Smithsonian Future is Here

by Edward Henkler on June 30, 2015

The future is here!

The future is here if you read the May 2015 Smithsonian. Perhaps I’m just a fan of the Smithsonian’s eclectic monthly collection of articles but they make an excellent case. On my recently launched TheBlindGuide, I distinguish between evolutionary and revolutionary technology. My new site is focused on enabling technology for individuals who are blind but I believe the two categories apply in many other settings. Going back a few years, each new generation of laptop was an evolutionary change. Someone conceiving they could put most of a laptop on a phone which also happened take exceptionally good pictures was revolutionary. It transformed our world into a mobile society which relies less and less on desktop computing solutions which were revolutionary not that long ago.

Returning to the May 2015 Smithsonian, I’d encourage you to look through the entire magazine. Here’s a sampling of offerings which might intrigue you. While these technologies could all be considered revolutionary, I think you’ll agree what I reserve at the end is differentially more incredible. Evolutionary future technology includes:

  • An article about the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which is experimenting with 3D printing of organs. Someday their technology will eliminate the need for organ donors and the painfully long current waits for life saving transplants.
  • EpiBone, a two-year-old company based in Harlem, New York, is developing technology which will permit the growing of bones from a patient’s own stem cells.
  • The Hendo hoverboard, invented by Greg Henderson and launched with the help of his wife, Jill, shifts the movie Back to the Future into current day reality.
Future technology

Future technology will transform healthcare and our world!

And now a revolutionary technology sampling:

  • This article makes you think that mental telepathy might be closer than you think (Hello Mr. Spock)
  • And lastly, Ken Hayworth, is a neuroscientist experimenting with ways to upload your brain to the cloud.

I’ll close with a quote from the magazine. Although it isn’t about technology, it captures the intrinsic value of cognitive diversity. Rhigel Tan, a professor of nursing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, says “I believe in the beauty of diversity, but I don’t believe in the melting pot. In the melting pot, you lose your identity. In the stew pot, you’re the potato, I’m the carrots, and everyone knows who they are.”

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