Tech Predictions for 2021
Tech Predictions for 2021
As the new year begins, our forward-thinking Bard checks the horoscopes, sifts the tea-leaves and juggles her crystal balls to discover what the world of technology has in store for us.
3D Printing will go BIG
3D printing may be one of the biggest innovations of the 21 Century. This year, we could see a 3D printed house on the market. Startup Mighty Build has developed a strong, fire-retardant and thermal resistant material called “light stone” with which they print panels, much like a Pre-fab house. Using these panels, Mighty Build can produce a 1-2 bed and bath Cabin that can support electricity and plumbing, which takes as little as 24 hours to install. This new type of building is also 90% more sustainable and efficient than brick and mortar housing.
ICON, another construction company that was the first to secure building permits for 3d Printed homes, is working on using printed accommodation to provide shelter to the homeless. Unlike Mighty Build, ICON’s houses are printed their desired shape using a concreate-like material squeezed out of a tube-like icing a cake. Manual labour is still required to add the roof, connect water, gas and electricity, but the finished product is still cheaper than a regular building.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect is that these structures are not limited to planet earth. ICON, working with NASA, design company Bjarke Ingels and SEArch+ (space exploration architecture) are currently working on Project Olympus. A massive undertaking in every sense of the word, they are building habitats for the moon. These structures will be a combination of 3d printed frames using regolith and an inflatable shell.
To quote Lloyd Grossman “Who would live in a house like that?” You might be surprised, maybe even you come a few years’ time.
Improving Climate change…with a giant vacuum
With experts predicting that snowy Christmases are a thing of the past and London will grow hotter than Barcelona, Climate Change is -no pun intended – a Hot topic. Over 10giga-tonnes of CO2 will need to be removed per year by 2050 or else the Earth’s overall temperature will have devastating consequences.
A single, simple fix does not yet exist, but Climeworks have created air-cleaning facilities all over the world that will help. Put simply, they’re sucking the Carbon out of the atmosphere.
Ok, so it’s not the same type of vacuum as your trusty Henry, but Climeworks have installed giant machines to Capture and filter CO2 from the atmosphere. But the carbon doesn’t then just get packed away, it gets recycled. The Gas can be resold back to anyone who needs it, as C02 is used in almost every industry. The plant in Iceland is particularly impressive. Powered by Geo-thermic energy, it is now carbon-negative. The carbon is mixed with water and sent deep underground, where it reacts with the natural rock formations to turn back into the mineral carbonite. I guess sometimes you can be proud to say your job “Sucks”!
Robots will look after us.
As AI and animatronic technology advances, we will start to see more traditional robots around. Not just automated machines in factories, but talking, AI advanced androids. We won’t see a Detroit-Become human – type world anytime soon, but Robots will be seen more in shops, offices and perhaps even as carers for the infirm. These Guys will be taking on simple day-to-day duties such as greeting guests, responding to information requests, or even just proving some company. We’ve met Softbank’s Pepper a few times but must recently he has been meeting and greeting the residents in various care homes and talking to them. Using voice recognition and algorithms to simulate a conversation, he can chat with people about their lives and even Remember information he is given to bring up later.
It’s not just in care homes. Iubi is a cute little robot that can help motivate chronically sick kids to take their medication complete day to day needs and meet their friends via interactive tasks in his app. Built from sturdy, anti-bacterial plastic, he can use sensors two monitor heart rate, oxygen levels and body temperature, then report back information to parents and doctors when necessary.
Jetpacks. That is all.
There was a time when the only use for a jetpack was to catch cartoon roadrunners. While the military is conducting trials, Air Ambulance hope to utilize jetpacks for hard-to-reach mountainous areas. A trial conducted in the Lake district saw a typical response time of 25 minutes reduced to 90 seconds. Rather than souring on a pillar of flame, (or into the nearest wall,) powerful engines worn on the back and arms lift him off the ground and allow navigation. Watching the Responder soar over the rocky terrain is an awe-inspiring site and while the care they give on arrival may be limited to what equipment he can carry, he is soon followed by an air ambulance. In a situation where every second matters, this could save countless lives.
As we progress further, who knows where technology will take us? 2020 may have taken a lot from us, but I believe that we should work to create a new, better normal that falling back into old habits.
See ya on the flip side, guys!
The ultra-modern Lucidica bard.