Orbital Solar Panels: A Student’s Guide to Technologies of the Future

Category: Lifestyle 2

What does the future hold? This is not the first time humankind asks this question. While some predictions – like flying cars everywhere – still belong to science fiction, others have been spot-on. Video calls, 3D printers, smartwatches, and the internet itself – they are no longer products of someone’s wild imagination.

Technology adoption rates have soared. Back in the day, it took 30 years for electricity to reach the 10-percent mark. In contrast, the tablet adoption rate skyrocketed from 3% to 64% in just seven years in the 21st century. So, any of the ideas considered revolutionary today can become the new normal in a decade.

If you want to be on the frontline of the technological shift, the paper writing service EssayPro has prepared an overview of six breakthrough technologies worth your attention:

  1. Driverless vehicles.
  2. Space-based solar power.
  3. Epidermal VR.
  4. Internet from space.
  5. Quantum computing.
  6. 3D-printed organs.

Which one would you choose to make your contribution to the world of the future?

Orbital Solar Panels
Orbital Solar Panels

Driverless Vehicles

Self-driving cars are already a reality, but they still have to go through a long testing process. Still, tech giants like Tesla and Apple as well as car manufacturers like Honda and Mercedes-Benz have thrown their hats into the race. 

While there are no self-driving vehicle specifications available to consumers yet, their launch is looming over the horizon. As soon as the regulators give them the green light, you can expect to see self-driving taxis from the Westworld TV series in real life. And, if implemented in trucks, the technology can cut the delivery costs and speed up shipping.

Space-Based Solar Power

A big chunk of solar energy (up to 60%) actually gets filtered out by Earth’s atmosphere. So, this chunk never reaches the solar panels installed on someone’s roof or at your campus. This is where orbital solar panels come in: they are meant to hone in on that “lost” solar energy.

They can be another efficient source of sustainable energy to power your laptop when you look for the best essay writing service or your TV when you watch Netflix. But there are still some obstacles in the technology’s way. The costs associated with building such a solar panel station and sending it into orbit remain too high.

Still, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory is actively pursuing the technology’s development. It already conducted the first test on a satellite in 2020. China is also after energy independence. The country is pouring money into research on wireless electricity transmission based in Chongqing.

Epidermal VR

Orbital Solar Panels
Orbital Solar Panels

Virtual reality glasses have already become available on the mass market, but there’s a way to level up the game. Remember the suits for full immersion into the virtual reality in Ready Player One? Humankind isn’t that far from making them a reality.

In 2019, Northwestern University scientists made a breakthrough. The epidermal VR technology rocketed around the news. The system doesn’t have bulky wires and is battery-free. It allows tactile sensations to be transmittable over the internet. So, you’d feel a pat on the back from a fellow gamer or a hug from your loved one, no matter the distance.

Internet from Space

The days when you needed a cable or a cell tower nearby to visit websites like EssayPro.com may soon be over. Besides, because of the challenges of building new infrastructure, there are still areas with poor or no internet coverage. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that 24 million people don’t have a broadband internet connection.

This is why there are companies that want to give people an opportunity to go online using satellites.

Starlink, developed by SpaceX, has already launched a beta test for its system and found its first customers. It’s set out to bring high-speed internet (50Mb/s to 150Mb/s) to previously uncovered areas. The company is planning to expand both in the U.S. and internationally throughout 2021.

Quantum Computing

Unlike most of the technologies on this list, quantum computing is still in its early stages of development. It’s only recently that the first case of quantum supremacy was recorded. In 2019, Google AI’s quantum computer performed calculations 3 million faster than the fastest computer in the world.

However, there are already quantum computers available to consumers – for a hefty price, of course. A Chinese startup, Shenzhen SpinQ Technology, launched its desktop quantum computer in 2020. 

Still, it’s inconvenient to transport – it weighs around 55 kg – and quite expensive ($50,000). So, for now, these computers are reserved for educational institutions, not regular households.

3D Printed Organs

If you told someone you have a 3D printer at home two decades ago, they’d think you’ve watched too much sci-fi. Now, there are models available for as little as $200-300. Moreover, custom action figures and furniture pieces aren’t the only things that can be 3D-printed. Today, human organs are on the list as well.

Though it may sound too progressive for 2021, it’s not. In fact, the first artificial human organ has already been printed and transplanted – it was a bladder for a patient in Boston in 2004. 

There are still challenges to 3D printing of human organs, like recreating small airways. However, scientists at Lund University (Sweden) have recently invented a new bio ink to solve this issue. It’ll make artificial transplantable organs one step closer to reality.

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