Technology has been increasing by leaps and bounds every year. There are new technology inventions that excite us because it makes life a bit easier.
We only saw some of these new tech inventions in the movies and who would ever think that they are now being tested and launched soon.
Self Driving Cars
Decades ago we watched as Michael Knight had KITT as a self-driving car on the TV show Knight Rider. KITT was a talking, self-driving 1984 Pontiac Trans Am. It had artificial intelligence back in the day, which is fast becoming the norm right now.
Waymo has plans of launching a self-driving taxi service in the suburbs of Phoenix. This can be a game changer for the transport industry. We can expect more efficient commutes and fewer traffic accidents.
John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, announced to attendees at the 2018 Google I/O conference that their self-driving car service will start operations by the end of 2018 in Arizona.
The company is now working on perfecting the AI that is backing their service. The concept is similar to Uber where a Waymo app can be downloaded in order to secure a ride. The big difference is when you get picked up by their car no driver will be present. Waymo has been operating driverless vehicles in Phoenix since October of 2017.
Tesla also announced that its autopilot feature which features limited self-driving capabilities will soon be ready to drive itself from California to New York. This is good news for Tesla owners who will be able to experience this by just adding a software update on their current cars.
This new technology is great, but when we think about it there are a lot of people who may lose jobs when this starts to become the normal practice in business and personal use of vehicles. Just like in any advancement in technology, we have to adapt to it and not fight it.
Virtual reality is always being pushed by various companies. Oculus is coming up with a standalone headset that will retail at $200 by next year. The technology is not yet perfected as there are still problems with eye tracking, isolation and the tendency to induce nausea. The goal is to incorporate virtual objects and experiences with reality.
Apple has also invested in augmented reality with the latest iPhones and the ARkit for developers. The tech is still in its early stages with Pokemon Go style capabilities being applied in real-world environments. Redecorating apps and the AR measuring tape are what we can expect for now. Apple has plans to launch its AR headset in 2019 and is slowly adding sensors that will improve the phone’s capabilities.
Microsoft also has its own HoloLens, a mixed reality headset. Demos have been launched that are inspired by Super Mario, Portal and Lemmings.
Augmented reality wants you to experience blowing holes on the floor of your living room and build virtual interior designs that can give you a sneak preview of what your home may look like in reality.
Smartwatches As Medical Devices
The Apple watch is not just a time telling device. In 2017, the FDA approved the first medical device accessory. The Kardiaband is an add-on accessory that can detect if the user has an abnormal heart rate. Apple’s built-in heart monitor can detect an abnormal heart rate with a 97% accuracy. This is due to an AI-based algorithm called DeepHeart which was used to complement the device. Further research has also shown that the Apple watch and DeepHeart combo can also detect sleep apnea and hypertension with 90% and 82% accuracy respectively. These two conditions are hard to detect using current methods. We are now on the verge of having a smartwatch act as a great tool in the area of preventive medicine.