Futurism & Inspiring Inventions
A Dutch man barely out of his teens is leading one of the most ambitious ocean cleanup efforts ever: to halve the amount of plastic debris floating in the Pacific within a decade. The man’s name is Boyan Slat, and he’s come up with a pretty ingenious way of doing it. Instead of clamoring around the globe on a never-ending junk hunt, he wants the ocean to “clean itself.”
The Ocumentics Bionic Lens, invented by British Columbia optometrist Dr. Garth Webb, is promising to give everyone perfect vision three times better than 20/20. The surgically inserted specialized lenses would revolutionize the eye care industry by eventually make driving glasses, progressive lenses and contact lenses obsolete, according to Webb.
Also know as additive manufacturing, 3D printing promises to be a vastly more cost effective approach for the replacement of both body tissues and parts. While the synthetic materials which are often used in the final 3D printed products may cause biocompatibility problems, at the very least they can be used on a temporary basis.
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While this micro camper is not a full home in itself, it certainly sets itself apart from typical campers given its size, weight, and portability.
Real trees offer something substantive to the world in the way they omit oxygen. Now, the French company, New Wind has created fake trees that serve a great purpose as well –- they generate electricity. The “wind trees” they have created have steel trunks and mini plastic turbine leaves that can generate electricity form even the slightest breeze. They are extremely affordable, nice to look at, and much quieter than more traditional larger turbines.
The self-driving, goofy-looking car with no steering wheel or pedals that Google revealed in May is now “fully functional” and should start testing on public roads next month, the tech giant says. Over the past seven months, Google has made a series of prototypes, testing different aspects of the design, from steering and braking to the sensors and software that brings it all together. The result, it says, is “our first complete prototype for fully autonomous driving.”
While we’re “debating” torture, access to basic health care and the veracity of climate change, the rest-of-the-world is simply advancing transformational infrastructure like you would not believe. In Switzerland, the world’s longest rail tunnel — straight through the Alps — is about to open. Italy now boasts Europe’s fastest high-speed train — capable of speeds up to 400 km/h (249 mph) — that will cut travel times between Rome and Milan — about the distance between Washington, D.C. and Providence — to two hours and some change. Meanwhile, Amtrak still has no concrete plan — and no government support — to bring true high-speed rail to our most densely-populated, north-south corridor. Our “high-speed” Acela train runs slower than most “regional” trains in Europe and Asia.
The THRIVE Movement has received over 500 breakthrough projects in the past three years, both technological and social innovations. This excerpt from the ThriveTogether event describes the potential for Open Source and 3D printing in getting new energy technologies out to the world.
Dr. Michio Kaku takes us on a grand tour of what the future holds, giving us not only a solid sense of how the brain functions but also how these technologies will change our daily lives. He even presents a radically new way to think about “consciousness.” Kaku says that one day we might have a “smart pill” to enhance our cognition; upload our ain to a computer, neuron for neuron; send thoughts and emotions around the world on a “brain-net”; control computers and robots with our minds; push the limits of immortality, sending consciousness across the universe.