Whatever you do, don’t get hit by a truck before 2029 arrives because, according to futurist Ray Kurzweil, that is when we’ll start living forever. Kurzweil – the Director of Engineering for Google and dubbed the smartest futurist on Earth by Bill Gates – has consistently correctly predicted new technologies – with 86% accuracy – many years before their arrival. So, when Kurzweil predicted that in 2029 we will have the technology to live forever people paid attention.
According to Kurzweil, within 15 years we will have the nano-technology to re-program our bodies and reverse the aging process. He states that within 25 years we will be able to do an Olympic sprint for 15 minutes without taking a breath, or go scuba-diving for four hours without oxygen.
In his New York Times bestseller, Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think, Peter Diamandis, creator of the X Prize Foundation, lays out the case that we are now entering a period of radical transformation in which, “we will make more gains in the next two decades than we’ve made in the previous 200 years. We will soon have the ability to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp.” 1
Every day we are inundated with negative stories and opinions in the media so it is easy to feel pessimistic about the future. However, there are breakthroughs occurring now and in the years to come that will completely revolutionize the quality of life that we all enjoy, and these are much more extraordinary than you might think. The case for optimism is stronger than ever.
And if you are still skeptical, imagine what someone would say to you if you showed up in the 1980’s claiming you had a device which you took with you in your pocket that gave you access to the world’s information, allowed a farmer in Africa to purchase an Italian suit and have it delivered, and could translate your speech into Chinese. They would assume you were either nuts or from the far-off future. But that really wasn’t that long ago.
Technology has grown recently by leaps and bounds, but, remember it is exponential growth which means that future progress will be significantly more impressive. As Kurzweil explains, thirty linear steps gets up 30 paces away, 30 exponential steps gets us to a billion.
The future can be exciting or it can be scary, you can embrace it or fear it. But, regardless, the future is already here.
Here are 8 exciting innovations and technologies that are already here or soon to arrive that show that the future is going to be much brighter and more exciting than we ever imagined.
1. 3D Printing
No doubt you have heard about 3D printing, in which an object is designed on a computer and then “printed” out layer by layer on a 3D printer. The potential is mind-boggling. Though we may not realize it, most of us probably own something which was printed with 3D technology, whether it be a shoe, jewelry or a hammer.
Despite the technology still being in its infancy, we have already printed hearing aids and high-tech parts for military jets. We have even printed human skin, blood vessels and bladders. Work is being done bringing us closer to the day when we will be printing kidneys, hands and bones.
2. Driverless Cars
Imagine hopping into your car and taking a nap or reading a book. It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but driverless cars are already here and the technology is advancing rapidly.
Google’s self-driving car has already successfully and safely gone over 700,000 miles and Google envisions a future in which deaths from traffic accidents—over 1.2 million worldwide every year—could be reduced dramatically, especially since 94% of accidents in the U.S. involve human error.
Elon Musk, the founder of Paypal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors has declared that eventually, as the driverless technology takes off, the driving of cars by people will be outlawed as it will simply be too dangerous.
3. Unlimited Clean Energy
The era of the world’s reliance on forms of energy such as coal and oil is coming to a close, at least that’s what many scientists such as theoretical physicist Michio Kaku believe. Dr. Kaku has stated that within about 10 years the cost of solar power will decrease to the point where it will mostly replace oil and coal.
But even more amazing is that he says fusion energy really is 20 years away. What is fusion? Basically, it is clean and renewable energy that would last forever. Check out his short video explaining this.
4. The Skin Gun
Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds. In fact, the skin gun is a game-changer. Very simply, the skin gun can completely heal severe burns within a few days. And this is not just something scientists are working on, it has already been used successfully.
Check out this video of how Matt Uram walked out of the hospital completely healed only 3 days after being severely burned all over his face and arm. You can’t even tell he was ever burned! (Warning: some images are a little stomach turning, but it is very much worth watching)
5. Miracle Powder
If you happen to be one of the unlucky few to lose your fingertips, you can turn to extracelluar matrix technology, also referred to as “miracle powder”, which has already been used to successfully regrow fingertips and thigh muscle.
Once called quack science, extracellular matrix technology is now revolutionizing regenerative medicine. Salamanders can regrow limbs and children up to the age of two have been known to regrow fingertips with no outside help. It may be only a matter of time before we figure out how to regrow entire arms, legs, ears, noses and much more.
6. Education for All
This one you may already be very aware of. It is now possible to learn pretty much anything thanks to the internet. But there are more and more sites online where anyone can get a world class education not only easily, but for free. Sites such as Khan Academy, MIT’s Open Courseware, EdX and Coursera offer free access to high-quality education at any time and in any place.
Think about this for a moment…as long as you can use the internet and have English ability (and soon you won’t even need that) you can have access to all of MIT’s educational material or take a class offered by a Yale or Stanford instructor at your own pace. The future is indeed bright!
7. Graphene – The Material That Will Power the Future
Have you heard of graphene? If not, you soon will. Graphene is incredibly strong and it is so thin – it is only one atom thick! That’s basically two-dimensional. How strong is it? It would take an elephant balanced on a pencil to break through a graphene sheet the thickness of plastic wrap.
The potential uses of graphene are completely astonishing. From lighting fast computer chips and 5 second phone chargers to tissue regeneration and revolutionizing water desalination (and solving the world’s water crisis) we will be seeing a lot more graphene in the future as scientists unravel its secrets.
8. The Paralyzed Will Walk
But maybe not in the way you might think. Using a machine-brain interface, researchers at the University of California, Irvine have equipped 26 year-old Adam Fritz with a system which is controlled by his thoughts. Yep, that’s right, his thoughts. The system reads his electrical brain signals and bypasses the spine to transmit those signals to his legs allowing him to walk. There are also robotic exoskeletons which are controlled by human thoughts as well.
An Exciting Future
We now live in a world which is overrun with information and it is the shocking and the sensational that attract the most attention. Twenty-four hour news has bombarded us with plenty of fuel for alarmists and those going around declaring that dark days lie ahead.
However, with advances in education and technology spreading and growing exponentially, we are entering a truly exciting new world. These 8 amazing innovations remind us that there is much to be enthusiastic about. If we as a species are good at anything it is overcoming challenges.
The pace of change will only pick up and perhaps we may even, as Ray Kurzweil says, be able to one day even live forever. I don’t know about you, but I look forward to seeing what the future holds and my optimism and excitement is strong.
Just wait, the best is yet to come.
Want to know more about our bright and optimistic future? Check out Peter Diamandis’ best-seller Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think