Recent Advancements in Technology – 25 November, 2016

November 25, 2016 | Usman

Technology is a fickle thing. People can go on for hours debating whether it is making a positive impact on our lives, or a negative one. But one thing is for certain. It is ever changing. They are new advancements made every day, and we are here to highlight the ones we think will have a great impact on a society as a whole. Here are the top five recent advancements in technology.

1. Charge Your Phone In Seconds

As smartphones become more technologically advanced than ever before, it seems that their batteries are having difficulty catching up. The latest phones will compete against one another by adding pixels to their cameras, more CPU’s, more RAM and even more functions. Yet, at the end of every day, each of their users will find themselves plugging their mobile device in to the charging port, regardless of the make or model of their phone.

However, at long last, scientists seem to have found a solution to this universal problem. A team of researchers at the University of Central Florida’s Nano Science Technology Center have found a way to make a supercapacitor that can be fitted into mobile devices. Supercapacitors, as you might not know, are high-capacity electrochemical capacitors, which can be charged faster than regular batteries, and have a longer battery life as well, but are usually a lot bigger in size, than regular batteries.

Using millions of nanometer-thick wires coated with shells of two-dimensional materials, the team managed to reduce the size of the supercapacitor to fit into a mobile phone body. Its highly conductive core facilitates fast electron transfer, enabling it to charge faster and the uniformly coated shells of two-dimensional materials yield high energy and power densities, making the battery last longer.

2. Virtual Reality Fetuses

It has been over forty years since the sonogram was invented. At the time it was hailed as a life changing technology, which offered doctors and expectant parents a glimpse into the development of the fetus. Since then, this field has seen countless more advancements, yet none as transformative as that. However, the wait is finally over, as scientists have managed to combine Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Virtual Reality (VR) Systems, to create astoundingly accurate 3D visualizations of a fetus.

What this basically means is that scientists have created a system which can use data from MRIs and ultrasounds to create a 3D visual of the womb and the fetus, which can then be explored in great detail by doctors or expectant parents, using a Virtual Reality headset. It enables them to literally explore different body parts of the fetus to determine its wellbeing, in the best way possible, and signals a breakthrough in medical technology today.

3. Stressed Out Plants

As surprising as the heading sounds, it is a fact that plants suffer from stress just like humans do. However that is where the similarities end, as the changes found in crops can be minuscule and hard for us to monitor. These changes include slight changes in color, accumulation of certain compounds on the plant’s surface, a collapse of photosynthetic pigments and many more. However, each can affect the plant adversely and even have a harmful effect on the whole crop.

Now, farmers everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief, as a project funded by a consortium in the UK has found a way to monitor changes in plants, no matter how small. This will enable farmers to plant only those crops that are resistant to common threats, like pests and disease. It will also help them identify problems with each crop, and give them timely updates, enabling them to always stay ahead of tricky situations.

4. 360° Tires

The automobile industry has come a long way since its inception and sometimes it can be hard to keep up to date with every technological advancement they have made. Yet it has been quite some time since there has been any significant change in the tire industry. Every tire is essentially the same, and has been for years on end. But now, Goodyear Tires are coming out with a brand new technology that promises to revolutionize the industry for years to come.

Called the Eagle-360 concept tire, the firm has created a tire that is spherical in shape and is set to be completely customizable, depending on the location of each buyer. The tire can adapt to different weathers, road conditions and can even affect speed, if necessary.

Instead of resting on a metal wheel, these rubber tires will be suspended underneath the car using magnetic fields, and will also be equipped with a technology that can alter groove design, as per requirement. As the tire is spherical in shape, it also enables drivers to move laterally in a smooth and fluid manner, making it easier to avoid obstacles, as well as to park.

5. Explosion Proof Tanks

The defense industry spends billions of dollars on research and development every year, and as a result, they have been responsible for some of the most revolutionary technological advancements in history. Recently, this trend repeated itself, when, in an effort to make tanks even more dangerous than they already are, a British, global defense, aerospace and security company called BAE Systems, created a tank that can snap back into shape, even after being exposed to explosives.

A bendable titanium alloy suspension system enables the tank’s suspension to retain its shape and functionality, even after an explosive impact. Made with the same material as flexible glasses, the concept was based on the exoskeleton of ironclad beetles and uses the memory metal alloy, that was first created by the United States Naval Ordnance Laboratory in the 1960s.

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