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Technology To Make The World Better
Packing that is made of cellulose or other materials that are plasticlike but actually made of plant matter so it’s biodegradable is the future of packing
Photo Credit : Shutterstock
Any sufficiently AD-vanced technology is indistinguishable from magic — Arthur C. Clarke
Perhaps this is the first time in human history that technology is changing at such a mind-boggling speed that what sounds like a fantasy today, becomes an invention in just a few years. Think about it, the transition from the caveman’s invention of the wheel to the combustion engine took roughly 5000 years.
Combustion engine to battery-operated cars took less than 100 years. Thirty years ago a device such as a face-to-face phone was a remote fantasy and today we carry the device in our hands.
Here is my take on a few technologies that can make our world better in the next five to ten years, not in the laboratory but as consumers.
Driverless cars are already a reality in certain parts of the world. In chaotic traffic conditions like India their adoption may seem farfetched in the current frame. But considering the precision of technology, they may just be safer than the insane humans and make better decisions even in challenging driving conditions. Uber in partnership with Volvo will soon be testing the world’s first autonomous taxi fleet. Google has already test driven 1,725,911 miles as of June 2016.
Fast forward to September 2026, my driverless car drops me at office. Post that it gets busy ferrying passengers with Uber.
DNA Intervention Treatment
This is a big one in terms of healthcare. Cancer or other life threatening diseases will no longer be a death sentence. According to reports, in the coming years doctors would be able to sequence the DNA of tumour and personalise treatments. What it means is better health and longer life expectancy.
Last year a baby girl, Layla Richards, made global headlines after successful experimental treatment using donor T-cells genetically engineered to attack cancer cells. This year another baby has been successfully treated using the same therapy.
Apparently there is advanced work underway to add 1-2 chromosomes selectively to give you an immunity you don’t have but need.
Imagine a future where your doctor has the ability to print a human organ on demand. If that sounds very farfetched small bits of human skin may be possible in the next few years. In the book “The Ageless Generation” Dr Alex Zhavoronkov talks about research that isn’t yet adopted in clinical practice but is delivering breakthrough results. Advancement in 3D printing empowers the user. It, in a way democratises manufacturing.
Bioplastics: Biodegradable Packaging
There is hope in biodegradable packaging. Packing that is made of cellulose or other materials that are plastic-like but actually made of plant matter so it’s compostable and biodegradable. With advancement in bioplastics, increasing awareness, stricter adherence norms, there is hope for the environment.
Hope in Technology
All these aren’t fictitious, or restricted to a laboratory. These are technologies we are likely to encounter as consumers in the next few years. While it feels unreasonable to believe a driverless car in our traffic conditions, most will see it to believe it. The great inventors believe it to see it.
The author is a Delhi-based tech writer
He can be contacted at [email protected]
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.