The latest tech: Laser-beamed Internet and driverless cars – Tallahassee.com
For todayâs technologyÂ journey, we look to the future.
What is next for technology? The Cloud is here, artificial intelligence is here, 3D printing is here (we have one at the office, very cool), and many other new faces of tech are becoming mainstream. “Whatâs next?”Â is a big conversation. Letâs start with Mr. Facebook, MarkÂ Zuckerberg, and see he has in store.
Mark has always big a big proponent of bringing Internet connectivity to regions that because of economic conditions do not have the access that most Americans do. Their initiative is called internet.org and the basic package is available now in 38 countries giving 19 million users access to the internet that may not have had it otherwise.
In order to expand this initiative, the FB team is working on deploying solar-powered drone aircraft that will beam Internet service via laser to regions where land-based infrastructure is not a viable option. This is truly visionary work and I hope they succeed. There are several hurdles and barriers that must be successfully navigated, but they have the financial resources in place and the commitment to work miracles, so we will see.
Smartphone manufacturers are spending lots of R&D money on flex tech. Devising phones and tablets that can bend or roll up like a scroll. As my friend Shawn just said, âWhy donât they make phones that work better, and focus on that?â Well, they arenât.
There are also flexible phones now available that offer plastic screens and have a more contoured look that should reduce glare and fit your face better while holding it up for a call. These phones do not bend. Do not get âflexâ and âflexibleâ confused.
The main benefit here with the flexible is the fact that the phones are plastic and not glass, so feel free to drop it and not have to run to the corner store that specializes in screen repair. Talk about an explosive growth industry. There is one on every corner, but not for long, as here comes plastic.
I had a guy in the office last week who I walked out to his car to continue our conversation and his car starts coming towards us. He is smiling and telling me about the feature (summons) that sends his Tesla Auto to him. Pretty sweet ride.
The summons function is a nice example of where the automobile industry is heading. Thatâs right, campers,Â driverless cars. So much for new outfits like Uber coming to pick you up. Jump in and roll, do your workout routine in the car, have some beers, play the Operation board game with your kids. It is very interesting to imagine the possibilities. The shift has been compared to the massively disruptive and still ongoingÂ shift from brick and mortar stores to e-commerce.
Tesla CEO ElonÂ MuskÂ said that in two years you can summon your car from across the country. The White House has also chimed in, earmarking $4 billion over 10 years for autonomous car research. They even rolled out a test model called the Obama-Car (just like Obama-Care?). OK, I made that up.Â Itâs a catchy name, though.
The Internet, phones, and carsÂ are some of our favorite things and they are changing faster than Lady Gaga changes outfits at a show. Disruption is here, now. Buckle up.