Technologies that surprised in 2012

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The main selection criterion was the speed of development, multiplied by the potential significance of the technology in the future. So, let’s start with information technology, which, in general, has developed faster than others. This is especially true for interfaces. The most radical of these is BCI, or brain-computer interfaces.

The Universities of Pittsburgh and Johns Hopkins conducted research on primates and humans with sensors implanted under the skull. This technology is called electrocardiography (Eco). The projects were funded by the US National Institutes of Health and the Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA). Their potential is huge, because. they can, in principle, erase the line between a computer and a person and give rise to new creatures whose brains are directly integrated into a computer.

Similar in potential projects include Avatar Ergo Sum, in which the subjects were induced the illusion of leaving their own body. They used HMD – a helmet with stereoscopic glasses that creates a virtual world. As a curiosity, let’s recall the clay-like interfaces that can be sculpted.

The next technology, or rather a group of technologies, is the control of combat robots. In 2012, Dream hammer announced a project for a unified operating system for Ballista combat robots. This attempt to unify the control of combat robots indicates a fairly high development of this area.

which is faced with the need to unify and consolidate data standards and speed up the training of combat vehicle control personnel. Needless to say, when combat robots become a common means of warfare and, even more so, when they become part of the arsenal of law enforcement agencies, our world will change dramatically. iRobot, which makes Roomba and Scuba robot vacuums (a nice $300 Christmas gift, by the way), also released a new Warrior 710 combat robot this year.

Stuxnet, Dudu, Wiper, and this year Flame are the names of the viruses that infect computers and networks on a global scale. They disabled production facilities in Iran and stole vast amounts of information from computers around the world. The sophistication of these viruses.

most likely created by professional hackers in the service of government agencies, speaks of one thing – computer warfare has become a reality. Its “guerrilla component” – hacker attacks on large companies and government agencies directly affect consumers. It can be expected that virus and bot warfare will be actively improved, and it must be noted that computer defense systems are still noticeably lagging behind.

The LAPD this year received a system from startup company PredPol, which bases its developments on research from the universities of California and Santa Clara. This is a system of computer predictions, which have a great future not only in predicting the places and nature of future crimes based on a large amount of historical data.

but also in many other areas where human memory and information access speed are not enough. Platinum Blue Music Intelligence, for example, can predict with 85% accuracy whether a newly recorded song will become a hit. Moreover, it does not work on historical data, like many machine learning programs, but on the basis of selected dominants of music perception. Face.com uses the same class of machine learning algorithms for an area that should be categorized.

Klik is a free mobile phone program that recognizes people who are caught on the phone’s camera. Face recognition is just the foundation here, and the scope of this technology in social networks opens up a number of possibilities. Not only a personal mobile device, but a huge computer network can now track millions of people who fall into the frame of someone’s camera.

This is the whole Eldorado for advertising agencies, detectives and criminals. To outline the potential impact of this technology on the future, it is enough to imagine that wherever you go, you will be known by sight. By the way, this is already happening: in many metros of the world, face recognition systems from security cameras are installed.

A similar task, but by other means, is solved by mobile technologies for precise localization in space over local networks. Broadcom, for example, produces chips that determine the position from signals from local WiFi and BlueTooth networks. ShopKick uses ultrasound for the same purposes from points installed in stores and other premises. Phones themselves are often equipped with sensors that not everyone knows about. They can often determine and record altitude, and use motion sensors to determine location where there are no networks, even cellular ones.

John Herlihy, Google’s vice president of Internet sales, believes that in about three years, phones will completely replace desktops. The chief made this prediction for the first time last year.

Previously, smartphones (mostly BlackBerrys) were used only by businessmen to perform simple commands, such as reading email. Today, according to the Nielsen smartphone report, 43% of mobile phone owners use smartphones. Now people are entrusting these devices with the functions that were previously assigned to desktop personal computers – browsing the web and playing video games.

Therefore, experts believe that mobile devices will completely replace traditional computers. Analyst Mary Meeker believes that no later than next year, smartphone sales will exceed PC sales.

It is expected that in the near future, devices will be charged with new batteries based on energy-saving polymer membranes, which will last 20 times longer and be 10 times cheaper than traditional Lithium ion batteries.

Such a revolution in the battery market could well solve the problem of a relatively short charge retention time. Even if this problem is not at all software related, as it was with the battery in iOS 5, still the batteries of modern devices do not hold a charge for as long as we would like. Since the introduction of lithium ion batteries, which made a real breakthrough in the market 15 years ago, this technology has not yet found competitors until today. However, things could change drastically thanks to developments at the molecular scale.