The past few years have seen the rapid growth of touch screen technology, tablets and smart phones. Impact Science investigates what the future have in store for new technology.

Google Glass

They might look like a cross between something from a science fiction film and a pair of lab goggles, but what does Google Glass actually do? Designed by Google X it is a computerised hands free set which connects with the internet using voice commands. It allows you to take pictures, find directions, ask it facts, send messages and translate whatever you say, all from your voice. The glasses display data in your field of vision using a prism screen so information literally appears in front of your eyes.

So far three states in America have passed laws that have legalised the use of self-driving cars.

Driverless Cars

Also being developed by Google X, the software for these autonomous cars is called Google chauffeur. So far three states in America have passed laws that have legalised the use of self-driving cars. The cars have a laser radar system on their roof which allows the car to create a 3D map of its surroundings. This is then compared with detailed world maps, providing the car with the information of whatever’s around it. The car sticks to the local speed limit and uses sensors that keep it the correct distance from the car in front.

Transparent toaster: Magimix

The invention that could save a million breakfasts; the toaster you can see through. How many times have you put bread into the toaster, not realising how high it was turned up and then been alarmed by the sight of smoke and that burnt smell you just can’t get rid of. Well not any more, the Magimix transparent toaster allows you to watch your bread as it toasts so you’ll know just when it’s perfect. It’s made of double insulated glass and places metal plates behind quartz elements that sit in the corners of the toaster, evenly toasting the bread.

Atomium: The 3D food printer

3D printing is already set to be the future of medicine and engineering, but what about food? Atomium was designed by student Luiza Silva, and works by allowing you to choose the flavour and designs of your food. By sketching out whatever you would like to eat the machine then recognises and makes the shape using molecular ingredients.

The Gear synchronises with your Samsung phone and enables you to take calls, send texts, control media, search for the local weather and even take photos with the tiny inbuilt 1.9mp camera.

Samsung Galaxy Gear

The Samsung Galaxy Gear is the latest development of one of the hottest topics in the world of technology; Smart Phone watches. The Gear synchronises with your Samsung phone and enables you to take calls, send texts, control media, search for the local weather and even take photos with the tiny inbuilt 1.9mp camera. With a clear 1.6 inch touch screen on a coloured strap of your choice, the Gear is well built when compared with rival smart watches from Sony and Pebble. But all this comes at a hefty £300 price tag and has not fared well among critics, some citing it useless and frustrating to use. However smart watch development is still in its early years so will surely promise exciting things in the future.

Self-sterilising door handle

This door handle uses UV light to sterilise itself. When someone touches the handle the UV light switches off, as a concealed switch triggers it to turn on and off. Bathroom door handles in particular carry the most bacteria, with over 121 per square inch. The UV light kills these bacteria and prevents them from spreading.

Bev King & Jessica Hewitt-Dean

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Image: Michael Lis via Flickr

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