How many kids grew up anticipating the day when humans would travel the globe with individual jet packs strapped to their backs? How many dreamt of full meals that come in pill form or teleporters? Those technologies haven’t happened. However, in the last 2 decades alone, we’ve seen enough new tech to fill an early 1990s science-fiction flick. With tablet computers we can carry all the computing power of a bulky desktop computer in our hands. With smartphones we are able to instantly send text messages to our friends and due to GPS, we never have to get lost while driving again.
So, with all of this technology, why don’t we have jet packs yet? What variables are preventing us from making these technological leaps?
Building a Better Battery
Batteries power nearly all of our technology, particularly as we move into a more mobile world. As a result, the more limited our batteries are, the more limitations we have technologically. They are an integral part of our technology, so we need to focus on improving them before we can really make jumps in technology. Thankfully, researchers at Chicago’s Northwestern University are creating a more efficient lithium-ion battery, which we discussed in a blog post last week. This may solve this issue in the coming years.
Improving Internet Access
Another hurdle to conquer is that not enough individuals have access to the Internet. In fact, most of the globe doesn’t have access to it. This is naturally limiting developments in technology. It goes back to the basic concept of the more minds we have working on a problem, the faster we will solve it.
The Business of New Tech
Last but not least there is the bureaucracy. Business matters, like patent laws, can hamper technological progress. Individuals and businesses that come up with revolutionary things have to first traverse these waters. But if government regulations are clear and simple to understand, it could prevent some of this.
While these are a few of the issues that prevent technology from advancing, it still is developing at a rapid pace. So who knows what is in store for us in the next year or two.