Here at DotCom Magazine we're always intrigued to see how far technology can help us to move forward. Breakthrough technologies for us is not always just about the most commercially available or popular technologies, but those that are really going to have an important impact on our everyday lives. In the following post we wanted to highlight five in particular that stand out to us.
While there are many smart city projects that have failed, due to costs and ambitions, there could still be hope for this being a reality. Quayside is a Toronto-based project that's a collaboration between the Canadian government and Alphabet's Sidewalk.
It's set to be based in the industrial waterfront of the city and the company's aim is to make all decisions about the project on information gathered from a network of sensors. Some of the ambitious plans that have us excited here at DotCom Magazine are robots delivering mail and shared, autonomous vehicles.
Fans of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, will be familiar with the yellow babel fish and its ability to allow people to receive instant translations. Google might just have the best alternative in the real world we've had yet in the form of the Pixel Buds. These are designed to sync and work with Pixel smartphones and the Google Translate app to provide almost instantaneous translations.
While one person inserts the earbuds into his or her ears, the other holds the phone. The person with the earbuds speaks in their native language and then the app cleverly translates what they're saying and plays it back through the phone. Then the person with the phone responds and their response is then translated and transmitted into the earbuds.
3D Metal Printing
3D printing has actually been around for a few decades now, but has always been something designers and hobbyists have used. Besides that, printing anything in materials other than plastics, for instance, metal, is slow and very expensive. With new developments, it could be much cheaper and could be an incredibly efficient way for manufacturers to make parts.
The new technology can build complex shapes and stronger, lighter parts that aren't possible using traditional fabrication techniques with metal. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Markforged, along with Desktop Metal are all companies rolling out these kinds of 3D printers that use metal.
Zero Carbon Natural Gas
Although we seem to be stuck using natural gas as one of the main forms of electricity at the moment, because it's readily available and cheap, there could be hope on the horizon to clean it up. It may be cleaner than coal, but it's still a huge source of carbon emissions. There's a pilot power plant based on the outskirts of Houston that's running tests on technology that may be able to clean up natural gas. Net Power who is being the 50mW feels it could generate power that's as cheap as standard plants providing natural gas and capture all carbon dioxide released by the process.
Perfect Online Privacy
The final technological breakthrough that we wanted to highlight is the possibility of the internet privacy, thanks to a tool that enables you to prove you are over 18 without providing details of what is in your bank account or your date of birth. Zero-knowledge proof is the cryptographic protocol in question and though it has been in the works of decades, interest it has ballooned in recent years, due to the obsession everyone has nowadays with cryptocurrencies.