For some of the younger generations, perhaps the internet is the biggest technological advance they have seen in their lifetime. Although for the very youngest, they have never known a world that wasn’t online.
During the pandemic, the internet became more useful than ever before. As restrictions were announced, and lockdowns became reality, many people turned to the internet. It was used to order groceries, food deliveries, order repeat prescriptions, and provide entertainment.
Not all new products are for the better though, as Google Glass and the Sinclair C5 prove. However, the technology behind the ideas was sound, and now augmented glasses are starting to find their user base. Similarly, while the C5 tanked as a product, there are electric vehicles all over the world now.
Here are some of the interesting technological additions that have appeared in recent years.
Self-erasing ink for less waste
While the paperless office never quite arrived as promised, manufacturers are looking at ways to reduce waste paper. Canon inkjet owners can now enjoy reusing their paper time and again thanks to self-erasing ink.
This new type of ink fades as it is exposed to oxygen, and typically will disappear completely within a day of being printed. As long as the paper is not torn or creased, it can be reused.
Security printing is also seeing some major updates. If you were a potential Frank Abagnale, you could save money by printing your own checks. But when it comes to the people trying to stop counterfeiting for real, RFID technology is being used with special printing inks now.
Virtual sports in casinos
RFID tech is also used in casinos to stop the theft of chips, but the industry uses tech to improve the player’s UX too.
A very simple use of a green screen and camera technology can bring the casino experience into the living room, or bedroom if you prefer. A live casino uses a real-life dealer and the appropriate gaming table to make a more authentic gaming experience.
Blackjack, poker, and roulette can all be played in a live casino online, where a professional dealer runs the game. This is a big improvement on avatars and simple graphics.
Electric vehicles are good for the planet
Back when Sir Clive Sinclair invented his C5 electric vehicle, the world was optimistically waiting for the day when all vehicles were electric, and hoverboards would be reality.
Nowadays, electric vehicles of all sorts are fairly common, and although they haven’t replaced gas versions just yet, they are becoming far more popular. Electric cars, buses, skateboards, and scooters are now available, and more developments are being made.
One interesting development is that of the self-driving vehicle. So far, Elon Musk’s dream of making a vehicle that can drive itself has brought some headlines for the wrong reasons. Earlier this year an unmanned Tesla crashed and burst into flames with 2 fatalities. However, the potential gains from this technology are worth exploring.
Imagine the lives that could be saved by a vehicle that could go into autopilot if the driver perhaps fell asleep, or had a heart attack.
When solar power was first mooted as a potential alternative for homeowners, many were put off by the cost, and by the look of the panels that needed to be installed.
Now though, solar power is harnessed in many ways, and some of them are very subtle. Small garden lights can have solar panels on them, wristwatches can be solar-powered, and even recreational vehicles can be powered by the sun.
Solar power is one of the three most popular renewable energy sources and the most practical one for most homeowners to utilize. Anyone using solar power on the grid can even make money by selling excess energy back to utility companies.
Virtual gaming and sports
The Oculus Rift has brought virtual reality gaming into the homes of many. Something that has been long promised is now being used by gamers along with many titles. There is a Walking Dead title, and the latest Half-Life game was released exclusively on VR.
Casinos are also making use of VR. If live casinos aren’t enough for you, then strap on a headset and visit a virtual gaming establishment, complete with other players.
Virtual sports are being used by many in the casino industry too. In real life, sporting events may not occur due to the time of day, the season ending, or the pandemic. But virtual sports can run all the time. This way casino users can visit MGM or LV BET and wager on virtual MMA, baseball, or the horses.
Mobile applications can more than just games
When the Apple store first opened, users, were downloading all manner of simple apps. Some of them let your iPhone sound like a lightsaber when moved, and others replicated steam on a window, which could be wiped away.
Today, there are millions of high-quality games to play, and there are some truly useful applications too. Apps are available for trading, learning languages, and ordering food deliveries.
Many of these apps came into their own during lockdowns, and people were able to manage their bank accounts, pay bills, order food, and watch movies, all due to mobile apps.
Multi Cookers save money and time
One of the biggest marketing successes of the last decade has been the multicooker. The Instant Pot in particular has been hugely popular with millions being sold in the US alone.
According to Money Crashers, an Instant Pot can cut cooking time by almost 70 percent, which means that less energy is being used. This gets reflected in savings on utility bills.
Air fryers are another type of multicooker, and these are good for the environment. Because air fryers need no oil they help to reduce the amount of waste cooking oil being thrown out. The US is the worst offender for WCO in the world producing more than half the waste just in one country.
Smart devices that aren’t dumb
The words smart device get bandied around a lot. Sometimes these devices don’t seem so smart, and they also don’t seem to help too much.
But, there are some very good smart devices available now. Smart faucets that help to save waste. Smart multi cookers that can be turned on remotely. And even smart bathroom scales that can accurately monitor BMI and many other health metrics.
Emulators and retro ROM consoles bring it back
Although these may not be great technological advances, they are a popular addition to the world of gaming. Many gamers struggle to find safe ROM sites on the internet today, and these legal consoles help.
Downloading ROMs of old games was a bit of a grey area as far as the law went. Now that official mini consoles are being released, gamers can play their favorites legally.
Blockchain technology is something that is always in the news now, and this is perhaps one of the advances that still has untapped potential. With NFTs now filling newspaper columns, it may not be long before decentralized apps start appearing more too.
Of the other advances, you may not have got a skateboard that hovers yet like in Back to the Future 2, but there are electric vehicles, 3D printing, and cookers that fry without oil. It will be interesting to see what else the world gets in the next few years.