Aug 11, 2019 07:20 AM EDT
Technological innovation has completely changed the world from what it was a half-century ago. With the introduction of the personal computer, followed by the internet and then the smartphone, our world is no longer that of which our elders remember. But of course, human innovation will not stop here.
So what can we expect to see in the future? What amazing, unperceivable, and for the time being, unimaginable technology is actually looming on the horizon?
Forget about autonomous electric cars, humanoid robots and aerogel. There are currently three potential world-changing technologies that are right around the corner and they include innovations in food production, manufacturing, and a potential source for unlimited power.
1. Cultured Meat
Cultured meat is currently seeing a rise due largely to powerful investors. Bill Gates and agricultural giant Cargill are lending clout to the idea of real meat being grown indoors, artificially. As for now, production costs are a major hindrance in the uphill climb of lab-grown meats.
In 2013 the first cultured-meat burger was served and scientists estimated the cost to be around 325,000 US dollars. This is due to the fact that the meat is produced using an incredibly expensive biochemical "soup".
However, in the last six years it has seen a sharp decrease in price, coming in now at below 5,000 US dollars per kilogram and is expected to continue on this trend as processing systems are becoming streamlined.
So how is cultured meat poised to change the world?
For starters, not only would lab-grown meat help diminish world hunger, it may also assist in reducing green house gases as well as lessen the burden on Mother Earth herself as less land and water would be required for livestock. Marine life would also be a beneficiary, as fishing would be regulated to a more reasonable level in order to maintain a healthy balance for the oceans' ecosystem, rather than feed the world's need for seafood.
2. Improved Robot Capabilities
Industrial robots are currently undergoing a massive upgrade, changing from the bulky systematic arms of automobile assembly lines to efficient, productive models that can easily navigate real-world randomness. Developments in sensors, actuators and artificial intelligence are starting to unlock those capabilities.
Software Automation's Sewbot, for example, can produce articles of clothing much quicker and with fewer defects than their human counterparts.
With these advancements in manufacturing, production time will decrease, the quality will see an increase, and prices will fall due to low labor costs and 24/7 operational capabilities.
3. Fusion Power
Fusion power may not be readily available -- or of any real use until 2065 -- but the possibilities of this form of power production could be the greatest innovation since the wheel.
In fact, with the success of fusion power, unlimited power could become a reality. This would be a power source that creates little to no greenhouse gases and leaves virtually zero carbon footprint. Fusion power is a proposed form of power generation that would generate electricity by using heat from nuclear fusion reactions. In a fusion process, two lighter atomic nuclei combine to form a heavier nucleus, while releasing energy. Devices designed to harness this energy are known as fusion reactors.
We know fusion works: it drives not only hydrogen bombs, but also the Sun.
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