Technology’s possibilities: Aging baby boomers living like the Jetsons?

RosieAdvances in advanced materials processes, robotics and information technology, are creating products and processes that promote ease of lifestyle/use, safety and independence.  Products soon to come include:

– A high-tech pill dispenser that will operate like a computerized bubble-gum machine.  It will be like having an automated pharmacist with lights and alarms to alert the person when it is time to take medication.

– Monitors that will electronically send a person’s changes in body function – such as blood pressure, asthma, respiration, cholesterol, blood thinness, blood glucose and weight –  to their doctor on a regular basis. The doctor can then call the patient’s pill dispenser with an adjusted dosage, which will immediately begin dispensing more precise doses!

Don’t expect the Jetsons’ Rosie just yet to take care of us, do housework, cook meals and serve as companions. But robotic systems of lesser scope and scale soon will play key roles in everyday life and help us drive and shop.

– Futuristic shopping trips could involve a device that reads radio-frequency identification, or RFIDs (soon to replace bar codes on products). RFIDs will help us find the right products in the store, but also provide ingredients, health data and the price.

– Robotic vehicles that drive themselves will provide transportation for seniors who have lost their ability to navigate roads. Such robotic vehicles are already in development, as the Tartan Racing Team at Carnegie
MellonUniversity. In an upcoming competition, the team’s robotic car will attempt to travel, without human assistance, through a city environment while avoiding other traffic, abiding by signals and staying in the right lane, among other challenges.
Which of these would have the most impact in the world? What do you want invented next for you… or for the world at large?

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