Think about how much has changed over the last 10 years. Instagram didn’t even exist a decade ago, and MySpace was the go-to for most social communication among millennials and beyond. This only made us think about how much could change over the next few years as future inventions and programs have the potential to change the world as we know it. It’s interesting to think how anyone ever got by without the wonderful worldwide web, or even a cell phone, or something as simple as a lamp. But as time goes on, it’s safe to say any upcoming inventions are way more high-tech than even our everyday pleasantries. Imagine being able to read someone’s mind or see what they’re dreaming.
Just like social media, some of these new inventions have the power to ruin relationships but could also have you wondering how you could go on without them. It’s only a matter of time before technology and its users and inventors prove what it can really do, and while lots of inventions have been life-changing so far, we’re prepared to be amazed, and you should be too. So check out 25 upcoming inventions that are on the horizon and bound to change our lives in the long run.
25 Edible Water Blobs
Picture this: You’re extremely thirsty but instead of reaching for a water bottle, you grab a water blob. This could be the reality of our future. Considering the controversial impact plastic water bottles have on the environment, it only makes sense that a water blob exists. And there’s already a name for it. Ladies and gents, meet the Ooho! water blob. Of course, the people over at Skipping Rocks Lab still have lots to consider when it comes to how to package water in a way that would be safer than a plastic bottle. But it’s safe to say they’re on the right track so far.
24 Active Contact Lenses
Those who are loyal contact wearers will be happy about this one. Active contact lenses consist of three small lasers paired with a micro-mirror that points the beam into the retina. While it sounds painful, it will have the ability to let users see everything in high resolution. From an iPhone to a watch and a television, users can also see images in 3D. Plus, it fits the same way regular contacts do, so it doesn’t sound like it’ll be too uncomfortable.
23 Smart Pipe
The Smart Pipe will soon lower the amount of perfectly good drinking water that is often wasted into dirty pipes. Created at Northwestern University, the Smart Pipe will utilize nano sensors to keep an eye on the water that gets into vital parts of the public water system. In doing so, it will help stop the clean and treated water from getting into toxic areas. A bonus is that it provides a solution to the issue that has typically cost the nation anywhere between $12.5 million and $92 million a year. That’s a good reason to make it rain.
22 Dream Linking
So about that dream invention mentioned earlier – it’s on its way to becoming a real thing and has a name: dream linking. Inventors plan to use material in pillows that will allow one to observe any and all electrical activity coming from the brain. It will reveal when someone is having a dream, and even what the dream is about. And it doesn’t end there. Two people could share a dream with proper direction under the dream linking capabilities. Who’s ready for this one?
21 Brain Implants
Brain implants could hit shelves as early as 2026. But is it something we really want? After all, it lets you read other people’s minds, but your mind would be subject to it as well. Rumor has it, a company called Amethyst will be delivering this product. While the benefit is reportedly for couples who don’t want to be absent from another (guess it won’t make the heart grow fonder), things could get out of hand sooner than later. Only time will tell if this one is a hit or not.
20 DEKA Arm
The DEKA Arm is already on its way to becoming a real thing as it has already been given the green light from the Food and Drug Administration. The prosthetic arm was developed in Dean Kamen’s DEKA Research and Development Institution. So what makes it special? It allows those who use it to do more than one thing at a time and even put their arms above their head. It picks up on electrical instructions from the muscle and feeds it to the area where the prosthetic arm is attached to the body. Boom!
19 Shared Consciousness
If the thought of dream linking and brain implants made you feel weird, you haven’t heard of shared consciousness yet. It’s another upcoming invention that will change your life. While this one doesn’t expose your dreams, it does help one get smarter as it would have permission to access your thoughts and general knowledge by connecting the brain to a computer. Shared consciousness could also reveal ideas and share intimate things with others such as memories and previous experiences. Sounds like a science project that could go very right or very wrong.
18 Gender XY-Change
This could arguably be one of the most long-awaited inventions to date. The Gender XY-Change will provide the capability of one altering their gender based on hormone levels. It will give the user the experience of the desired gender like emotions such as empathy. So how long would it last? Well, until you take another pill. But of course, you have to watch out for any side effects when taking them back-to-back too often. Sounds like they’re still working out some issues with this one.
17 Invisibility Cloak
As cool as this one sounds, it’s only realistic to think it will be quite a while before this one hits shelves. But Iowa State University researchers are on it! They are said to be using a meta-skin that includes capabilities of developing an invisibility cloak. How, Sway? By configuring electromagnetic waves, the meta-skin gets particles from radars, which in turn discovers objects using radio or microwaves, promoting invisibility as it captures radio and microwaves that would otherwise not be detected.
16 Video Tattoos
This one might seem a little behind schedule, but better late than never, right? With the video tattoo, you’ll be able to have electronic displays on your body thanks to them being printed on plastic membranes. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Soon after video tattoos are available, electronic makeup could be a thing as well. This could be a good or bad idea depending on how involved your children would want to be in playing with it. But the benefit is you could change your makeup look multiple times a day without missing a beat.
15 Microbai Mood Rings
This future invention is pretty self-explanatory as it looks like it will certainly live up to its name. The Microbai Mood Ring would give those who wear it a demonstration of their levels of microbiome (the bacteria in your stomach known as a second brain). In plain terms, it pretty much means if the environment you’re in has the potential to cause negative impact to the Microbai, it will notify you and change colors. You’ll then have the option to simply wash your hands or leave the environment. Sounds simple enough.
Think Bitcoin, but for online education. It looks like the success of Bitcoin has sparked a similar invention in a growing industry – online education. Edublocks are slated to become a digital form of money that is only available in online education. This would come in handy when watching how-tos on YouTube or digital lectures and webinars. Considering online courses on platforms such as YouTube are becoming key ways to learn the tricks of any trade, Edublocks could be quite the win.
Starbucks and Panera Bread soon won’t be the only places we can get free Wi-Fi thanks to the GeeFi device. It’s an upcoming device that will feature unlimited data, a 4G network, free roaming, and be reachable in more than 100 countries around the globe. You also won’t have to worry about a sim card with this device. The GeeFi device allows up to 10 devices to be connected to it from a laptop, cell phone, and even a television.
12 Reputation Statement
Imagine having a record of all of your good deeds. That’s exactly what the reputation statement would be. And of course it wouldn’t be private, so anyone could see what type of volunteering one is really doing. The interesting part is that it would be printed out like an electric or water bill. It gets even more interesting as a reputation statement could also serve as a new form of currency and people could get rewarded for their random and not-so-random acts of kindness. We're not sure how we feel about this one just yet.
11 3D Printing
3D printing will soon become more than a tactic used to save a life on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. Developers have been working on 3D printed objects for the everyday life. From a small piece of furniture to keys and toys, the future capabilities of 3D printing could give retailers a run for their money sooner than later. While 3D printing is already a complicated yet real thing, the notion of using it for household objects and products makes the future of it pretty mind-blowing.
10 Winning Friends
Public speaking could be made much easier with the Winning Friends invention. It’s an augmented-reality software that provides details about people in the audience during one of their speeches. It doesn’t matter if it’s an auditorium full of people or just a few familiar faces, because either one of those situations could be nerve-racking. Winning Friends will offer tips on when you should display a certain emotion to resonate with your audience such as happiness and confidence with an authoritative stature.
9 Edible and Biodegradable Food Wrappers
It only makes sense that one day we’ll be able to eat the wrappers that our food has come packaged in for as long as we can remember. Edible food wrappers are on the horizon. Similar to the edible water blob, inventors of the edible food wrappers over at the United States Department of Agriculture, hope the change from plastic food wrappers will help improve the environment. As for what the edible food wrappers will be made of, they’ve already started testing a material with casein, a popular protein that is in milk.
8 Shampoo Balls
It looks like plastic packaging as a whole will be out before we know it. With the water blob and edible food wrappers, shampoo balls will fit right in with biodegradable objects. Already given the title Nohbo, a shampoo ball is said to be the perfect amount for a one-time wash in the infamous wash, rinse, repeat cycle. It comes in solid form until its rubbed with water and smoothed into a nice lather. This one might not be a bad idea for travelers!
7 Life-Saving Kits
This could definitely benefit you if you are one of the only 43 people in the world who have the very rare blood type known as Golden Blood. Its technical name is Rh-null. The kit would give those with the unique type a chance to give and receive donations from the comfort of their own home. Of course the price is pretty steep at $2,400 a liter. The benefit is that they could have it on hand in case of an unexpected situation that would require any type of transfer.
6 Indulgence Navigator
For anyone who has been trying to diet, the Indulgence Navigator could be your trick in the near future. It’s a gadget you can wear that will monitor your psychological and genetic state to evaluate your craving patterns. With this information, the Indulgence Navigator will have the capability to help you steer clear of foods that have been deemed unhealthy in those times it seems nearly impossible to push away the plate. It will even be able to detect your emotions when you’re about to eat something unhealthy.
5 EZ Lift
This is another invention that will promote health and wellness and change your life for what could be the better in the future. EZ Lift will help users to take a flight of stairs instead of an elevator or escalator when the options present themselves. The idea is that a user would kick off the day with lift credits that run out as one takes the elevator or an escalator. The lift credits would be restored when the user takes the stairs.
4 Self-Driving Cars
Seriously, this thing is so overdue already. Thankfully, Google has already made its move in possibly being the first entity to release an autonomous vehicle as it has already developed a prototype. Ford is also on the list as it debuted its infrastructure for a self-driving car in January 2014. BMW also made it clear they’re working on it in their labs. Texas Instruments and Delphi are on the growing list of companies that put out announcements they’re working on autonomous cars. It’s no longer a matter of it will happen, but rather when and who will do it first.
3 Space Drones
Drones are already the new cool kids on the block. Think about how much intense things would be if space drones existed. If NASA gets its way, space drones will be more than just a thought. The space organization has already started working on designs to develop a drone that would be able to work in a space station. It would even feature cameras and signals to help navigate its direction. It’s no secret space stations aren’t necessarily huge areas, so only time will tell if this will be a good or bad thing for our favorite astronauts.
2 Carpet Alarm Clock
Cue Aladdin’s “A Whole New World,” because your magic carpet ride is about to get real. We all have those moments when hitting the snooze button on our alarm is a must. The carpet alarm clock takes things a step further. It’s a small rug that can sit by your bedside, and literally ring the alarm when it’s time for you to wake up. The only way to stop it is to step on it, so that fixes the whole snooze button dilemma and forces you to get out of bed.
1 Wireless Electricity
Wireless electricity will soon be the new normal. What started as an experiment for a light bulb to connect in a living room could end with a new way of the land. WiTricity is looking to make it happen. Their trick? They release a magnetic field in the air, allowing any object around it to be induced with electricity, without wires. Apparently, it’s the work of a transferrable current at its finest. We might be saying goodbye to outlets and plugs for good soon.
References: Mirror, Business Insider, CNBC, India Times