With the new year, there’s a lot of excitement about new technologies, and while the last few years of technological development have been simply breathtaking, the gadgets of 2021 show absolutely no sign of slowing down what has been an exponential explosion of technological progress.
A little space reality, a self-guided cab, an immersive VCR, and, of course, a speaker powered by, you guessed it (you didn’t), water. Here are four of the most impressive and disconcerting pieces of technology that will be released this year.
Sony’s Spatial Reality Display
A special type of augmented reality that projects virtual images onto real objects, spatial reality has reached a point of development where Sony now offers a ridiculously accomplished display technology in the form of their Spatial Reality Display.
The SRD produces realistic three-dimensional visualization for the user without the need for an intermediate device, glasses, or headphones. The gadget uses a real-time rendering algorithm and integrated eye-tracking technology to detect eye movement in a millisecond by detecting the position of the pupil on the vertical, horizontal, and depth axes. Simply put, this means it knows exactly where you’re looking at any given moment, so the projected image remains perfectly 3D, regardless of your position.
Shower power in Ampere
In something a little newer but quite remarkable, Ampere’s Shower Power is a Bluetooth speakerphone designed for the shower, powered entirely by water. Once connected to your shower, the speaker’s generator uses the water flowing through it not only to produce music while you wash but also to charge the battery for up to 20 hours of unattended use.
Made from recycled ocean plastic, the eco-factor is strong with this one. But for those wondering how good the sound will sound, Ampere has worked with a number of Bluetooth speaker manufacturers, including Monster and Braven, to ensure the musical substance matches the sustainable style.
Virtuix Omni One VR Treadmill
If you have ever seen videos of people trying VR and therefore bumping into walls or crashing into and breaking furniture, you will understand that VR immersion is not yet completely fluid in practice. The Virtuix Omni One VR Treadmill, a four-foot-wide platform that allows you to move in a 360-degree radius, and detects even if you are crouching or kneeling, is here to change that.
The next big step in making the home VR experience as real as possible, the Omni One’s relatively portable size makes it rightfully accessible to most home users.
Zoox Autonomous Personal Vehicle
The dream of those who worry about awkward conversations with their cab driver, Zoox took a decision straight out of the Minority Report/I Robot and co. manual and introduced a stand-alone personal vehicle call service.
One of the next steps in futurology over the current basic Uber, Lyft, and other hail services, Zoox offers a spacious indoor cab with two benches that allow you to sit comfortably while the car makes its way through traffic for you. This should make the future of the cab safer, cleaner, and a little more fun.
These four gadgets are just a handful of the utterly confusing technologies that will be coming to market this year. Since locking has saved many of us a little bit of money, some of us may be able to afford one or two of these gadgets (the Amp Shower Power should cost about $100, for example). However, keep in mind that some of these gadgets are very expensive and you will need to budget carefully to make room for them.
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