Futuristic Computers: What's the Next Step for Technology?


Article Title: Futuristic Computers: What’s the Next Step for Technology?

Article Content:
As some of us struggle to figure out how to work our smartphones and laptop computers, others are already bored with what we’ve got and can’t wait for a glimpse into the future of technology. What’s on the horizon? Let’s enter the time warp and take a peek.

Strap on a Computer Bracelet

Image via Flickr by kodomut

Smartphones may be like having a mini computer, but there are limits to smartphones, and there’s always the possibility of losing it. Researchers are tackling this problem with a computer wristband that does things even your savviest smartphone will envy. Prototypes of this bracelet feature the ordinary touchscreen, but also sport a holographic projector that works as a monitor.

Expected to reach the marketplace by 2020, this bracelet also dons an extra keyboard that slides out from the wristband and expanded social networking capabilities. It lays flat for easier access. The biggest challenge in development is creating an organic light emitting diode (OLED) that is flexible and affordable.

Gather ‘Round a Spherical Multi-User Touch Screen

Image via Flickr by Kyle McDonald

For most single-user desktop applications, you can’t beat the old rectangular monitor. But if you’ve got a group of users working together on a project, a spherical monitor is more effective. Researchers are developing a sphere-shaped touchscreen monitor that allows viewing and touch access at 360-degrees.

The prototype includes a projector and infrared camera. Though developers have a few ideas about how this device could be applied, they’re hoping that the innovation sparks other developers to take the idea even further. Current applications in progress for this monitor include a picture and video browser, an interactive globe, finger painting and video conferencing.

This monitor would let a group of people view a video conference or webinar while sitting around a table, rather than having to try to set up a flat screen that everyone in the room can see. If you’ve ever attended a video conference with a group of people, you know what a good thing this would be.

Manipulate Virtual Objects With Motion-Sensing Interactive Monitors

Image via Flickr by KendraKaptures

Remember the movie Hunger Games when the game makers tapped a big screen in the control room and made things happen in the arena? Well, the next technology coming is just a step away from this. As with the game makers, this device will allow users to literally manipulate the computer via motion.

The current prototype, designed by students at MIT, uses a clear screen propped up over an ordinary keyboard. Users can switch between manipulating simulated objects behind the screen and using the keyboard as usual. The device uses infrared sensors to detect what users are manipulating behind the transparent screen. According to developers, the most challenging part is making the 3D images appear realistic from any angle.

The Future is Smaller, Greener and More Portable

Image via Flickr by IntelFreePress

Many innovations on the horizon are a new take on our current technologies. For instance, Lenovo Ultrabooks are more portable, lighter and consume less power than their predecessors, yet deliver all the computing power needed by a pro on the go. Consumers are demanding more from their devices, lighter devices and devices they can use anywhere.

Green technology is another front-runner in future plans. Even users that aren’t concerned with the planet want devices that use less power, because it’s easier on the pocketbook. The future? It’s almost here.

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