Have you ever stopped to wonder what kind of scientific advances we’ll live to see? Sure, in 1000 years there will be human colonies on Mars but that doesn’t really apply to you or me, does it? Instead, I thought I’d comb over this extensive list of predictions to see what kinds of great technological advances we’ll live long enough to see happen.
1. Bridges will repair themselves with self-healing concrete
This awesome invention was made by University of Michigan engineer Victor Li. It’s a new composite laced with microfibers that bend without breaking. A hairline fracture will mend itself within days as calcium ions in the mixture react to rainwater and carbon dioxide to create a “patch” made of calcium carbonate.
Just imagine the time saved, for both construction crews and weary work-bound motorists trying to stick to their schedule.
2. Self-cleaning buildings will combat smog
Another absurdly useful advancement, self-cleaning buildings will possess a titanium dioxide coating over aluminum skin. This coating, after exposure to sunlight, will release free radicals that break down grime and convert toxic molecules in the air into a harmless nitrate.
Finally, a little bit of rain courtesy of Mother Nature will complete the bathing process. Los Angeles, there is hope!
3. Data will be measured in zettabytes
In 2010, the International Data Corporation reported that the total volume of all digital content created on the planet exceeded a zettabyte for the very first time in history. Yes, we do have a word for data volumes that large!
By the end of 2012, the annual figure reached an estimated 2.7 zettabytes. So, what does a zettabyte actually look like? Here’s a grand example:
If each byte of data were a grain of sand, the sum total of them all would allow you to build the Hoover Dam. 400 times.
4. Vaccines will eliminate drug addiction
Give the immense power of the human immune system and its ability to detect and destroy harmful foreign substances, why not train it to attack illicit drugs as well? This is the thought-process behind addiction vaccines, which would persuade the body to produce antibodies that would specifically shut down drug molecules before they reach the brain.
Clinical trials were successful in mice and human trials are currently ongoing.
5. Contact Lenses will give you superhuman eyesight
You know Judgment Day is coming. You know that Skynet is going to take over and the Terminators are going to enslave the human race and kill 80% of us. So, why not be prepared?
That’s where miniaturization technology is heading! Once it reaches its full potential, achieving superhuman vision will be as simple as popping in contacts, a practice that people are already undoubtedly familiar with. Early prototypes of these “super lenses” feature wirelessly powered LEDs. Circuits and antennas can also be grafted onto flexible polymer, which would enable zooming, night vision and visible data fields in real time.
Think the Solid Eye from Metal Gear Solid 4, except much smaller and more refined.