Remember 1997? That's the year when the Star Wars special editions began our long national breakup with George Lucas; the world was first introduced to the musical stylings of Limp Bizkit; and AOL unleashed an unyielding torrent of CDs on the world, promising ever-increasing amounts of free hours on the "world wide web." Crazy times. Now think back: what would 1997-You's reaction be if someone told them that in 10 years, they would be able to access a robust, video-laden internet via a buttonless, mouseless device the size of a calculator (oh, and it had a camera and you could make phone calls with it)? You would have thought this soothsayer got a little too much O2 at their neighborhood oxygen bar before watching an episode of seaQuest on VHS, amiright? However, looking back, there were many surprisingly accurate predictions of today's sci-fitastic tech (along with some notable misfires). Here we collected forecasts from top tech thinkers about how our electronic lives will evolve over the decade to come. We're sure there will be a mix of bullseyes and bulls%!t, so be sure to check back in every few years to see how we're doing.
Geckos can partially regenerate tails and sea stars their many limbs, but a human doesn't share this handy ability. The only vertebrate that can regenerate whole limbs is the salamander. Yet we can partially regenerate our liver or even the tip of a finger, and a new study now shows this ability can be improved, though it's tricky.
We always knew that one day, quantum computers would be powerful enough to blow traditional processors out of the water. A new quantum simulator from the University of Sydney has, and we're quoting here, "the potential to perform calculations that would require a supercomputer larger than the size of the known universe." Mind = blown.
Have you ever wanted the power to see through things? Maybe sneak a peak at that neighbor you've been crushing on? Researchers at UT Dallas might have figured out how to tap the terahertz spectrum with a special microchip that'll grant you Superman's X-ray-like vision (only it's T-ray vision).
About this time every year, reporters (and, of course, our readers) have to suffer through a slew of April Fool's jokes from tech companies, inevitably promising amazing things and then ending with "ha ha just kidding sucks for you!" And it does suck for us, because we get really, really excited about tech that seems too good to be true, and it's always a bummer when it's not. We get all mopey, seriously. Ray buys himself a new cellphone. Kevin feeds himself a milkshake intravenously. And I — well — I just turn all the lights off, lock myself in a closet, and weep. This year, however, we noticed that a bunch of those "ha ha just kidding" moments really weren't, in that some or all of the tech behind the impossible gadgets actually does exist, more or less. So, to make ourselves feel better, we're going to take a look at five of this year's April Fool's tech pranks that could almost, almost be real.
Tongue piercings have been around for a while now, but they've mostly been seen as about as useful and original as a kanji tattoo on your arm. But now researchers have actually come up with a device that would truly make such mouth metal useful.
A couple of years ago we introduced you to a concept humanoid robot from France called Romeo. Now that concept has finally been turned into a working prototype, and it's making its first robo-baby steps into our hearts...sort of.
The newest trend in corporate marketing magic is showing off a video of how amazing the future will look because of your products. But sometimes these futuristic videos are more reality than sci-fi, as is the case with a new look at our medical future.
It's impossible to tell what type of new technologies the future will be powered by. Corning, makers of much of the durable glass found in most mobile devices has a vision: a tablet-powered world that seamlessly connects to touchscreens of all different sizes. Corning calls its vision, "A Day Made of Glass 2."
I can't help but look at this latest device as yet another thinly veiled attempt to hedge our bets against the inevitable zombie apocalypse. Believe or not, a company has reportedly started selling GPS satellite tracking devices for the dead.