UPCOMING 2013 TECHNOLOGIES AND GADGETS
Hiroko – MIT’s Folding Car
The Massachusetts Institution of Technology (MIT) has their sights set on being the catalyst for finally pushing the electric automobile revolution over the edge. In 2013, the Hinoko (meaning “urban car,” pictured above) will be released to the masses across Europe (With a small few areas in the U.S.), making the Smart Car look even more ridiculous than it already does with its sleek design and new age features.
One of the best characteristics of the Hiroko is that it is incredibly easy to park in small spaces, with its ability to fit in one third of a parking space after being “folded” up. Yes, that’s right, three of these things fit into one regular old parking space. Since European cities are known to be rather crowded, this will be a welcomed feature. The initial plan is for city governments to run a program similar to ZipCar, promoting the use of the Hiroko.The downside? A 75 mile range, so don’t go thinking you can start a new Hiroko Taxi service. You will fail. Miserably.
The basic message of Moore’s law tells us that advancements in technology will cause computer chip performance to double every two years. So far this has held true; and if it continues, we will run face first into a brick wall somewhere around 2020 due to simple physical limitations.
Memristors are the answer. In their current form, a resistor is a passive component with a set resistance value. Memristors, on the other hand, have the ability to change their resistance based on the direction of current running through them. In addition to that, you can power down a device using memristors, and they will remember their last state when powered back on. This is expected to completely eliminate boot times from computer devices, which will in turn allow us to power them down on a regular basis, drastically reducing power usage and increasing battery life.
This technology is said to be capable of neural net processing, allowing it to mimic the human brain. Taken further, scientists believe that human skin and blood can be used as memristors. While this has some great implications…it also may be cause for fear.
I’ve built a love/hate relationship with Google over the years. I remember the day when “Google” was nothing but a single page with a logo and a text box. Now we’ve got Google mail, a Google social network, Google phones and tablets loaded with the Google operating system. What is the logical next step? Google Goggles of course. Tell me you didn’t see that one coming. (Ok, I didn’t.)
Google’s new line of smart specs are going to put a little screen right in front of your eyes as you walk around going about your life. This screen will present to you an augmented reality overlay as you view the world around you. The Google Goggles are reported to have built in 4G with GPS technology, a camera, and a Bluetooth connection to Android based phones.
Smart Skin Phones
Samsung has filed a patent for smart device-skin which will supposedly be able to take any digital image, and display that image across the skin of the device. The patent describes a layer of film that wraps the phone, covering the entire phone except the sockets, the camera, and the screen. Little else is known about this technology (other than it’s awesome), but it is described as a possible feature for an upcoming phone, as well as being available as an accessory to fit onto most other devices. While little information has been released to the public, including a release date, we do know of another upcoming Samsung device that just might be the aforementioned phone….
Us techno-geeks love giving new devices complicated, high-tech names. This provides an aura of mystery and excitement.
Bendy Screen Smartphone
Yes, the bendy screen smartphone. For those of you who are technologically illiterate, a bendy screen smartphone is a smartphone touting a screen that we can bend!Yep. Who doesn’t want to bend and twist their phone into silly shapes sometimes? It’s the best way to let out your anger, other than just throwing the thing against a wall.
Using Samsung’s already demoed OLED display technology, we can be expecting a new phone model that will allow us to bend it, roll it up, and hit it with a hammer. (YES!) We already have the specs for this phone as well. The phone debuted as the “Galaxy Skin” (wait..did that say…skin?) features a high-res 800×480 AMOLED screen, 8mp camera and 1Gb of RAM as well as a 1.2GHz processor.
Don’t be surprised to see bendy screen tablets released shortly after.
There are rumors everywhere about the new Xbox system: it won’t have an optical drive, all games will be downloaded digitally, it’s called the Xbox Loop, it’s called theDurango…and the list goes on. There are a few reliable rumors, however. The graphics are certainly being done by AMD, who claim that the graphic detail will be on the same level of Avatar. We can also certainly believe that the system is going to be released at E3 in 2013, as several companies working on the project have claimed.
We’ve all seen heart rate monitors, pedometers, and the like. Soon, we’ll have something even more advanced and useful called the Basis Band. The Basis Band is a wrist watch style monitor that can monitor virtually everything your body does. It automatically detects your activities and keeps track of things such as calories burned, heart rate, sleeping patterns, and other physical activities. I’ve never been a huge fan of health monitors in the past, but a device that can monitor my sleep patterns on top of everything else may be just what I need.
Fujitsu Lifebook 2013
Ok so you’re the guy who leaves home with a digital camera strung around his neck, a backpack to carry his laptop, a tablet in his briefcase, and a phone in his pocket? Well, you’re just weird. That said, Fujitsu has the answer for you…weird folk.
The Fujitsu Lifebook, coming in 2013, combines all of these fancy pieces of technology into one. Ditch everything else, keep the laptop backpack. Need a camera? Detach the laptop’s camera to be used as a handheld digital camera. Tablet? Open it up and pull that out as well. Put it back in and the tablet immediately displays itself as a touch-screen keyboard for the laptop. There is even a spot where you can attach and remove a special cell phone, which I imagine acts as the cellular modem for the laptop when attached. (Don’t be surprised if this allows you to make video phone calls from the laptop as well.)
The price is undetermined, but don’t expect it to be cheap.
The Invisible Tank
This may not be some neat tool or gadget you can bring home and show off to your friends, but it is definitely something to be excited for. The word invisiblemay be a bit misleading though, it’s more like a chameleon. A chameleon that only works at night. The British Army revealed this tank at the world’s largest weapons fare, probably to make everybody else jealous.
The chameleon tank works by using the infrared technology on night-vision goggles and surveillance planes against them (Obviously it is useless against the naked eye). The tank uses a system of thermo-electric tiles and thermal cameras in order to conform with the environment around it. These heat signatures can change so fast that it even works while moving. If that wasn’t enough, the system has it’s own library of environmental patterns. This means you could be a terrorist looking for the enemy with your nifty night-vision specs only to find nothing out in the field but a roaming cow. Suddenly this cow emits a burst of flames, and you find yourself blown to pieces by an HE-Frag. Who knew cows could be so violent?
Nightmare Busters – SNES
Yes, you read that right. SNES. Ok, so this isn’t exactly a new technology but it certainly deserves an honorable mention. The last time anybody got a taste of a brand new SNES game wash when Metal Slader Glory was released in Japan, and that was way back in 2000! The US market at that point had already gone two years without a new release. Now, a company called Super Fighter Team is set to release a game called Nightmare Busters.
This is no hack job made by some guy living in his mom’s basement. This will be a real, fully licensed game, with newly manufactured cartridges, an instruction manual, and an SNES style game box. The game will be selling at $60 + shipping and handling for the US market, with slightly higher prices elsewhere.