How advanced is your technology? Most of us could benefit from an upgrade, and you won’t believe the kind of real tech available—and how budget friendly most of it is! Check out these mind-blowing options whether you’re looking to splurge for yourself, shopping for the techie who has everything or simply want to have a few incredible ice-breaker conversations tucked up your sleeve:
- 3D Printing Hair. Having 3D printers, even for personal use, is overplayed. However, 3D printing hair as a means of curing hair loss is next-level incredible. Forget synthetic hair, costly and painful hair transplants, or other means of hiding thinning, disappearing hair. Why not print your own hair and let a professional “fill in the blanks?”
- Flying cars. The AeroMobil 3.0 is the real deal. Flying at you out of Slovakia, it’s been in development for nearly 30 years. It races up to 124 mph and can fly around 430 miles with a full tank of gas. At 29 mpg in driving mode (ahem, on highways), it’s a pretty competitive commuter option, too.
- Self-tying shoes. It had to be done in 2016 in keeping with the Back to the Future Of course Nike came out with the first pair of self-tying shoes, but with a price tag of $720, sneakerheads might be more inclined to seek out some original Jordans to rock.
- Commercial spaceships. If you thought flying first class on an international flight was expensive, those prices have nothing on a seat aboard the Virgin Galactic (yes, that Virgin—as in the telecommunications company). You can’t book your intergalactic flight just yet, but as of March 2, 2017, Virgin announced progress in human spaceflight operations, small satellite launches and advanced aerospace design. If you want to make sure to get a seat, reservations are being taken (in full) for a measly $250,000.
- A cure for HIV. Okay, technically only one person has been cured of HIV, but researchers are considering the three possible factors that may have done the job. Timothy Ray Brown got a transplant from someone with a rare mutation that changes the receptors HIV targets. He was “conditioned” via chemotherapy which destroyed his own immune system, and it’s also possible “graft vs. host” disease took place from the transplanted cells.
- Not in the Star Trek sense, but researchers have succeeded at quantum entanglement. Some items, like electrons, are capable of this. Regardless of where they are, with quantum entanglement what happens to one instantly affects the other. In the two experiments that have been done, a message was coded on a photon; it was “sent” to another photon for entanglement, and when received, the information in the first was destroyed. It won’t make traveling for vacations faster, but it’s still pretty cool.
- Instant spoken translation. Waverly Labs is getting ready to launch their Pilot translation earpiece, equipped with an assortment of languages. Simply speak as normal, and the person wearing the other headpiece (selected to their language of choice) “hears” you in their preferred language.
- Jurassic Park (for real). Murmurings about cloning dinosaurs, starting with prehistoric flightless birds, began in 2015, and scientists estimate we’re about eight years ago. Chickens are pretty close relatives to “dino-birds,” and researchers are well on their way to making this a reality. No T-Rex’s, please. Until then, Japan is well on its way to creating animatronic dinosaurs for the closest thing to Jurassic Park you’re going to get.
- Augmented reality. Forget virtual reality—augmented reality is where it’s at. For now it’s in prototype, including the recently leaked Magic Leap that offers images that seem to be “real.”
- Control your dreams. If only the A Nightmare on Elm Street characters were around (and awake) to check out iBand. The headband promises to let dreamers control their fantasies for just around $300 by letting dreamers realize their state without waking.
A lot of “future tech” is healthcare-centric, which comes with specific hurdles. Stricter regulations including the HIPAA in the US, the risk of security breaches in this industry, and “growing pangs” in the hospital leadership realm have slowed down adoption in healthcare and the medical field. However, slowing down is a lot different than a “no-go” zone. It might take a little longer for a cure for HIV to happen than flying cars for all, but with healthcare safety regulations comes a better tech-rich future.