Doesn’t it feel like we should already have jetpacks? Teleporters? Or meals in capsule form? We already have some impressive technology, like tablets, which are small computers that we can carry around. We can utilize the GPS in our cars to get around around town. We can post an update to our social media sites and reach thousands of people at once.
So, with all of this technology, why don’t we have jet packs yet? What issues 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. Consequently, the more limited our batteries are, the greater limitations we have technologically. They are a fundamental part of our technology, so we need to focus on improving them before we can really make leaps in technology. Thankfully, researchers at Chicago’s Northwestern University are developing 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
It may seem like most people are linked to the Internet, but this is a misconception. Most of the world doesn’t have access to the Internet. While this may not seem like it could hold back technological advancements, it does. The thought is that by limiting the amount of people who can contribute to the interconnectedness the Internet provides, we are limiting the amount of individuals who can collaborate. Until the vast majority of individuals are connected, technological developments are not going to happen as fast as they could.
The Business of New Tech
Last but not least there is the bureaucracy. Business matters, like patent laws, can slow down technological progress. Individuals and companies that develop innovative things have to first traverse these waters. But if government regulations are clear and simple to understand, it could reduce some of this.
Even though there are a few things that are holding technology back, it is still evolving at a rapid pace. Maybe we will finally get hover boards when battery technology catches up to our imaginations.