Posts Tagged ‘ Future ’

Internet of Things – A Future Thing

Of all the technology buzz that are trending right now, perhaps the biggest one out of all is the Internet of Things. It is the one that’s going to give us the most disruption as well as the most opportunity over the coming decade, it could completely transform our way of living in future. The concept of Internet of Things first became popular in 1999 and since then this buzzword has been floating around and experts estimate that the LoT(Internet of Things) will consist of almost 50 billion objects by 2020, but what does it actually mean, what does Internet of Things mean?

Here’s something about it:

Internet of Thing is about connecting devices over the internet, letting them communicate with us, with other devices and applications via a network. It refers to the ever-growing network of physical objects that feature an IP address for internet connectivity, and the communication that occurs between these objects and other Internet-enabled devices and systems. It revolves around increased machine-to-machine communication; it’s built on cloud computing and networks of data-gathering sensors; it could make everything in our lives from household appliances to highways, from streetlights to seaports “smart.” In a nutshell, Internet of Things is based on sensors, cloud computing and a network(or internet-enabled devices).

Let’s talk about a very few examples of the Internet of Things:

Home’s light control system integrated with sensors to switch off/on the lights depending on whether there’s anyone in a room or not, alerting you of any suspicious activity on your phone and make it possible to switch off/on lights remotely; windows and doors fitted with sensor and could detect of windows and doors openings and violations to prevent intruders, and alert you of the same by texting on your number; informing you about running appliances when you are not at home, and allowing you to switch on/off remotely to save energy or to avoid accidents. A smart fridge which could text you if its internal cameras find there is none left, or that the carton has past its use-by date; energy and water supply consumption monitoring by sensors and applications to suggest/advice you how to save cost and resources.

LoT  or Internet of Thing is more than smart appliances and smart homes. It scales up to include smart cities, think of connected traffic signals that monitor utility use, or smart bins that signal when they need to be emptied, and industry with connected sensors for everything from tracking parts to monitoring crops. Constructing smart building, bridges, highways, use of smart cement equipped with sensors to monitor stresses, cracks, and alerts you to fix problems before they cause a catastrophe. If there’s congestion/damage on road, the same sensors in the concrete will detect it and communicate the information via the wireless internet to your car or on your phone to alert you.

It has limitless applications and potential, and of course there are some concerns too. This technology is full of possibilities and it’s often difficult to decide in early stage what it will bring up in coming years and will it be truly ground breaking or not.

Here’s a video on it by Intel:

Reference: The Internet of Things

Kilobots form Synchronised, Complex Shapes

Recently a report came up on 14 Augsut’14 which says Harvard researchers have designed a swarm of small, mobile robots which are able to organize themselves into large shapes from random starting points with minimal initial human assistance. This technology is in research from few years, and referred as “Kilobots”.

The Kilobots are a team of 1,024(210 being a conveniently binary number) simple robots that operate as a collective to complete the assigned task, much like the Borg in Star Trek or termites in a termite mound, and been shown to demonstrate the ability to swarm together to form complex shapes like the letter “K”, or a starfish. The researcher team at Harvard first introduced their Kilobots in 2011, and this time they have built one thousand of it. The research is another step in the development of artificially intelligent self-organising systems that will affect everyday life in the future.

Each robot can bounce an infrared signal off the ground to another bot beside it, allowing it to sense where it is in relation to others in the swarm. Bouncing that signal can also ensure that one’s robotic neighbors are on the same page for when and how a task is supposed to be carried out . Knowing where other robots are is essential when it comes to locating objects in a given environment and bringing them back to the home base.

Professor Radhika Nagpal (from Harvard School of Engineering and applied Sciences) said: Increasingly, we’re going to see large numbers of robots working together, whether its hundreds of robots co-operating to achieve environmental clean up or a quick disaster response, or millions of self-driving cars on our highways. Understanding how to design ‘good’ systems at that scale will be critical.

The results of the experiment are published in the journal Science.

Reference:

Charging Phones Using Everyday Noise

Charging Mobile Phones using soundMobile phones may someday be able to recharge using the sounds around them. This can be possible with the help of piezoelectric property of zinc oxide, when the zinc oxide nano-rods are squashed, stretched or bent, they produce a voltage. The nano-rods can be coated onto various surfaces in different locations making the energy harvesting quite versatile. The zinc oxide nano-rods respond to vibration and movement created by everyday sound, such as our voices too. Researchers are working on it from many years to design a nanogenerator which can be used to power devices like mobile phones and now they somewhat succeeded in it.

Few years ago, a few Korean scientists had proposed using sound to charge mobile phones. They explained that it could be done by utilizing piezoelectric effect, in which zinc oxide nano-wires converted sound-caused vibrations into electricity. At the time, the researchers couldn’t generate enough of a voltage to actually charge a phone. But now as per recent research, scientists from Nokia and Queen Mary University of London have succeeded in doing so.

Scientists from Queen Mary University of London and researchers at Nokia built a mobile device that can be refueled when everyday background noise, including traffic and music, is converted into electricity. In future, it could be possible to charge mobile phones using everyday background noise such as traffic, music, cheers from a football field or chatter from a coffee shop and our own voices.

Scientists are now able to generate five volts by using this method, which is enough to charge a phone. Certainly, this technology can change the way we charge our devices if it will make its way to the smartphone industry. It’s still a thing of future and matter of research so far.

Reference: Mobile phones come alive with the sound of music

Eco Newspaper – A Concept

The invention of computers, e-readers, tablets, smartphones and other such devices has had brought down our use of paper to a considerably lower level. Imagine how much paper work would have been carried out if there would be no such devices. With the more advancements and utilization of the technology we will cut down the use of paper more in coming decades. There is a concept of Eco newspaper which can do that by replacing the traditional style of newspaper reading if it comes into reality in future.

As per the Eco newspaper concept, there will be a projector device that can project the daily news on the table counter-top. It’s not just about projecting text and imagines on table but you can flip pages on the projection as you would normally do in case of traditional newspapers. You can also select your newspaper as it will be connected to internet or to multiple cloud services of different news providers. The news then will be updated daily through these cloud services of news providers. It will also use a bio-battery power instead of normal battery to just make it more Eco-friendly. A variety of other digital functions can also be integrated into this Eco Newspaper. Perhaps the invention would also be able to read the reports to those who are visually impaired.

 

eco newspaper projector

The concept of Eco newspaper will not only use technology to its best advantage but also to cut down on the newspaper waste and conservation. E-reader already changed the concept of reading from paper binding books and now it is time to move on to the another level.

eco newspaper future technology

Designer: Shen Guo

Source and Reference: http://www.yankodesign.com/2012/09/10/the-daily-news/

Google Search in the Physical World

In future, it could be possible to run a Google search in the physical world. For example, asking Google “where are my keys?” would give you the right answer if they have been fitted with tiny motes in your home, in your surroundings or in your place. A mote is a node in a wireless sensor network that is capable of performing some processing, gathering sensory information and communicating with other connected nodes in the network.

Thousands of tiny wireless sensors(motes) could one day be used to monitor your world. They will have tiny CPUs that run programs on a skeleton operating system and be able to access equally small banks of RAM and flash memory. These sensor-packed machines can be embedded in buildings and objects in large numbers, may be in hundreds or even thousands as per requirement according to the objects to provide constant updates on the world around us.

The motes will be smart enough to collect power from their surrounding. The motes will live off the power they can get from their surroundings. A mote near a light source might use a tiny solar panel, while a mote running somewhere with greater temperature extremes can be built to tap into that, by converting the heat energy that flows between hot and cold into electricity. These tiny wireless sensors(motes) could be used to monitor every tiny movement of large structures like bridges or skyscrapers in coming decades. The motes in a house could report back on lighting, temperature, carbon monoxide levels and occupancy. With motes embedded in all of your belongings it might be possible to run interent in the physical world to search your queries, and you would hear or get the right answers.

Reference article: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21829146.400-smart-dust-computers-are-no-bigger-than-a-snowflake.html

Electronic Telepathy

There is possibility that a technology which can make texting by just thinking will be available in future. In coming decades, there will be mobile phones, computers, laptops and other electronics devices which can have this feature. All theses devices can be connected to a sensor-mounted headset. Whenever we think something in our mind, some brain waves are generated in our mind, and a sensor-mounted headset will utilize these brain waves. With the help of technology, it can be possible to transform these generated brain waves in the human mind into text. This sensor-mounted headset will convert the brain waves into digital signals by using brain-machine interface technology, and then these digital signal can be displayed on the screen in the form of text. All in all, it will make humans capable of texting by just thinking like an electronic telepathy.
Probably, in future you will be able to write a blog just by thinking. All you have to do is just have these sensor-mounted headset and then sit and relax, and then start thinking about the things in your mind, it will itself write what’s all there in your mind. Though it will take time to come into reality, perhaps a decade or more but this technology is a promising one, and will be useful and helpful in many ways.

Have a Good Day Readers 🙂

-Vikas Sharma

Self-Healing Materials

The concept of self-healing material or technology  has been under research since a decade, with a view to reducing the risks and costs of cracking and damage in a wide range of materials and increasing the durability of materials to much greater extend.

This post briefly gives an idea about self-healing technology, so let’s start with a question, what are these self-healing materials?

Self-healing materials are a class of smart materials that have the structurally incorporated ability to repair damage caused by mechanical usage over time. The inspiration comes from biological systems, which have the ability to heal after being wounded. For a material to be defined as self-healing, it is necessary that the healing process occurs without human intervention.

Something more about it!

Self-healing method is possible with the help of Nanotechnology. Carbon nano-tubes can be used to sense and heal a crack. It is possible that Carbon nano-tubes can sense a crack within the structure, and then it can be used to supply healing agent to all the defected areas in the material, and this healing agent can be released whenever and wherever a crack or scratch appears. Carbon nano-tubes can be used for thermal transports to heat up the material at microscopic level so that the cracks or scratches can be removed from the material. In this way, it can heal a material.

Each Carbon nano-tube is less than 100 millionths of a meter in diameter, and this is what we call Nanotechnology. The first products to use these healing technique will most likely be paints; for example, a car can heals its own scratches on its painted surface, a scratch on any painted surface can be healed itself, and with more research and development it might be possible that this technique can work on many other things like on electronic gadgets or devices.  It will be possible that in coming year there will be cell phone which can heals scratch on their touchscreens themselves, and much more. I think, it’s a promising future technology.