Rapidly evolving technology is changing our habits, lifestyles and beginning to influence how we think. Technology is enabling a smarter way of living like never before.
Here’s a glimpse into New Age Living!
Air-Conditioned Spaces: Just a few decades ago, Indians had almost never experienced an air conditioned atmosphere – be it in a house, shop, office or car. Very few houses could afford a desert cooler, especially in the dry areas of North India where it is effective. Today, it is not an unusual sight to see an A/C fitted in a small make-shift window in a shanty in Mumbai or Delhi. A/Cs have not just become common sight also serve both heating and cooling requirements and are becoming smarter and more efficient. So much so, that Gen-X takes the existence of A/C for granted – be it in the home, car, school or mall.
Efficient Electricity Usage: With a rapidly rising population, the demand for electricity is outstripping supply, thereby forcing technology to ensure that electricity usage is optimised. Today, home sensors can monitor movement and switch on and off lights as we move from room to room. Not just that, it can also re-direct A/C’s cool air distribution to only that section of the room that we are sitting in. That maximises both cooling and electricity usage, enabling greater savings. Thanks to technology, ‘wireless transfer’ of electricity is now revolutionising operation of devices.
Dish and Clothes Washing: What was seen as a luxury some years back is becoming the norm, at least for many middle class families. Most homes today have clothes washing machine and more families are now buying dish washing machines. This has emerged as a major boon for most housewives and maids, as the sheer physical effort in undertaking the daily chore was back breaking to most. Here again, not only has technology helped take away the manual effort but also, with newer technologies, water and electricity usage is being optimized. Today, it is also possible to monitor water and electric consumption, which can assist both consumers and utility suppliers to monitor consumption patterns and evolve even more efficient devices.
Mobile and Wearable Devices: A mobile phone or a wearable device is rapidly enabling information, communication and entertainment on the go. Today, we have breaking news available in real time. In cases of disaster and other emergencies, this can help save people’s lives, as it has in several parts of the world. All smart devices in our homes can now be remotely operated irrespective of our geographic location.
Health Monitoring and Medical Intervention: Wearable devices today can monitor our heart and lungs and check our sugar levels and report the excess variation to our personal physicians, who can then respond in real time. Thanks to technology, today a person facing kidney failure can actually operate a dialysis machine on his own without the need to go to hospital. Imagine what a boon it is for those who need to go to hospital 2-3 times a week, for dialysis that can last for up to four hours each session.
With carbon fibre and nano technology, medical support devices are witnessing a revolution. One of the best examples is that of the South African Blade Runner, Oscar Pistorius, who was actually competing with normal athletes despite being a both leg amputee since a very young age. Then again, technology is now being developed that will enable a blind person to see and smart pills, using nano technology, can now carry intelligent medicines right to the point of the diseased cell and is able to kill or repair the damaged cells.
Smart Foods Changing Eating Habits: Smart foods are genetically modified foods that address the specific needs of a certain type of consumer. For instance, special foods are being developed to sustain humans for longer time in space. The spin off from the research is that it is now possible to selectively offer a special diet of modified food to patients who are deficient in certain vitamins or whose bodies are not able to generate or absorb specific nutrients. A lot of research is also going on to develop a new generation of insects to replace traditional cattle based meats as a major source of proteins. In times to come, this will become mainstay diet in various forms.
Cultivation is increasingly becoming possible right at home with vertical farming using both the walls of high rises and roof tops to grow foods that was not possible earlier. With hydroponic farming, growing leafy vegetables without using sunlight or soil is now possible and with technology, micro farming is taking cultivation for self-consumption, right into our homes.
Smarter Transportation Technology: Who could imagine travelling from London to New York in around two hours? Hyper planes are now being tested that will reduce travel times dramatically. Moreover, imagine the same plane without a pilot! Yes, a lot of work is now going on to develop pilotless planes, driverless trains and driverless cars. With mass and personal transportation becoming smarter and controlled by artificial intelligence, financial and time costs will come down in the next few years.
Artificial Intelligence: It is also impacting our education and training methodology. Today, AI is already reducing the cost and time in training military personnel, be it fighter pilots, tank operators, infantrymen or police personnel. School and college education will soon be accessible without the need to physically go to school or college or even require teachers.
With technology, remote access to education through video conferencing is already here, but now AI can impart interactive learning, wherein the software judges your learning capability and offers ‘customised’ and ‘individual specific’ content, and then has the ability to accurately monitor and measure your knowledge acquisition. Ultimately, the role of a traditional teacher will increasingly become redundant.
Virtual Money: Digital currency is money that can be exchanged to acquire a product or service in real life. The first decentralised digital currency is ‘Bitcoin’. Bitcoin is becoming popular as an alternate to physical money though it is still unregulated. With customer shopping experience shifting rapidly over the Internet, the use of virtual money in various forms is set to rise.
Entertainment: Humans tire easily from existing experiences and want to explore newer avenues of entertainment. This is commonly seen in gaming where video games are moving from traditional box to head mounted devices using immersive technologies in 3D and now 4D, offering unparalleled experiences in sight and sound. For outdoor enthusiasts, technology is offering experiences that are enabling adventure sports lovers to push their human endurance and risk taking abilities like never before.
From the early years of technology evolution, man was developing technology for a smarter life. Now technology is being used to develop even smarter technology and opening frontiers of experiences that consumers had never thought would be possible in the present times. Look out for the next big thing!