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We’ve Been Dreaming of These 10 Inventions, and They’re Almost Here

We’ve Been Dreaming of These 10 Inventions, and They’re Almost Here

Innovation is moving so quickly that technologies bordering on science fiction may be within our reach shortly. Creative minds are able to think beyond size and cost limitations to build some truly stunning prototypes quickly and efficiently. Even projects that start out as mere concepts can become reality when the right minds and technology are blended. Take a look at these 10 future inventions that might be on the horizon, thanks to modern breakthroughs in science and technology.

1. Thought-Controlled Computers

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    What if you didn’t have to lift a finger to interact with your computer? We would be able to save so much time and energy typing out documents and building user interfaces that cooperate with mouse and keyboard inputs. How will future website look when you can control your computer with your mind?

    Just search for “brain-to-computer” interface, and you’ll discover many devices that already use inputs from our brains to perform tasks. For example, the New York Times describes how gaming companies, such as Emotive and Neurosky, are pioneering the brain-to-computer field by creating wearable brain-wave monitors that allow you to control virtual games. So far, the games are extremely simple. However, this technology could pave the way for entire computer systems controlled by our thoughts.

    2. Bionic Contact Lenses

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      TVs and computer monitors cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars. They aren’t always portable, and we have to replace them every few years as they wear out. But what if you could replace these machines with bionic contact lenses that project images directly onto your eyeball? This could give you an extremely private and personalized view of electronic content.

      Google Glass is probably the most accessible consumer product that gives us an inkling of what it could be like to have a wearable digital display. However, it’s possible that Glass is just the beginning. Researchers at the University of Washington are currently working on “microlenses” that project images directly onto the cornea of the wearer. So far, the bionic lens project has passed through animal trials, but has not been made available for human testing.

      3. Automated Cars

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        Think of all the hours you spend sitting in traffic. For drivers, the wait might not be so unbearable if you could take your eyes off the road and do something else during that commute. Perhaps you will be able to, soon. Google is working on a line of automated cars that might hit our future roads. The Google Self-Driving Car has already received road testing approval in four states: Nevada, Florida, California, and Michigan.

        4. Consumer Space Travel

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          Are you looking for your next relaxing getaway? Or perhaps you’re a thrillseeker, looking for some adventure. Soon, you might be able to escape Earth’s orbit and get a closer look at the stars. Programs like Virgin Galactic seek to bring everyday people out into space. Despite the recent space-plane crash tragedy, Virgin Galactic plans to continue to move forward with flight testing and development.

          5. Android Bodies

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            Soon we’ll be able to escape the mortality of skin, blood, and bones by escaping our corporeal bodies for cybernetic parts. Current innovations in prosthetic and robotic limbs are quickly transforming our concept of humanity. Just take a look at the LifeHand2, a prosthetic arm and hand that not only gives wearers greater motor control, but it also delivers sensory input directly into their brains, allowing users to actually feel shapes and movements.

            6. Water-Makers

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              Potable water is a commodity that many of us take for granted. While the Western world is inundated with taps that give us quick access to drinking water, there are many people around the globe who fear water scarcity. But what if you had a device that could somehow produce drinking water? Well, something like this already exists. Skywater has created a machine that pulls moisture from the air and turns it into drinking water. This company suggests that these machines can be used to provide emergency relief or in remote locations where water can’t be easily accessed.

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              7. Cancer Cures

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                Many believe that a cancer diagnosis would be one of the most terrifying things to hear at a doctor’s office. However, medical researchers have made leaps and bounds in early detection, treatments, symptom management, and risk mitigation. These factors have been turning the tides in fatality numbers and helping even more people survive a fight against cancer. These steps are helping us get even closer to a true cure for cancer. Organizations like the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center continue to move forward with treatment development and testing.

                8. Age Reversal

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                  Being able to undo the damage of the years, restore your vitality, and remove wrinkles sounds like a sci-fi fantasy. However, it might soon be reality. Google is funding an anti-aging research company known as “Calico,” which is attempting to solve some of humankind’s biggest obstacles when it comes to aging: neurodegenerative disorders. This organization has partnered up with a pharmaceutical company to develop drug treatments that could prevent the loss of our cognitive abilities in old age.

                  9. Artificial-Reality Escapes

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                    Sure, many of us are used to escaping mundane life by playing video games or watching TV. But as graphics and haptic technologies become more sophisticated, we have the potential to create even better virtual worlds. Luckily, Kickstarter seems to attract a significant amount of artificial-reality projects. Two noteworthy developments include the Oculus Rift 3D gaming headset and the Omni movement controller. Oculus Rift’s expansive field of view allows you to become immersed in the graphics of a game, blocking out all visual distractions. And the Omni platform controller enables you to run, jump, crouch, and walk through virtual environments unimpeded. You might even get to burn some calories while exploring your favorite first-person shooter.

                    10. Post-Scarcity Food Supply

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                      As human lifespans get longer and the world’s population grows, many of us wonder how we’ll be able to sustain the human race with enough food. There are already global populations who suffer from starvation, while other societies waste food products. What if we could find sustainable ways to create an abundance of food? While it’s not a magical meal in a pill, projects like the Soylent food substitute indicate that we might be able to distill all the nutrients we need into a single drink.

                      Featured photo credit: Jordanhill School D&T Dept via flickr.com

                      More by this author

                      Larry Alton

                      Business Consultant

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                      1 Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes And How To Tackle Them 2 The Power of Tapping into Your Hidden Creativity 3 How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic Throughout the Day 4 5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life 5 Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

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                      Last Updated on August 6, 2019

                      Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes And How To Tackle Them

                      Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes And How To Tackle Them

                      Procrastination is something many people can relate to and I, myself, have been there and done that. Yes, I write all about productivity now, but when I first started out on my career path, I would often put off work I didn’t want to do. And most of the time I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

                      So what changed?

                      I thought to myself, “why do I procrastinate?” And I started to read a lot of books on productivity, learning a great deal and shifting my mind to the reasons why people procrastinate.

                      My understanding brought me a new perspective on how to put an end to the action of procrastination.

                      Procrastination slows your goals and dreams way down. It can create stress and feelings of frustration. It rears its ugly head on a regular basis for a lot of people. This is particularly apparent at work with day-to-day projects and tasks.

                      But, why do people self-sabotage in this way? Essentially, there are 5 reasons behind procrastination. See if you can identify with any of these in your own work life.

                      1. The Perfectionist’s Fear

                      Procrastination is sometimes a subconscious fear of failure.

                      If you put off a task enough, then you can’t face up to the potential (and usually imagined) negative results. If you’re a stickler for minor details, the stress of getting things ‘just right’ may be too much and cause you to delay continuing the task.

                      Either way, fear is at the root cause and can sabotage your desire to move forward.

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                      How to Tackle It?

                      Try visualizing the completion of your task in a positive way.

                      For example, you have a presentation that your boss wants you to conduct for a potential client. Visualize yourself standing in the meeting room confident, meeting the eyes of the client and seeing them light up as you explain the concept simply and concisely.

                      Imagine your boss telling you how great you did and you were the best person for the job. Think about how it would feel to you and focus on this as you move forward with the task.

                      2. A Dreamer’s Lack of Action

                      This is a person who is highly creative and has many brilliant ideas but can’t quite seem to bring them to fruition.

                      The main reason for this is because there’s usually no structure or goal setting involved once the idea has been created. This aimless approach ends up manifesting as a lack of decision-making and significant delays on a project.

                      How to Tackle It?

                      Write down a timeline of what you want to achieve and by when. Ideally, do this daily to keep yourself on track and accountable for progression. Creative minds tend to jump from one idea to the next, so cultivating focus is essential.

                      If you’re designing and creating a new product at work, set out a task list for the week ahead with the steps you want to focus on each day. Doing this ahead of time will stop your mind from wandering across to different ideas.

                      Learn about how to plan your time and take actions from some of the successful people: 8 Ways Highly Successful People Plan Their Time

                      3. An Overwhelmed Avoider

                      This is one of the most common reasons for procrastination; the sheer overwhelm of a daunting task.

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                      The complexity of a task can cause the brain to lose motivation and avoid doing it altogether choosing instead to stay in its comfort zone.

                      The search then starts for a more enjoyable task and the harder tasks are put off. This can cause stress and dread when the task inevitably comes up to be completed.

                      How to Tackle It?

                      Break the challenge down into smaller tasks and tackle each one individually.

                      For example, if you have a project that has technical elements to it that you know you’ll find challenging, list each step you need to take in order to complete these difficult elements. Think of ways you can resolve potential hurdles. Perhaps you have a coworker that may have time to help or even consider that the solution may be easier than you initially think. Put each task in order of most daunting to least daunting. Ideally, try to deal with the more challenging parts of each task in the morning so that momentum is created as the tasks get easier through the day.

                      A reward system will also help you stay motivated so, once completed, you can enjoy your treat of choice.

                      If you want to know how to better handle your feelings and stay motivated, take a look at my other article: Procrastination Is a Matter of Emotion, Here’s How to Stop It

                      4. The Busy Bee Who Lacks Prioritization

                      Either you have too many tasks or don’t truly acknowledge the differing importance of each task. The result? Getting nothing done.

                      Time is spent switching constantly from one task to another or spending too much time deciding what to do.

                      How to Tackle It?

                      It’s all about priorities and choosing important tasks over urgent ones.

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                      Make sure to question the value and purpose of each task and make a list in order of importance.

                      For example, throughout your work day, you can waste a lot of time dealing with ‘urgent’ emails from colleagues but, you need to ask yourself if these are more important than working on a task that will affect, say, several office projects at once.

                      Help yourself to prioritize and set a goal of working through your list over the next few hours reassessing the situation once the time is up.

                      In my other article, I talk about an effective way to prioritze and achieve more in less time: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                      5. The One with Shiny Object Syndrome (Distraction-Prone)

                      This is another common cause for procrastination; just simple distraction.

                      Our brains aren’t wired to focus for long periods of time and it looks for something else. So throw in a bunch of colleagues equally looking for distractions or checking your phone mindlessly, and you’ve got a recipe for ultimate procrastination.

                      However, this type of procrastination may not always be an unconscious decision to sabotage and put off work. It’s simply a result of your work setup or types of coworkers you have. Only you know the answer to that.

                      How to Tackle It?

                      Be mindful of your workspace and potential distractions. Schedule a specific time to converse with your coworkers, put headphones on to minimize listening to what’s going on around you, and switch your phone off.

                      Aim to do this for 20-30 minutes at a time and then take a break. This will be a much more efficient way of working and getting what you need done. This is also why scheduling down time is so important for productivity.

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                      Whether this type of procrastination is self-sabotage or being a victim of a distracting environment, either way you can take control.

                      If you need a little more guidance on how to stay focus, this guide can help you: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

                      Bottom Line

                      I’m going to be bold and assume you identified with at least one of these procrastination pitfalls.

                      You could be trapped in the endless cycle of procrastination like I was, that is, until I decided to find out my why behind putting off tasks and projects. It was only then that I could implement strategies and move forward in a positive and productive way.

                      I killed the procrastination monster and so can you. I now complete my tasks more efficiently and completely killed that feeling of stress and falling behind with work that procrastination brings.

                      I know it’s not easy to stop procrastinating right away, so I also have this complete guide to help you stop it once and for all: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

                      Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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