Technology in 2018 and Beyond

What do satellite transmissions, credit cards, electric cars, and the internet have in common? They all made their debuts in science fiction long before they became reality. Other science fiction concepts, like fusion powered cars (Back to the Future), warp drive (Star Trek), teleportation (also Star Trek) and a flying car (The Jetsons) are more elusive. With 2018 almost here, let’s see what has recently moved from science fiction to reality and what else is in progress.

Smart home technology is a fast-moving field that has given us products unheard of only a few years ago. Through an app on your phone, it is now possible to communicate with your home, telling doors to lock, switching lights on or off and changing the thermostat setting. Manufacturers are far from finished with this technology. There are robotic vacuum cleaners already on the market, and floor washing robots are starting to appear. Cooking by remote control is possible; in 2018 look for new ovens, outdoor grills and slow cookers on the smart technology menu. At least one company is working on a refrigerator with cameras inside the door. The cameras will connect to your phone, letting you see inside while you shop for groceries.

The automotive industry is making some of the most interesting and futuristic advances. Driver assisted cars can check your blind spot, apply the brakes in a hazardous situation, keep you in your own lane and park themselves. Driverless cars are being road-tested. Remember K.I.T.T. from the 1980’s TV series Knight Rider? Will a car of the future talk to you, sense your mood and be your friend?

Speculation about the future gives rise to a more questions than answers. Do we need or want the new products and technology, and at what price? Will they make our lives better or worse? Which products are just fads and which will become must-haves? We’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, Battle River Power Coop sends best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year. As a famous science fiction character often said, “Live long and prosper”.

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