The Most Mind-Blowing Technology in the World Today (Part 2)
In my last column, I profiled three incredible technological innovations that are on their way to changing our world.
Today, we’re picking up where we left off — with Nos. 4-7 on our list.
Like our first three, not only do they qualify as mind-blowing, they also hold outstanding future investment potential.
So sit back and imagine the possibilities. Because they’re going to become a reality!
Transformative Technology No. 4: Power Through the Air?
In the late 1800s, Nikola Tesla hatched a plan to transmit electricity through the air. He even started to build a 187-foot-tall tower on Long Island that he claimed would transmit power miles away.
Was he a crackpot? Nope.
While Tesla ran out of funding for his innovation, tech heavy hitters like Nokia (NOK), Dell (DELL), Intel (INTC), Texas Instruments (TXN) and prominent professors have spent years spearheading a movement to (finally) turn Tesla’s far-flung idea of “wireless power” into a reality.
I’ll spare you the physics behind it. Here’s all you need to know…
Before long, mobile phones, laptops, flat-screen televisions and even electric vehicles could be capable of charging themselves without being plugged in. That is, once the charging infrastructure is built.
And that’s where we should focus our investment attention. While demand for wirelessly charged gadgets promises to be fickle, power demand certainly won’t be. So the company with the best wireless charging technology stands to reap the most profits.
It wouldn’t hurt, either, to consider selling short Energizer Holdings (ENR). As one of the world’s largest battery makers, its business will inevitably take a hit once wireless power goes mainstream.
Transformative Technology No. 5: The Unbreakable Smartphone?
For many people, the joy and convenience of a fully functioning smartphone is instantly shattered — literally — when it gets dropped on the floor, thereby smashing the touch screen or destroying vital internal components.
Well, imagine if that broken phone suddenly repaired itself. That’s the idea behind the latest research at Caltech.
Researchers have created complex integrated circuits that can survive substantial damage (including being blasted by a laser) by reconfiguring the way they process information.
Now, the chips aren’t truly self-healing. They don’t physically repair themselves. Instead, as MIT Technology Review notes, they use a second processor that finds new ways of performing tasks in spite of the damage.
So an unbreakable iPhone might be overly optimistic. But electronic devices that can overcome manufacturing flaws — and withstand high temperatures and deterioration as they age — are certainly within the realm of possibility.
Transformative Tech No. 6: Wearable Technology
On Wednesday, I told you to forget about Google Glass. This heavily hyped wearable technology may be cool… but it means you have to walk around with nerdy glasses on all the time. No, thanks.
Truly disruptive work is being done by Peratech, in collaboration with the London College of Fashion and the University of the Arts London.
The difference? Forget having to secure a tech gadget to your chest, wrist or head… these guys are embedding it right into clothing.
As Peratech’s CTO, David Lussey, says, “With our technology, you could print a keyboard onto a sleeve or onto the back of a glove and link it via Bluetooth [to a device.]”
Beyond adding touch-sensing technology directly to clothing (and yes, you can wash them), these materials can also be used to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs), harmful chemicals emitted as gases from various substances such as paints or pesticides.
That means, “Apart from the obvious military applications like remote monitoring of personnel for stress and chemical attack, these sensors could be incorporated into clothing for everyday health monitoring, as certain VOCs can be early indicators of health issues.”
It’s like having a doctor woven into a high-tech shirt.
Transformative Tech No. 7: The Remarkable Technology That Produces Clean Water and Fuel
Nanotechnology is the science of matter on an atomic and molecular level. It’s used everywhere — in industry, aviation, automobiles, biology, electronics. It’s vital, too — which is why the United States, the European Union and Japan have spent an almost combined $6 billion on nanotech R&D.
But who needs boatloads of cash when you can create something brilliantly simple for next to nothing? Answer: Not Singapore scientist professor Darren Sun, who’s just made a major, inexpensive breakthrough.
He’s discovered that when you mix nanotech with titanium oxide — a chemical used as a pigment in paint and plastics — you get an extraordinary result that could lead to some critical uses.
Sun treated a regular cup of wastewater with nanofibers made of titanium oxide and then exposed the water to sunlight.
Result: The new material, coupled with the sun’s energy, removed the pollutants from the water, leaving it clean and fresh enough to drink.
With some 2.5 billion people lacking access to fresh water, I don’t need to tell you how critical this solution could be.
As if that weren’t enough…
- The process also produces hydrogen, which can be used as a fuel
- The material has antibacterial properties, which could be used in medicine
- When titanium oxide nanofibers are combined with carbon, it can double the life spans of lithium-ion batteries, used in millions of electronic devices.
I think this qualifies as incredible technology…
So that’s our list of the seven most mind-blowing technologies currently in development. We’ll keep you posted on their progress in Tech & Innovation Daily as research continues.
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Ahead of the tape,