The future is now

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Back to Article

The future is now

Sources:, Hiroshi Nishimasu, F. Ann Ran, Patrick D. Hsu, Silvana Konermann, Soraya I. Shehata, Naoshi Dohmae, Ryuichiro Ishitani, Feng Zhang, Osamu Nureki,, and

Sources:, Hiroshi Nishimasu, F. Ann Ran, Patrick D. Hsu, Silvana Konermann, Soraya I. Shehata, Naoshi Dohmae, Ryuichiro Ishitani, Feng Zhang, Osamu Nureki,, and

Sources:, Hiroshi Nishimasu, F. Ann Ran, Patrick D. Hsu, Silvana Konermann, Soraya I. Shehata, Naoshi Dohmae, Ryuichiro Ishitani, Feng Zhang, Osamu Nureki,, and

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While this generation is one of many stuck before the era of what many would consider to be “the future”—flying cars, chrome-covered everything, even maybe some lightsabers or a Death Star—innovation is constantly around us, even if its use is as pointless as a specialized container for avocados.



While these may not be nearly as cool as flying cars to some readers, Google’s Self-Driving Car Project has made recent news with their tiny vehicles, outfitted with advanced 360° sensors that can detect obstacles up to a length of two football fields away. While these cars are not completely free of human riders yet, progress on the navigating and safety technology of the vehicles has reached stages closer and closer to that point. Currently, each car has a “safety driver,” an individual present and ready to take the wheel if anything goes haywire. The aim of the project is, as Google puts it, is to help “everyone…get around easily and safely, regardless of their ability to drive.”




Even though the sophomore year biology class everyone takes probably left you with the knowledge that your genes cannot be changed, CRISPR, also known by its longer name of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (try saying that three times fast), is a recently discovered genome editing tool that currently holds high scientific potential. Humans have altered and tweaked genomes for centuries, but only through CRISPR has a way been found to edit genes in a way so beneficial to humankind. CRIPSR has already been tested on everything from preventing previously unpreventable diseases to creating “designer babies”. Thankfully, the latter is a far, far away from being offered to the public.




Antisocials and music lovers alike, heads up! Sound technology-based company Doppler Labs is currently working on a pair of wireless earbuds known as Here Active Listening that not only lets you turn up the volume on your favorite songs, but also turn down the volume on everything else. However, these are far from the pair of earbuds you probably have stuffed in your backpack or pocket right now. Rather than just playing through pre-recorded music, Here Active earbuds change the way you hear the real world. Want some peace and quiet in a busy space? Just pop in the two earbuds, and use the included app to mute out daily annoyances such as screaming children, traffic and general chatter. The system can also be used to alter the way you hear just about anything, giving you the ability to hear just the performing artist at a concert or cutting out a DJ’s ceaseless echo effects. Doppler Labs invites you to “Instagram your ears.”




For just $200, you too can tape a triangle to your forehead! Thync, a small device that you attach with an adhesive strip right above your brain, makes use of neurosignaling waveforms to trigger the specific areas of the brain that can calm and energize you. While a device that can alter your feelings might sound just a little bit like mind control, Thync has been tested on several thousand individuals and, like all other products, certainly has its benefits and downfalls. Specifically, Thync markets itself to those involved with fitness, a job that keeps them high-strung or trying to deal with sleeping issues, claiming that the device’s ability to signal specific nerves can provide a solution to the stress of lack of energy that comes with modern life. But “cheap” is not a word in Thync’s vocabulary; the one-use adhesive strips used to attach Thync can only be bought in boxes of five for $20, and the device itself can run from $200-$300 depending on where you buy it.




Well… almost. Amazon’s Echo works almost like an advanced version of Siri that, of course, includes its fair share of those infuriating little speech errors. But on Echo’s benefits, calling out to Echo (which is also officially named Alexa by Amazon) will provide you access to an array of commands such as vocally adding items to lists or notes, turning on music, reading you audiobooks, reporting on recent news or even turning on the lights without even having to clap your hands. The list of commands extends on and on, with new features being added at each update. If this kind of robot butler is not your style, you could always try a pre-order of the real deal.

About the Writer
Photo of Hannah Hoffmann

Grade: 12
Years on staff: 4
Life soundtrack: "With Any Sort Of Certainty" by Toh Kay.
Most passionate about: "Disorders and...

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