Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ten things that will change the way we live

From Forbes

  •  Fuel Cells - Fuel cells will change the global economy, and not just because they will be as big a development in motoring as the internal-combustion engine was.
  • 2. Gene Therapy - Gene therapy works by inserting genes into cell tissue, essentially replacing a defective gene with one that works.
  • 3.  Haptics - Whether people know it or not, haptics has been subtly making inroads into everyday life in the form of vibrating phones, gaming controllers and force-feedback control knobs in cars (BMW's iDrive system uses the technology). But the science of haptics has the potential to do much more. Products, such as the CyberForce "whole-hand force feedback system" from Immersion Corporation and SenseAble Technologies, let users interact physically with virtual objects. For instance, by using a sensor-equipped glove and a force-reflecting exoskeleton, you could literally feel the shape, texture and weight of an onscreen 3-D object.
  • 4. Internet2  The Next Generation Internet that will deliver video and data at much faster speeds than are possible over the public Internet.
  • 5.  Life Straw  The 10-inch-long, 1-inch-in-diameter device is made by Vestergaard Frandsen S.A. of Lausanne, Switzerland, out of a patented resin that kills bacteria on contact. Its filters remove bacteria, such as salmonella and staphylococcus, from surface water in rivers and lakes. Reusable and, at $3 to $4 each, affordable, it has the potential to not only reduce the outbreak of disease but also to improve living standards and sanitation in many of the world's poorest regions.
  • 6.  MRAM - MRAM, or Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory, could change the way we work. Researchers at IBM have shown that MRAM can be six times faster than the current industry-standard memory, dynamic RAM (DRAM).
  • 7.  $100 Laptop - The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab has designed a fully functional laptop computer that can be sold for $100, so that children in poor or developing nations can get access to the Internet.
  • 8.  $200 barrel of oil - It's not an invention, but it will have a dramatic effect on the way everyone lives.
  • 9.  VoIP - Voice-over-Internet Protocol lets people make telephone calls over the Internet or any other IP-based network.
  • 10.  WiMAX - WiMAX stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, which is a long-range, standard-based wireless technology that will effectively allow people to access their phones, computers and the Internet from virtually anywhere.

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