Future Car Technologies For Your Road Trip in 2020
Comparing the auto industry to the computer industry is like comparing two different generations of technology. We’ve got super-fast smartphones and iPods streaming Rhapsody in our pockets, but satellite radio and clunky GPS devices attached to our dashboards.
Automakers are aware they’re a little behind the times, and by 2020, many are promising dashboard and safety systems as sophisticated as iPads — maybe even more so.
To see the list of car technologies that may be in your car by 2020, click here.
16 Ways Technology is Mapping the Universe
For most of us, the mapping technology we use on a daily basis is limited to dash-mounted GPS units.
No disrespect — I mean, just 10 years ago we were dependent on hard-copy road atlases to get where we were going; cutting-edge meant route-finding in Mapquest and then printing off the pages.
But as you read this, hundreds of teams of scientists are working with vastly more complex technologies to map everything from the far reaches of the universe to the most infinitesimally small particles within it. Just a few weeks ago, astronomers using the still-under-construction ALMA observatory (pictured above) made a major discovery about the nearby Fomalhaut system — basically, that it probably contains a bunch of Earth-sized planets.
What follows is a listing of similarly momentous discoveries about the makeup and layout of our universe, and descriptions of the latest technologies in astronomy, particle physics, and marine science that have made them possible.
1. The next generation: James Webb Space Telescope
The Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes have been rocking it for 22 and 9 years, respectively. They’re responsible for producing the incredible deep-space images we’re all familiar with, some of which are included below. But Spitzer has already exhausted its reserves of liquid helium, required for its primary operations, and Hubble is only expected to last another two years. James Webb is their successor.
With different phases of construction underway in 17 countries, the James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled for completion in 2018. Its design features 18 gold-coated hexagonal mirrors, which will focus light from super-distant target sources and capture high-res visible and infrared images. In theory, this means it will be able to see the most distant objects in the universe, such as the first stars and galaxies to form following the Big Bang.
In the picture above, “NASA engineer Ernie Wright looks on as the first six flight ready James Webb Space Telescope’s primary mirror segments are prepped to begin final cryogenic testing at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL.” Functionality must be tested in conditions similar to those experienced within James Webb’s target orbit, 930,000 miles straight up.
For the complete list via Matador Network, please click here.
What Gear Do Adventure Athletes and Filmmakers Carry?
The vast majority of us have simple and yet increasingly powerful “daily carries.” This morning for example, I threw my Acer netbook + usb mouse and keyboard in my bag and was off to work. I can get 90% of my daily responsibilities done with this gear alone, and can do it anywhere with wifi. At present I’m editing this from Battle Cat, my neighborhood cafe.
By contrast, Matador Ambassadors — a collective of adventure athletes, filmmakers, photographers, and musicians — must take much more gear, and often make difficult gear choices with limited space and carrying capacity in the backcountry. Of course, some days are spent at home, on the computer, “geeking out” as Ben Ditto says, “checking the NOAA website” or “on Google Earth, looking at mountains, and dreaming of future adventures.” Ben notes that on these kinds of days, “the best equipment I own is a cast iron skillet and a french press.”
But it’s out in the field where Ben and these Ambassadors earn their living, and “every ounce of photo gear must be balanced out against the importance of having another piece of life-saving climbing gear, a warm jacket, or another thousand calories, and it all must fit into one carry-able load.”
It’s incredible seeing how much these athletes and photographers can take with them into the backcountry, and yet — through continually evolving technology — how little space their equipment actually takes up.
To check out the full list of adventure athletes and filmmakers and their gear, click here.
50 Nonprofits Making a World of Difference
Current technologies are connecting people that in the past would have not been able to connect. As such, the number of not-for-profit organizations is now virtually uncountable, meaning more people doing more positive things for those in need. The advances made in mobile and computing technologies are enriching the lives of those who really need it.
Pam Mandel, co-founder of Passports With Purpose — a community of travelers who raise funds for various causes around the globe — describes how necessary current technology is to their organization:
We wire our site through PayPal directly into our beneficiaries’ accounts — that’s allowed us to channel donations right to the cause we’re supporting. Blogging is the primary medium for getting our message out — what we’re supporting and why we care. But we back that with lots of social media interaction, primarily Twitter and Facebook. Without social media, who can say how long it would have taken to build the kind of reach PwP has.
Advances in technology have been making it easier every year for us to bring in more participants. The easier it is to be online, the easier it is for us to communicate — and for our participants to find ways to communicate with their readers.
Find out about the 50 organizations and individuals around the world leveraging today’s technological tools to bring health, education, and empowerment to communities in need here (via Matador Network).
10 Ways Technology Will Change Travel by 2020
The elevator into space – The Japanese engineering and construction firm Obayashi announced this year that they have the ability and intention to set in motion a 36,000km elevator into space, to be completed within forty years.
Today, this sounds impossible. We have never, ever seen a 36,000km structure — manmade or otherwise. But the same was once true for so much of our world that now seems commonplace: skyscrapers, highways, hydroelectric dams. Truly, the past century and a half of unprecedented technological innovation has done more for our imagination than it has for our productivity. For the more we build and achieve, the more we feel inadequate and strive for what was impossible yesterday, but today seems all but inevitable.
23 incredible new technologies you’ll see by 2020
The Maya said we’re due for a shake-up soon. Turns out, they were right.
WHEN LOOKING AT THE present as an indication of where we’ll stand a year from now–much less a decade–feeling optimistic may not come easy. We look out to the universe and see an infinite, lifeless abyss enfolding upon our own small pocket of civilization, while the people we look to for guidance and information seem to be little more than straight-faced bearers of bad news.
Yet while we can’t predict what the future holds for our unending political discourses, we can look at how far we’ve come with technology in merely the last decade and realize the present we know now will, very soon, find itself memorialized in nostalgia. Here’s some technology emerging down the road that’s poised to change your life on a much greater scale than any outcome of a political debate.
Ultrabooks – The last two years have been all about the tablet. Laptops, with their “untouchable” screens, have yet to match any tablet’s featherweight portability and zippy response times. However, by next year, ultraportable notebooks–Ultrabooks–will finally be available for under $1000, bringing a complete computing experience into areas of life which, until now, have only been partially filled by smaller technologies such as tablets and smartphones. They weigh around three pounds, measure less than an inch thick, and the hard drives are flash-based, which means they’ll have no moving parts, delivering zippy-quick startups and load times.
See what other technologies are coming our way in the next couple of decades here.
The numbers are staggering.