Recent Advancements in Technology

November 11, 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. Controlling Robots with thoughts

There have been endless works of fiction that have described a world where robots can make decisions on their own, as well as control their own thoughts and actions. However, researchers in Italy have recently derived a way to control robots, using the human mind alone.

The research was originally targeted towards helping paralyzed patients that are unable to move their limbs or perform everyday mundane tasks on their own. The patients themselves were in Italy, while the robots they were supposed to control were in Japan. Each patient was fitted with an Electroencephalogram (EEG) cap, which read the electrical activity in their brain, and a head mounted display, that allowed them to see everything the robot did.

Using the electrical signals in the brain, as well as markers on the heads up display, allowed the patients to control the robots and make them perform various tasks, which included moving around a room or even picking up a glass of water. Even though the technology is currently in its developmental stage, its applications for the disabled are limitless and you should keep checking this space for its latest updates.

2. Audio Photoshop

The advent of Photoshop completely revolutionized the design industry, as it made it possible for them to achieve results that had previously been unheard of, and it managed to do all of this, with the least amount of trouble. Now, Adobe is bringing the tech world another revolutionary tool, that could have far reaching consequences for the whole industry.

The tech, which is currently being called Voice Conversion or VoCo, is a tool designed to edit recorded speech files. The software breaks down a recorded voice file into individual phonemes, and by analyzing the various, unique patterns in each voice, it can then create a template for each individual speaker. In simple words, the software enables users to edit a certain person’s voice recording, by adding new sentences to it, changing the stream of words or by even removing parts of their speech all together.

3. Rubik’s Cube World Record

The Rubik’s Cube was created back in 1974 by the Hungarian, Ernő Rubik. Since then it has become the highest selling toy in history, with over three hundred and fifty million units sold to date, and ever since its release, people have been obsessed with solving the puzzle, in the fastest time possible. Today the record is held by Matts Valk, who managed the feat in an unbelievable 4.74 seconds, but you have to keep in mind, that at the end of the day, Valk was just human after all, and this is a world of machines.

People have been creating robots just to solve Rubik’s Cubes for a very long time. However, nothing has ever come close to the Sub1 Reloaded robot, which was recently showcased by German tech firm Infineon at the Electronica trade fair in Munich. It took the remarkable robot only 0.637 seconds to solve the puzzle and he beat the previous world record by 0.250 seconds.

4. HIV testing USB Stick

HIV is a terrible virus that is affecting almost forty million people around the world. One of the biggest problems facing the affected is access to a facility where their disease can be identified and monitored, in order to give them a better and healthier lifestyle. However, this rarely ever happens, and HIV patients sometimes have to travel hundreds of miles to get to their closest hospital or clinic. In order to facilitate this exact process, Researchers at the Imperial College of London got together with the U.S. firm DNA Electronics to create a USB that can be used to test for HIV.

This USB stick looks more or less like any other, except for a spot where patients are supposed to add a drop of their blood. The USB then analyzes the blood using electrical signals, which can then be displayed on any other computer or hand held device. Whereas usual HIV test results take over three days to come back, the USB will provide accurate results within thirty minutes. It will also provide an analysis of the patient’s day to day progress, helping them keep a check on the progression of the disease.

5. World Record for Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

In 2015, the Intel Corporation showcased the “Shooting Star”, a quadcopter drone which had been fitted with an LED light. These lights and drones could be programmed to move in certain ways and according to preset routines. The company released a hundred of these drones in a display that was known as the Fake-Fireworks Drone Program. It set the world record for the most unmanned Ariel Vehicles in action at one time and was a beautiful sight to behold.

Recently the company decided to revisit this unique idea and take it up a notch, by releasing five hundred drones at one time. It was a breathtaking sight, as it provided viewers with the thrill of a firework display, without any of the noise or danger. At the same time, it enabled Intel to break their previous world record by four hundred drones, as well as present a breakthrough in drone technology, with each drone weighing just 0.5 lbs. (280 grams) each and each LED light capable of creating more than 4 billion color combinations.

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