Print Your Future

The future of technology as we know it is incredibly bright. Every day, new developments help spur further innovation and bring us the products of tomorrow. In this blog post, I wish to explore just a tiny microcosm of that future and discuss it.

Currently, there are many promising things coming out from R&D and Scientific Research teams all over the world. Probably one of the most remarkable and recent materials known to date that man is able to produce is called Graphene. Graphene is a single two dimensional layer of carbon atoms that has a plethora of uses. Like diamond, it is incredibly hard, however it is extremely flexible, virtually invisible to the naked eye, conducts electricity extremely well, among many other uses.

The potential of this material to change the world as we know it is astounding. Researchers have already thought of uses for it in future gadgets, such as a flexible wrist band that can transform into your phone or tablet, and then be converted back into your wrist strap once you’re done using it. Recently in the news, researchers have begun to use graphene as a lens to get a better view of liquids at the molecular scale. As production methods get better and better, it won’t be soon before the material can be fully commercialized and its uses are even further exploited by competing research teams and companies.

In 2022, I imagine that the most common use of graphene will be by, what are now cellphone companies, futuristic telecommunication companies as the demand for thinner, sleeker, more durable, flexible phones and tablets from the consumer market grows. I envision that the future generation will not know what it is like to have to “carry” a “phone” with them all the time. As the phones themselves become so flexible that they would be used as accessories to clothes, not just as a communication device. This will help other technologies, such as devices that can display “virtual layers” on the world, as a material such as graphene would be incredibly light and strong, and it’s near transparency would make that virtual layer experience ever more livid.

Expanding on the virtual layer development, I believe that the future, 2022, will make use of this technology in everyday life. No longer will we need to look at a calender, because we will have the ability to see one wherever we look. It will become impossible to get lost in this sort of reality, as direction arrows magically appear before our feet, guiding us to our destination. Indeed, this is the type of technology that can shape the future for good, but a fully immersed layered society can become harrowing if malicious advertising is used, literally, to cloud our vision from what we really want to see. In general, however, I see many incredible useful software being developed for such a platform, whatever it is, enhancing our lives for the better.

Another technology that I see developing currently and preparing to hit the consumer market are 3-D printers. These printers allow one to literally print out anything that they have the plans for (and of course, the various liquid compound it would take to make it).

Keeping 3D printing in mind, do you know what DS106 is? DS106 is a project that lets many different users all over the world collaborate and share their works with many others in an attempt to learn and develop. Now imagine having a world where you can openly share your 3-D design, share it, and then print it out at your house once you are done. In the year 2022, this is what I imagine for the next generation. With 3-D printing being common in every household, it will no longer be necessary to go to the store for something like clothes hangers or toys. One can simple “print out” these objects in a matter of minutes and use them as they wish. Moreover, children will be able to design their own toys and then have the pleasure of seeing what their finished creation is actually like. It is the same as being able to draw a picture, and have it come to life right before your eyes. It is this future that I believe 3D printing can eventually bring us.

There are numerous other uses that 3-D printing is used for or can be used for (such as replacement joints and bones).

My view may be optimistic, however, I believe that one day this will come to pass. A future of flexibility and independence brought on by the innovation today.

Leave your comments below! Thank you!


2 responses to “Print Your Future

  1. This is an awesome blog post. The idea that a wrist band could form into a phone is an interesting idea. Could really come in handy if you drop your phone a lot like I do.

  2. I don’t really get the excitement over 3d printing – probably because I don’t fully understand the technology. Some of the ds106 folks at UMW have been playing with a 3D printer called MakerBot and are hoping to use it for future assignments.

    Thanks for giving this glimpse in to the future of printing.

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