Remember that space-age 21st century future we used to read about when we were kids?
Well, it’s here now. Yep, flying cars and all.
Here are some of the inventions currently being refined that will make our lives better (or at least more fun).
The future is NOW.
1. The flying car.
A car that’s also a plane sounds like pure sci-fi. But Slovak company AeroMobil believe their flying cars could be on the market within two years. They drive like ordinary cars, and even fit into an average parking space. But they also have piloting controls, so if you have a pilot’s licence as well as a driver’s licence, the sky’s the limit. No more getting stuck in traffic on your way to work.
Admittedly, an AeroMobil flying car did crash in May, but thanks to the built-in parachute, the pilot survived. Just part of the testing process.
2. The driverless car.
This is so close to becoming reality. Driverless cars are going to be tested on Adelaide’s Southern Expressway in November. (Don’t worry – they’ll block off three lanes of traffic first). Think of the benefits. Your driverless car could drop your kids off at school and take your elderly mother to the doctor.
There are other advantages to the technology. Traffic could be centrally controlled, directing cars away from roadworks, and moving them to the side when an ambulance comes along. And no one would ever need to be the designated driver again.
3. The exercise pill.
Imagine your body getting all the benefits of exercise… without actually having to do any. Too good to be true, right? Well, researchers at the University of Southampton in the UK have discovered something they call Compound 14. It tricks cells into thinking they’ve run out of energy, so they increase their glucose uptake and metabolism. This is something normally only happens after exercise.
Tests of Compound 14 on mice showed that obese ones lost five per cent of their body weight in a week. There’s potential for a pill for humans. But if you’re only carrying a couple of unwanted kilos, you’ll probably still have to go to the gym.
4. The smart contact lens.
For a lot of people with diabetes, pricking their finger several times a day to test their blood sugar is a necessity. But a new contact lens could take away the need for finger pricks. The contact lens, being developed by Google and Novartis, would test people’s blood sugar using their tears.