Think about what it must have been like to live 100 years ago. Compared to our high-tech lifestyles today, it must have been like banging rocks together in a cave. In just a century we have developed computers, cellphones, smartphones, the Internet, and more. What will the next generations of gadgets be? Probably that most of the upcoming technologies will change our life, but some of them will probably be useless.
Why would so much research be they invest in unnecessary technology? Because it will possibly found its market in technology enthusiasts who take time to read article like this one…
1. Levitating computer mouses
Kibardin presents the Bat – a levitating wireless computer mouse. The basic goal of this product is the treatment and prevention of Carpal Tunnel (Median nerve dysfunction). But, I think that this mouse could also interest the general public. Nobody can resist to a sleek design and an original concept.
The Bat is a set that consists of a pad and a floating mouse with magnet ring. Regarding the levitation high, it allegedly floats all by itself at 40mm when not in use, and comes back down to 10mm beneath the weight of your hand (~2.2-pound or 1000 grams).
This project seems to be unrealizable, however prototypes have already been developed. If we rely on the manufacturer, the product is in testing period. This means that it will perhaps never be marketed.
2. Smart Glasses
Recording videos, sending messages, moving with GPS, searching informations, this is what the Google Glass promised us. Personally, I remain skeptical. And I am not the lonely one, more and more parody of the advertisement “how it feels through Glass” are published on the web. My favorite is Google Glass Sucks!. It clearly illustrates the disadvantages of this technology: nobody wants to have informations that block their view.
However, this technology could be used in the gaming industry. Here is an exemple of what could be Battlefield 5 on Google Glasses.
In summary, even if augmented reality can be a great gaming experience, practical use cases are still unproven.
According to IHS market analysis, more than 9 million smart glasses could be shipped by 2016 (source: press release). But it is tough to predict these numbers, because the technology is still in its infancy and the price is uncertain (Google Glass could be worth about 1,500$).
3. Thought Controlled Computers
Most of thought controlled computers work with a sensor headband. It measures your brainwaves in real-time. It sends those brainwaves to your computer and then translates your them into instructions to interact with content.
Initially designed for people with disabilities, but this technology is democratizing and you can already pre-ordered brain-sensing headbands to control your smartphone. It is already possible to play Angry Birds with his thoughts (view the video). When the technology will be more developed, in the continuity of the Kinect, some consoles will probably include thought gaming.
4. 3D Printers
Three-dimensional printing is not a new technology, the first devices were designed in 1986. It consists of taking digital input from three-dimensional data and creates solid, three-dimensional parts through an additive, layer-by-layer process.
Three-dimesional printers are democratizing. There are several projects and companies making efforts to develop affordable 3D printers for home desktop use. For example, you can buy the MarkerBot Replicator for only 2,199$.
The iWatch, the i’m Watch, the Pebble, the SmartWatch… The manufacturers and the media talk about them as if they were a revolution. But I don’t think so. Smartphones were a revolution, they have allowed to transport the internet wherever and whenever you want. Smartwatches brings no new features.
Smartwatches are useless if a smartphone can be used. However, I can imagine some nuances in terms of usage. Indeed, smartwatches could be very useful for sportsmen to control heart rate while answering a call and without stopping the effort. It is unfortunate that the manufacturers design it as an alternative to smartphones and not as a complement.
Bonus: Flower Power
Parrot, the company behind the popular AR. Drone 2.0, has revealed a prototype of s smart and connected gardening gadget: the Flower Power. It allows users to get data in real time about how to best care for plants, flowers and your lawn. This wireless sensor measures sunlight, soil moisture, temperature and fertilizer. Then, the Flower Power sends these informations to a dedicated app for smartphones or tablets and pushes notifications remind you of your plant’s needs.