Category: future

Near Future Tech: Home Printing in a Day’s Work

The big news last month in home construction was of the 400 square-foot (38 m²) house built by a 3D printer in Russia. The companies Apis Cor and PIK say the house was meant “to demonstrate the flexibility of equipment and diversity of available forms”.

What this means is that it could help not only the typical builder but also builders off-planet and the tiny house movement.

Surprisingly (to me), using 3D printers to quickly construct buildings is years old. Yingchuang New Materials Inc in China printed ten buildings in a single day, and they used recycled materials, inspiring an extra boost of optimism that our descendants won’t all live within giant trash heaps.

I totally missed that news in 2014.

That same year, a British company was in the news talking about 3D printing concrete buildings. The Russian house is concrete. This is how fast developments happen.

People: Loved to Pieces

People: Loved to Pieces

The lines between human and machine continue to blur, perhaps at a faster rate than during any time in the evolution of Homo sapiens. While technological developments make androids and algorithms more humanlike, they’re also bringing more artificial parts into humans.

Here’s an intimate look at some recent developments.

What do you notice about someone close to you?

Their smile?

F.A.C.E. is an expressive android, used as”an emotion conveying system” with a perfect smile.

Their eyes?

Not everyone can return your gaze (if you’re able-sighted), but that might change in the near future with the help of bionic eyes.

The feel of their skin?

Soft, robotic skin developed by Georgia Tech gives “a sense of touch that is at least somewhat analogous to” what healthy human skin feels. (There are those who might still prefer bioprinted skin for replacements.)

Is it the reassuring sound of their heart?

Whether they have an artificial heart, one needing the assistance of a robot, or one that has pumped in time to emotions since birth, does the heartbeat remind you that they live?

What about their mind?

Would it bother you to discover that they had once changed their mind–really, changed their mind’s home–with a mind transfer into an artificial brain?

We are going to be embracing a future when the game of “Would You Still Love Me If” steps up to another level, don’t you think?


Futuristic Fashion

Futuristic Fashion

It started with a shirt.

In one of the first passages I wrote for my current novel-in-progress, Aaron Stallard surprises Lexington Amis with a new outfit.

The shirt unfolded into a collaboration of silky red strips held together by straps of matching black leather. Was it actually a shirt? Lexi flipped the pieces around several times until they resembled one. Someone had confidence in his intelligence. This garment was a puzzle.

Why did Aaron choose this shirt? Where did he get it? These questions immediately birthed a new character, a fashion designer who shows up a few times later in the story.

That got me wondering more about what high-end fashion might look like 70 years in our future. What will it look like seven years from now?

Fashion designers are already incorporating what looks like futuristic technology into their designs.

Spider Dress by Anouk Wipprecht
Spider Dress by fashion-tech creator Anouk Wipprecht. Designed with 3D printing and microcontrollers, this dress reaches out when approached. There’s no need for bustles or brass knuckles to remind creeps to keep their distance.

Creator Anouk Wipprecht is “Rethinking Fashion in the Age of Digitalisation” with designs that include the skeletal Spider Dress (featured here), the Smoke Dress that surrounds its wearer in fog, and Living Pods, interactive flowery bots.

The sisters Ezra and Tuba Çetin created an “intelligent dress” that sets artificial butterflies aflight. You can see the design in motion in Intel’s video.

Using eye-tracking technology, designer Ying Gao has created a pair of dresses that light up and contort when stared at directly.

Other recent developments in wearable technology include cloth that blocks radio frequencies, unique uses of light and shadow as decoration, and couture that reacts to social media.

What we can look forward to, apparently, are clothing and accessories that interact with us and our environment for entertainment, decoration, and protection.

By the way, I wasn’t the first to imagine puzzling garments that serve more than one purpose. My fictional fashion designer was kinder on Lexi’s post-partying head than the incredibly imaginative Hussein Chalayan might have been. presented nine more designs for you to enjoy in “Technology is taking over our dresses, and the results are amazing” (2014).