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2017: Biggest breakthroughs in technology

2017: Biggest breakthroughs in technology

From electric cars, to cheap 360-degree cameras and self-driving trucks, 2017 has been an astounding year for technological breakthroughs. Here are some of the most notable new technologies that have come to the fore this year.

Self-driving trucks

Self-driving cars have been in development for some time now, but a startup called Embark has already built and launched self-driving trucks that are delivering refrigerators from Texas to California. Self-driving trucks are in some ways easier to operate and design as compared to self-driving cars since they do not face problems such as heavy traffic and diversions on long routes. Many truck drivers may find themselves out of jobs in the near future as this technology keeps getting better and more reliable.

360 degree cameras

It’s safe to say 2017 has been the year of 360 degree video, with mass implementation of the feature in social media websites such as Facebook. This trend can be attributed to the fact that 360 degree cameras have become smaller, better and cheaper; a Samsung Gear 360 can be bought on Amazon for as low as 150 dollars and an LG 360 pocket sized cam can be had for as low as 100 dollars. 360 degrees video, which once seemed like a far-fetched idea, has become commonplace in 2017. Click here to see a 360 degree image of NUST.

Increasingly high resolution monitors and screens

Dell unveiled its first 8k monitor in 2017 (yes, you read that right). The 32 inch monitor supports a resolution of 7680 by 4320, and has an astonishingly high pixel density of 280 ppi (pixels per inch). While the display costs over 3800 dollars at the moment, prices are sure to come down in the future as the technology gets better with time and gets easier to manufacture. It might not even be so far-fetched to think that monitors with resolutions of 4k and higher will become commonplace in homes in the coming year or two.

Reversing paralysis

Scientists have made extraordinary progress in reversing paralysis using electrodes and recording devices in 2017. Gregoire Courtine, a French neuroscientist, was able to reverse the effects of paralysis in a macaque monkey by placing a recording device underneath its skull and using electrodes attached to its spinal cord. This breakthrough is astonishing to say the least, and could mean that permanent treatments for paralysis may become available in the market in the future.

Hot solar cells

A team of scientists at MIT have created a device that captures energy from the sun by first converting sunlight into heat and then reconverting it back into light. This new device will most likely replace older solar cells entirely because of its efficiency; according to the scientists this new device will be twice as efficient as current solar cells once it is fully developed. This advancement in capturing solar energy, and other advancements in renewable energy, could finally signal the end of our reliance on fossil fuels.


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