Each week Nikolas Badminton, Futurist Speaker, summarizes the top-5 future looking developments and news items that I find to be inspiring, interesting, concerning, or downright strange. Each day he reads through dozens of blogs and news websites to find those things that we should be aware of.
In Exponential Minds’ Future Trends – Terahertz Wireless Networks we look at terahertz wireless networks, the first rules for ethical driverless cars, Alexa and exoskeletons, flying hamburgers and beer, and 4 mega-trends to watch.
Scientists report first data transmission through terahertz multiplexer
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Multiplexing, the ability to send multiple signals through a single channel, is a fundamental feature of any voice or data communication system. An international research team has demonstrated for the first time a method for multiplexing data carried on terahertz waves, high-frequency radiation that may enable the next generation of ultra-high bandwidth wireless networks.
In the journal Nature Communications, the researchers report the transmission of two real-time video signals through a terahertz multiplexer at an aggregate data rate of 50 gigabits per second, approximately 100 times the optimal data rate of today’s fastest cellular network.
“We showed that we can transmit separate data streams on terahertz waves at very high speeds and with very low error rates,” said Daniel Mittleman, a professor in Brown’s School of Engineering and the paper’s corresponding author. “This is the first time anybody has characterized a terahertz multiplexing system using actual data, and our results show that our approach could be viable in future terahertz wireless networks.”
Read more at Brown University
Germany Has Created the World’s First Ethical Guidelines for Driverless Cars
Have you ever swerved dangerously when driving to avoid hitting a chipmunk, raccoon, or a turtle? I have, and there’s always that moment afterwards where you realize that maybe it wasn’t the safest decision.
Those split-second choices are when driving becomes dangerous and difficult, and it’s why the German government has now released the world’s first ethical guidelines for how driverless cars should handle such decisions. They include prioritizing human safety over protecting animals or property, and always allowing the human driver to supercede the program’s decisions.
“It will not be possible to prevent accidents completely,” reads the report, which was published by the Ethics Commission at the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. “This makes it essential that decisions be taken when programming the software of highly and fully automated driving systems.”
Read more at Motherboard
This exoskeleton can be controlled using Amazon’s Alexa
Movement of the Arke, which is currently in clinical development, is usually controlled by an app on a tablet or by reacting automatically to users’ movements. Sensors in the exoskeleton detect when the wearer shifts their weight, activating the motors in the backpack that help the individual move. For Bionik, adding Alexa can help individuals going through rehabilitation get familiar with these actions.
Read More at The Verge
Hamburgers and beer are about to start flying through the skies of Reykjavík, Iceland
Drone delivery has taken another small step toward becoming a reality, thanks to a new trial taking place in Iceland. Israeli drone logistics company Flytrex has partnered with Icelandic on-demand goods service AHA to set up a small drone delivery route in Reykjavík.
Read more at The Verge
4 mega-trends that could change the world by 2030
In 2012, the US government put on its futurist hat and published a report entitled “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds.”
It’s full of both grim predictions and hopeful insights about the world that humans will inhabit within the next two decades.
One section outlines four mega-trends that are poised to create the greatest impact in the years to come in society, healthcare, government, and resources.
Here’s what we can expect.
- Individual empowerment
- Diffusion of power
- Demographic patterns
- Growing demand for food, water, and energy
Read more at The World Economic Forum