Technological progress seems to be an integral part of our lives today. Every week either a large corporation or a small and ingenious start-up presents an invention whose purpose is to change, perhaps even revolutionize the world. One the one hand, omnipresent technology seems like a delightful improvement. On the other, it raises justified concerns. We lose our privacy. We spend less and less time with our friends and family. Alienation and depression have become common maladies of modern civilization. This poses a question: does technological growth really affect our lives so much?
The role technology plays in modern lives
The answer is very simple: yes, it does. Almost every aspect of our lives is at least partially connected to technology these days. Smartphones are what affects us the most. They give us the opportunity to communicate with others using many different apps, make video calls, use car navigation or even pay for your groceries. Most of us, however, will not admit to themselves that they cannot live without this device. This is, unfortunately, a fact. A simple experiment is all you need to see that this is true. Count how many times a day you look at the screen of your smartphone. You will definitely be surprised, perhaps even shocked.
“Nano” is a prefix that appears more and more often in the fields of processors, chemistry, medicine, and many others. This is miniaturization, or the so-called “relying on the lowest levels of reality.” We can operate on 1mm pieces ourselves, but nanotech is concerned with things about the size of even a single atom. This is, of course, complicated, but we are able to make 20-nanometer long logic gates for processors, and this is just an inkling of this technology’s incredible potential.
Pretty much everyone is familiar with 3D printers that can be used to print out almost everything, even cars. Such printers are currently expensive, slow and unpredictable at times, but their quality is getting better and better with each passing year. You can already purchase these gizmos for personal use. One day you’ll be able to actually print out, say, a tap gasket instead of going to a store to get it.
Now you can also receive medical advice remotely, which is also an interesting trend. No queues, no waiting. Telemedicine is in constant development. In the US psychiatrists often contact their parents remotely, since this is an important part of their therapy and also a more convenient method.
Modern technologies under development include robotics, i.e. a branch of engineering that deals with constructing and operating robots. These are mechanical devices designed to perform specific tasks. Robots can be human-operated or they can be controlled by another device or a piece of software. They are widely used, especially in fields like medicine or the automotive industry.
The concept of cars that drive themselves has already been introduced a few years ago. However, it is not the vehicles that are the most important thing here, but the system that controls them. It is able to analyse the situation on the go and safely take us from one place to another. Convenience is definitely one of the advantages of this solution. It seems that autonomous vehicles are becoming more and more appealing even to skeptics, since a major drop in the number of accidents, with a whopping 90% of these caused by human error, is a convincing argument in favor of this solution.
This trend in modern architecture is all about buildings controlled by an electronic system that increases the comfort of living. Today’s implementation of this technology allows you to control the lighting, temperature, humidity levels, as well as lowering and raising window blinds. Smart homes are also a big step towards improving home safety and security – such systems will provide better means to protect your house against intruders and notify authorities in case of an accident.
These might be perceived as gadgets straight out of science fiction movies. However, neurologists believe that sooner or later they will discover the key mechanism behind the brain’s ability to create long-lasting memories. If that becomes a reality, people afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease will be able to regain lost memories thanks to a special implant.
Although this is a morally questionable concept, it may be possible to read human DNA chains in the near future. What was once possible only in games, books and sci-fi films a certain company from Redwood City, California can do today, according to its bosses’ statements.
It is vastly popular nowadays since it has significantly developed thanks to the Internet and mobile devices. Every bank has its own website and a modern mobile platform these days, both giving quick and easy access to one’s personal account and other products. Thanks to all this we can now make transfers, set up deposits and take loans wherever we are and anytime we want.
Traditional passwords seem to be old-fashioned and obsolete. More and more online service providers seek to eliminate them completely. This is where biometric authentication comes in. Facial recognition, fingerprints, and systems monitoring user behavior (the frequency with which you use the apps on your computer, for example) are the future of account security.
Some time ago, when access to the Internet was far from universal, mental labor of all kinds was extremely time-consuming. It was impossible to just browse websites for necessary data and resources. Old-fashioned archives and libraries were the source of information and you had to spend copious amounts of time to find what you needed. A lot has changed since then, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. It won’t be much of an overstatement to say that our lives will radically change in the next 20 years. This will affect almost every area, all thanks to an extremely dynamic development of new technologies.