Friday, May 4, 2012

The Factors that are Limiting Technology

Remember watching sci-fi movies as a kid and thinking we would have jetpacks in the future? Or teleporters? We don’t have these technologies yet but we do have many impressive technologies that seem straight out of a sci-fi movie. Our cars can guide us around a city, via GPS. We can carry tablet computers around with us that hold all of our data. And we can speak with associates around the globe at the push of a button.

So, with all of this technology, why don’t we have jet packs yet? What factors are keeping us from making these technological leaps?

Building a Better Battery

Batteries power nearly all of our technology, particularly as we move into a more mobile world. As a result, the more limited our batteries are, the more limitations we have technologically. They are an integral part of our technology, so we need to concentrate on enhancing them before we can really make leaps in technology. Luckily, researchers at Chicago's Northwestern University are creating a more powerful lithium-ion battery, which we discussed in a blog post last week. This could solve this issue in the coming years.

Improving Internet Access

It may seem like everybody is linked to the Internet, but this is a fallacy. Most of the world doesn’t have access to the Internet. While this may not seem like it could hold back technological advancements, it does. The reasoning is that by limiting the amount of people who can contribute to the interconnectedness the Internet provides, we are limiting the amount of people who can collaborate. Until the vast majority of people are connected, technological developments are not going to happen as fast as they could.

The Business of New Tech

This might not come as a shock, but business matters impede technological advancements as well. For instance, patent laws, and government regulations. If these things are not clear, pioneer technology can sit in red tape limbo for a long time. To avoid this last step bottleneck of the creation process, laws must be clear and easy to grasp.

The good news is that none of these limitations can truly stop technology from developing. Just think ahead to the holiday season of 2020. Who knows what innovations will be awaiting us.

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