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The Future of Technology

Vineza Reduta

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Have you ever wanted to stray away from the monotonous routine of your everyday life and be spontaneously transported to another country that you have never even visited before at the touch of a button? Or wouldn’t it be convenient to have a full course meal of your choice randomly appear on your kitchen countertop by just saying it aloud? These cool gadgets may not be sold in stores just yet, but don’t be too discouraged. Here are some out-of-this world inventions that will surely blow your mind and make you excited for the near future.

Google’s Driverless Car

Do you tend to get frustrated when trying to read a road map, have no sense of direction and get lost easily? Do you have trouble driving through traffic or can never seem to park in between the lines perfectly? Have no fear because the driverless car is here!

The multi-billion dollar Google industry has totally revolutionized and revamped the concept of the traditional car. The company has invented an autonomous vehicle with the leadership of Sebastian Thrun. In 2005, Thrun helped Stanford win two million dollars in the U.S. government DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Challenge for creating a driverless car that will be the first to safely navigate through a desert route. Since then, Google’s intention for the vehicle is to help the handicapped, disabled, old and young find their way to get from point A to point B.

This automobile has a $75,000 laser, which is placed on top of its roof, that is able to rotate and formulate a 3-D image of its surroundings. There is also a computer attached to the laser, which sends information on when to change speed, turn or stop. Through countless testings with Toyota Prius and Audi TT models, the car is able to recognize every road and traffic light, and even reacts to other cars and pedestrians. Even though one reported crash has occurred with this driverless car, a person will definitely be able to multitask and drive safely down San Francisco’s famous Lombard Street. Last but not least, numerous fatal accidents can be prevented on the road.

The release date and projected cost are still unknown.

Transition, the Flying Car

Usually when you’re driving on the freeway on a hot, summer day, you roll down your windows trying to achieve that supermodel look of wearing sunglasses and having the wind blow through your hair. But wait. Instead of seeing the typical background of the valley’s mountain range, you are only surrounded by a sea of white clouds and flocks of flying birds.

This imagination has become a reality through the inventors of Terrafugia Inc. They have combined the features of a car and a jet plane all in one, which they call the Transition. On the normal days when you feel like driving on the road, the wings are able to collapse and fold inward into a convenient space. The vehicle looks just like a mini-plane, but with two small panels against the sides of its body, when being driven. In addition, you can save money on gas since it has an estimated 35 mpg. But on the days when you feel adventurous, the wings can be easily expanded to its normal length so that you are prepared for liftoff.

The estimated cost for the Transition is $279,000 and there is a refundable deposit of $10,000 in order to reserve one. However, if you’re not a pilot but would like to purchase this cool invention, don’t panic. There is an available course you can take that is designed specifically for the Transition, in which you can become a Sport Pilot in as little as 20 hours. With this new technology, you surely will be able to literally “fly” through traffic with this car.

Google Glasses

We’ve all seen advertisements about smartphones and tablets or heard of movies about smart houses. But have you ever heard of smart glasses?

Another one of Google’s inventions is the Google Glasses, also known as Project X. This gadget was created to schedule appointments, video chat, message friends, act as a personal GPS device, check the local weather and take pictures all done by voice command. With these glasses, you no longer have to worry about losing your handheld device. All of the information you need hovers over your field of vision, without obstructing your peripheral vision.

As for the style, the glasses have a thin silver frame which connects to two nose pads for extra support. In addition, it has a white one-inch bar that is placed on only one side of the frame. But the most interesting part of design is that it has no lenses, which gives off a retro flair and futuristic look.

The estimated cost for these glasses ranges from $250 to $600 and are scheduled to be retailed to the public by the end of this year.

Almost Waterless Washing Machine

The first question you may ask is: What makes this washing machine almost waterless? Well, the answer is that it just runs on a cup of water and small nylon beads. This invention was based on the University of Leeds professor Stephen Burkinsaw’s idea, but is now being tested by a British company called Xeros Ltd. The nylon beads act like detergent and fully absorb the dirt and grime from each load of laundry. All the stains are then trapped into the beads’ core, which allows the beads to be reused more than once. In addition, another benefit of having this machine is that once the all the washing is complete, the clothes come out fairly dry. This can save you a lot of time and energy because you no longer have to worry about hanging your clothes and waiting for them to dry.

If you buy this appliance, you not only become eco-friendly and conserve over a thousand gallons of water per year, but you can also get rid of the annoying grass stains from your white shirt at the same time. The estimated cost for this machine is similar to the price of conventional machines that are on the market now.

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The Future of Technology