Weird New Inventions for the New Decade
Someday we might be able to see right through a solar panel. One day we might be able to eat our water bottles after we drink their contents.
One day Japan will build a robotic moon base. Someday our cars will fly like the DeLorean did in Back to the Future.
Someday microchips implanted in our brains will allow us to control devices. One day language translation will be commonplace in mobile devices.
One day we might have our own artificial intelligence assistants. Someday we may be able to look at our smart watches and see our complete medical reading.
Progress Is Being Made
All these “some days” and “one days” have something in common. They are all becoming realities as we speak.
And there are those who predict that some of them might actually happen in 2020.
Of course, some of these “what if’s” will definitely not occur this year. But it wouldn’t be surprising if several of them come to fruition before the end of this new decade.
Let’s take a look at some of these not-so-far-off possibilities. Understanding more about them might convince us they’re closer than we think.
Transparent Solar Panels
We’ve all seen solar panels, mainly on rooftops. They turn solar energy into electricity that homes and businesses use to save on power bills.
Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a fully transparent solar panel. You can literally see right through it.
When placed over a window or other clear surface, it can harvest solar energy without affecting the transmission of light.
Organic molecules in the panel absorb wavelengths of light the human eye cannot see. Similar to ultraviolet and infrared light.
Ideal for Glass Towers
Once the light is captured, it is transported to the contour of the panel. There it’s converted to electricity, thanks to thin strips of photovoltaic solar cells.
These transparent solar panels would be particularly beneficial for glass towers. But they could be used on any building with windows.
They would be much more pleasing to the eye than solar panels we see on rooftops. In fact, they might not even be noticeable.
The main challenge is improving the energy-producing efficiency from 1 to 5 percent.
Down the Hatch
We’ve all heard what a major problem plastic water bottles are creating for the environment. Approximately 1 billion of them reach one of the world’s oceans annually.
The main reason is that people are not recycling them like they should. But even a recycled water bottle leaves somewhat of a footprint.
The edible water bottle being worked on is really more of a transparent sachet made from chloride and seaweed. It’s biodegradable and can be consumed.
Researchers at Skipping Rocks Lab call their prototype Ooho! They say just about any liquid can be placed inside an Ooho!
Peel & Drink or Bite & Swallow
The average plastic water bottle needs about 450 to 1,000 years to biodegrade. Edible water bubbles, on the other hand, require only about six weeks.
The Ooho! looks like a gelatinous sphere. It can be consumed, but it can also be composted. That’s because it’s created from brown algae.
They make these edible water blobs by mixing sodium alginate with calcium chloride. What forms is a gelatinous membrane that can encapsulate a liquid.
The user can peel off the thick outer layer and place what’s inside in their mouths. Or they can bite into it and drink the liquid without eating the seaweed-based capsule.
Changes Are Coming
What about those other “somedays” I mentioned earlier? The flying car is probably pretty far off. The military will have it before we do.
If any nation establishes a lunar outpost – built by robot for robots – it will probably be Japan. Of course, it all comes down to money.
As far as microchips implanted in our brains is concerned, I don’t want to be first in line. But I would like to observe how they operate if it happens. Channel surfing just by thinking about it is going to require a greater understanding of neural activity.
Mobile devices are already doing some language translation. But there is a lot of action ahead. Some languages such as Spanish and French will be easier to collaborate with than Chinese or Japanese.
Personal Healthcare and Robotic Assistance
A couple of the more fascinating “somedays” to me are personalized healthcare and AI assistants.
Being able to glance at your smart watch and see your body temperature, blood pressure readings, cholesterol levels, heart rate, etc., would be appealing to many people intent on keeping their health in check.
There have already been great strides taken in the advancement of AI. And there are entire companies devoted to nothing else but expanding upon this development.
Imagine being accompanied everywhere you go by a robot that could provide you with all the information you need at a moment’s notice. And perhaps even give you physical assistance if necessary.
Peeking Inside the 4Patriots Lab
Most of our “some days” in life are a ways off. But 4Patriots has been working on a number of different items for quite some time now.
And several of them are just about ready to be launched. We’ll be providing you with the latest and greatest preparedness gear in 2020, so stay tuned!