by exhausted oil and gas fields. While there is a quaint sense of justification in the process, the one question that shoots into most people’s mind is, “Why not simply plant more real trees?” Lackner has not ignored this option, but his study has shown that it would take every square inch of fertile soil on the planet to accommodate enough trees to do the job. The technology behind his proposal draws on the natural structure of the leaf of a tree as leaves are impressively successful absorbers of CO2. Using this natural technology and amplifying the process will hopefully redress our overproduction of carbon dioxide since the Industrial Revolution.

6. Date Rape Drug Spotter

Among the many lucid list of available street drugs and dubious substances that pervade the modern social scene, there are few, if any, more sinister than gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), Rohypnol (Ruffies) and ketamine, more commonly known as date-rape drugs. These drugs can render its victims unconscious and susceptible to sexual assault. To combat this global insidious scourge, The Florida-based Drink Safe Technology designed the coaster that will detect the presence of these foreign substances in a drink. It only requires a drop of a drink on the coaster, that is then rubbed in with a finger and the coaster will turn blue if any of these drugs are present. Each coaster can be used to test two drinks. While there is no doubt that the devious and despicable will always find new ways to deceive, this innovative advancement will hopefully prove to be successful. The technology to confront such abuse is some comfort to many women that frequent lounges, clubs and parties for fun.

5. The Camera in a Pill

Anyone who has ever had a gastroscopy or colonoscopy knows the true meaning of “invasive”. Anyone who has ever thought about these procedures probably winces in sympathy. So when engineers from Given Imaging created the Camera Pill, a huge number of people were able to sit more easily. The Camera Pill is a little than four grams in weight, measures 26mm x 11mm and goes down easily with a few sips of water. It can be directed with a magnetic remote control and transmits up to eighteen images per second as it makes its way through the digestive system. A full scan of the digestive tract can take less than an hour and the results can be interpreted virtually straight away. Of course, the question that’s always asked is “How do you recover the Camera Pill?” From all reports, it is passed in the way most of us anticipate and with little, if any discomfort, but there is little mention of actual “recovery”.

4. iPad, iPhone, I want!

The convenience and endless possibilities of the iPad and iPhone have made the technology of Apples marvelous toys on of the greatest advances in personal computer and communication technology. While there are some critics who would suggest that the iPad is simply a successful reworking of a previously unsuccessful Microsoft computer, the Tablet PC. However, the user-friendly software, that has been a hallmark of Apple software progression since its inception, Apple has addressed and fulfilled the potential of a good idea in hardware that easy user friendly, light in weight, and multifunctional. The adulations and adjectives rain down upon Apple like, well, if you need a simile for it, then there’s probably an app for that! But one would be wise to avoid superlatives, as the nature of the iPhenomenon is such that there will continue to be advances and upgrades that will surpass any current achievement, so hold off the cheers and personal excitement of these new-age gadgets, because Apple technology is constantly being developed and upgraded and will someday be discussed historically as a twenty first century software achievement.

3. Wooden Bones

Long John Silver would be astounded to think that he was blessed with Twenty-first Century technology, but Italian scientists are confidently developing the use of wooden implants to help heal broken bones. Red oak, sipo and rattan have been found the most effective, although they can barely be recognized as such by the end of the week-long preparation. The wood is heated to a stage of being pure carbon, then sprayed with calcium and, after a further series of chemical and physical processes, emerges as carbonated hydroxyapatite. But, despite the changes that occur, it’s the sponginess of the wood that makes it so desirable. The natural similarity in texture means that the bone will grow into the structure more quickly and reduce the recovery time. The wooden bones can be molded to any required shape and also has the added advantage over more traditional metal plates in that they won’t set off the metal detectors at airports.

2. Have A Heart? Have An Abiocor

The extent of technology for combatting heart disease and other coronary conditions has finally been reached with the development of the AbioCor. This is a fully self-contained replacement heart that can function successfully in the patient’s circulatory system making it possible for a return to a full and fulfilling life. Consisting of four components, three located internally and one externally, the device uses transcutaneous energy transmission (TET) to pass electrical power across the skin from the external power supply to the internal battery pack. As well as being far more convenient for the patient, the absence of wires passing through the skin means the possibility of infection is all but negated completely. The potential applications of TET technology are endless as the ability to pass electrical power to internal devices without ongoing damage to the integrity of the body is a major step in reducing infection.

1. The Bionic Lens

The exploration of new technologies is like looking into the future, so when a new technology actually allows one to look into a personalized and purpose-built display without any visible screen, then reality starts to feel somewhat slippery. Babak Parviz of the University of Washington has developed a contact lens that has within it a radio-frequency receiver and solar-powered lens. Initially the project was intended to display messages about the health of the wearer’s eyes. But it took little time and a fraction more imagination to realize that the hologram like display could also give a range of other information. Appearing a short distance in front of the eye and only visible to the wearer, the display can be connected wirelessly to the computer of a car or plane and provide the driver or pilot with information that they previously had to look away from the path of the vehicle to see. There are even plans to make the contact lens internet compatible, so you can surf the net in any situation. So next time your loved one nods blankly while you’re venting after a hard day be aware that they might be taking in the latest football game, reading their email or indulging in some other form of personal internet entertainment.

As we swept into the 21st century there have been advancements in medicine research, computer technology, and solar energy, and these are just a few of the innovative developments that have been modified to perfection and functionality. As scientists and developers continue to study new and upcoming innovative ideologies, continual medical research progression, and software development and advancement the twenty first century is sure to bring forth new and upcoming developments such as; medical breakthroughs, software, and eco-friendly innovation.