Elon Musk’s Hyperloop.
Musk is rumoured to be the man that may have more impact historically on humanity than Bezos, Gates and Jobs combined. Not only does he possess a surname not ending in the letter ‘s’, he also is demonstrably more diverse and multi-task-oriented in his goals than the other three tech-based giants.
One of the many strands he is looking after at the moment is his Hyperloop train. This is a train that will run on vacuum technology. He has promised the world that his train will run from the Los Angeles to San Francisco in just a fraction over a half an hour. After his The Boring Company has made the tunnel, his unique vacuum-led energy system will generate astonishingly ecologically-sound energy generation.
If you fancy riding a 760 miles per hour train with virtually zero ecological impact, you need to think of buying one of the early tickets for the Hyperloop when they become available in approximately nine years time. If Elon Musk can save the planet by reinventing the car industry, he can certainly run a decent train service between LA and SF.
In America technologists are hard at work creating a fully automated in-car policeman that can take readings of the driver’s recent alcohol intake. The US State is funding academic and technology processes that are exploring two avenues.
Never drink and drive, especially if these are your wheels.
The first technology is a breath sensor system. Embedded on the top of the steering wheel is a thin trough with a firm gauze covering which is driver facing. The trough then emits rays of light within itself. As the driver gets into the vehicle and starts to breathe the molecules in the drivers breath are monitored and grouped by size within the trough and the information is fed to the connected computer. Ethanol molecules have a distinctive shape and are a different width compared to the oxygen and carbon dioxide in the breath. If the computer recognises the driver has a certain level of ethanol in their breath then the car automatically deactivates itself and is immobilized.
The other detection system is via the start button on the car. Not only does this button ignite the engine, but the combined technology inside the button sends a light recognising laser beam through the finger and takes a recording of the light levels in the blood. Ethanol in the blood gives off different light refraction readings to any other substance in the blood, so blood alcohol levels can be ascertained very accurately. Again, if the driver has been drinking too much, the car is immediately immobilized.
US Highway Safety National Administration, who funds the project, has come under criticism for being an agent for an encouraging a nanny state, but supporters of the system say it will make our roads safer, and any ‘big brother’ corollaries that result can be forgiven for that reason.
Individuals’ brain waves are all uniquely different when triggered by certain visual stimuli. This technology is very much one for the distant future but computer and tech experts are developing computer passwords that are connected to brain waves. Very much in the same way that CapTure have developed online visual tools (‘click all the boxes that contain a vehicle/a road sign’ etc) which make sure that computer users are ‘not a robot’, in the future we will be offered visual stimuli and our personal brain responses to this stimuli will grant us access to all our computer and online documents.
Brainwave passwords will be keeping it a little more simple than this…
Researchers are currently conducting early tests with humans using brain wave monitors and presenting them with certain acronyms. When a brain sees an acronym it goes into a hyper suggestive mode trying to either recall what the acronym means or invent what the acronym might mean. In tests with one hundred people, after establishing each individual’s response pattern in general, the researchers then offered new acronyms to the volunteers. The software guessed each individual with a 94% accuracy level.
This technology is obviously many years away, but the holy grail of drama-free and hacker-proof passwords is going to happen in reality one day for us, even if it is for our children or grandchildren.
Technologically-astute best before dates.
An unbelievable amount of supermarket purchased food is thrown away. Estimates vary between thirty percent and fifty percent. This is a shocking waste of food, and more particularly of the earth’s precious resources. Scientists have developed a label that organically responds to the individual contents of an individual pack. If you are a betting man or woman, you can be assured of fairly good odds that the boffins are going to make this one happen.
Not many things can beat the taste of delicious fresh milk.
Many supermarkets are very conservative with their estimates of best before dates and use-by dates because they are fearful of the court cases being brought against them. But as history has marched on it is becoming clear that a much worse overall dilemma is the number of greenhouse gases that are being generated to be used in making food that will simply be thrown away. Food that wasn’t actually really that bad in the first place.
The technology monitors the proteins within the packaging of each individual item and when certain changes occur during deterioration of the product then small physical bumps appear on the packing itself to show the consumer that their goods are no longer edible.
Initial trails have been carried out on milk and the results have shown a significant reduction on the amount of milk wasted. In the future the company hopes to develop new technologies for the measuring deterioration of carbohydrates and other foodstuffs that are harder to monitor on an innate organic level. But whatever the tech experts can do to rescue the ridiculous amount of food wastage across the globe is going to be a good thing. Look out for bio active labelling at your local supermarket soon.