Some say that imagination is a form of prediction. Through deep analysis Rewired seeks to back the deep tech ventures that will unlock an artificial intelligence revolution with the backing of investors such as technologist Tej Kohli. We aim to ‘get in early’ when investing across five verticals including machine learning, robotics, bionics, sensors, mapping and localisation; as well as backing new biotech innovations such as CRISPR.
But perhaps sometimes a better source of prediction is not deep analysis, but science fiction. In this post we look at nine technologies from science fiction that have become reality…
First entering into the collective conscience thanks to television series Star Trek, today 3D printers are quickly becoming an endemic part of everyday life. Technologists predict that 3D printers could ‘dematerialise’ subtractive manufacturing and replace it with on-demand at-home additive manufacturing by virtue of affordable 3D printers for the home. Somewhat ironically, a quick search of Google suggests that one of the more popular items currently being created by at-home 3D printers are…. Star Trek models.
The list of companies working on the development of driverless cars is extensive and includes many fo the world’s biggest tech companies. Whilst fully autonomous driverless care are not quite ready to become an endemic part of everyday life, anyone who has tested the auto-pilot function in a new Tesla will be pleasantly surprised by its capabilities. Dubai is working toward 25% of journeys occurring in autonomous vehicles by 2030, with other cities sure to follow.
Building the bionic man or woman is no longer a sci-fi fantasy. The technology is already progressing very quickly, in particular in the high-growth market for bionic prothesis. The global market for bionic devices will reach $6.1 billion in 2021 after growing at compound rate of 15% since 2016. Users of bionics may even soon be able to ‘feel’ with their prosthetics thanks to new advancements in human-bionic augmentation technologies.
Air touch technology
Touch screen technology without the screen is slowly becoming a reality. Inspired by Philip K. Dick’s 1958 sci-fi story ‘The Minority Report’ and popularised by the 2002 movie, air touch technology is poised to become endemic in everyday life. The Coronavirus pandemic has further accelerated demand for air touch technology for applications as mundane as vending machines. Given the trend toward zero-contact transactions, air touch technology is poised to grow rapidly.
Smart contact lenses
The first Google Glass was a rare failure for the tech giant, who claimed that occasional failure was an inevitable consequence of ‘moonshot’ thinking. But now the same functionality is starting to become available embedded within contact lenses. Smart lenses are being developed to measure glucose levels in diabetics, meaning they won’t need to prick their fingers every few hours. Now technologists predict that features including an ambient light sensor, telephoto camera and mixed reality display will be embedded into contact lenses in the near future.
After over a year of remote working during which it has pervaded our professional lives, sometimes video calls can feel a bit too real. We take our Zoom, WhatsApp and Skype video calls for granted, but back in 1968 it seemed like a distant fantasy when Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke imagined it in the seminal movie ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.
60s favourite cartoon ‘The Jetsons’ amazed us with a world filled with a wealth of mind-boggling devices, including their robot maid. Now a robotic kitchen is available to purchase thanks to Moley, though the basic unit will set you back £128,000 and the robotic arms another £248,000. Just-in-time home food delivery by autonomous robots and drones is also on the verge of becoming an everyday reality, which might even eliminate the need for kitchens altogether!
It might be hard to imagine life without the iPad. How else does one get stuck in an endless loop of YouTube recommended videos? But it was the Star Trek PADD (Personal Access Display Device) that first introduced the world to the ‘iPad’ long before Steve Jobs made it an everyday reality.
Credit and debit cards
Edward Bellamy’s 1888 utopia depicts the protagonist falling asleep in 1887 and waking up in 2000 to find cards are used as money. Who’d have thought it?
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