Remember watching sci-fi movies as a child and thinking we would have jetpacks someday? Or teleporters? We don’t have these technologies yet but we do have lots of impressive technologies that seem straight out of a sci-fi movie. Our cars can guide us around a city, via GPS. We can carry tablet computers around with us that hold all of our data. And we can speak with associates around the globe at the push of a button.
So, why don’t we have teleporters and hovercrafts? What is preventing us from taking these leaps in technology?
Building a Better Battery
Batteries power nearly all of our technology, particularly as we move into a more mobile world. Consequently, the more limited our batteries are, the more limitations we have technologically. They are an integral part of our technology, so we need to concentrate on improving them before we can really make jumps in technology. Luckily, researchers at Chicago’s Northwestern University are designing a more powerful lithium-ion battery, which we discussed in a blog post last week. This may solve this constraint in the next few years.
Improving Internet Access
The second limiting factor is related to access. Simply put, not enough of the world’s population has access to high-speed Internet access. It may well seem like every public library, bookstore, and cafe’ provides its patrons with access to high-speed wireless Internet, but this is largely a mirage. The majority of humans don’t have easy access to the web. Until this occurs, we’ll be unnecessarily limiting the advancement of technology. The more minds that are linked on the Web, the better the possibilities are of reaching the next tech breakthrough.
The Business of New Tech
This might not come as a surprise, but business matters impede technological advancements as well. For instance, patent laws, and government regulations. If these things are not clear, creations can sit in red tape limbo for some time. To prevent this last step bottleneck of the creation process, laws ought to be clear and easy to comprehend.
While these are some of the issues that hinder technology from advancing, it still is advancing at a rapid pace. So who knows what is in store for us in the next year or two.