Disrupting the future

12/08/2019 15:33

Science-fiction scenarios are becoming a reality as artificial intelligence is nearing perfection, virtual and physical worlds are merging and technology companies are locked in a race to the future .

This month, Heritage Fashion takes a look at some advances tech that promise to change our lives in profound ways.

1) Robots that read feelings

The presence of robots is nothing out of the ordinary in developed countries, with robots now found in roles from retail service staff to on-air broadcasters. At home, robots are performing ever more complex chores, moving beyond merely vacuuming. Developers are not only improving robotic movements to better mimic those of humans but are also seeking to make robots capable of interpreting human psychology and personality from facial expressions and gestures. From here, they can respond accordingly and even anticipate our behaviors.

Robot security staff may one day screen facial expressions of passers-by to identify suspicious behavior. Robot waiters will be able to read diners’ expressions and proactively suggest a glass of water to the customer who has just licked her lips or catch a dish knocked over by someone who is over-gesticulating to his friends at the lunch table.

2) Unmanned aerial vehicles engaged in all aspects of life

Drones are mainly used in Vietnam to take photographs and video, but mini self-flying aerial vehicles are being used in the US, Japan and Saudi Arabia for a variety of purposes such as transporting medical supplies, food and other relief goods over long distances to isolated disaster-stricken areas. Drones can spread different amounts of fertilizers and nutrients to different sections of a farm or ship packages from door to door regardless of the time of day, traffic congestion or weather. Drones have not only been upgraded to overcome weather adversities and dodge physical obstacles, but have also been fitted with sophisticated facial recognition cameras to monitor targets from a distance, at high speed or in the middle of a crowd for military and surveillance purposes.

3) Solar roads

Due to their large surface areas and widespread presence, roadways are  being promoted by some as ideal for solar energy absorption and generation. The road surface is being improved in quality and integrated with additional features so that these solar power generators can, for instance, light up LED panels when it gets dark and flash danger warnings. Solar roadways may even charge moving electric vehicles and collect toll payments at the same time. When the temperature drops, the road surface will automatically heat up to avoid freezing and putting vehicles at risk. In this technology race, solar panel cost minimization is one of the key success factors to the worldwide adoption of solar roads.

4) Smart “particles”

The future of technology will also be found in miniaturization. While the world’s first computer was the size of a room, its future descendants will be the size of a particle hardly visible to the naked eye. These floating particles are as capable of collecting, processing, and transmitting data as super computers. Such technology is projected to give birth to millions of microcomputers that will excel at air quality and temperature measurement as well as provide more accurate weather forecasting. Micro technology will also make a difference in methods of medical treatment. Instead of using endoscopes to view inside the body, a patient may swallow a tiny particle and the microcomputer will travel throughout his body, transmit clear images of his internal organs or identify and eradicate targeted pathogens.

5) Artificial plants

Plants are the green lungs of nature. Unfortunately, reforestation and afforestation never seem to keep up with desertification, deforestation, and climate change. Artificial plants are one solution for the future, providing rich flora to barren lands faster than ever. They do not require any care or water, are pest-resistant, and most importantly, are capable of purifying the air, absorbing CO2, and producing more than 1,000 times the oxygen of a real tree of the same size. The disruptive technology is expected to improve our environment and make our vulnerable Earth greener and healthier.

Ha Lan Vien

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