Future Smart

Innovations that will shape the year 2018 and beyond.


Health care - Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre

September 2017 is when the FDA approved a little device that all diabetics around the world are going to swoon over. Well, maybe swoon is not a word diabetics are too fond of, but neither are needles, what with the hundreds of pin pricks that they nurse over a single year just to keep track of their sugar levels. With FreeStyle Libre, though, that will be a thing of the past. Stick a (waterproof) patch that is active for fourteen days on your arm and check your sugar levels by bringing the FreeStyle Libre close to the patch. And because there is no limit to the number of times you can use the device, you can be more scientific with the way you monitor your sugar levels.


Mobile phone hardware - Goodix Live Finger Detection

Unless you are a tech nerd, you may not have heard of a company known as Goodix. But your phone most probably uses their tech. Asus, Mi, Gionee and a lot of the Chinese manufactured phones have Goodix fingerprint detection devices. With their Live Finger Detection hardware, which will be a part of the next gen of flagship mobile phones, we will be closer, not just to more futuristic theft protection, but also online transactions that need our personal signature. The Live Finger Detector combines an optical and capacitive sensor in one. Which basically is geek for heart rate and bloodflow detection mapped to your fingerprint to prevent thieves with cellophane and an impression of your finger to unlock your phone. Even a chopped off finger won’t help. Just saying.


Necessity tech - Rescue Gear (Nimb)

WITHOUT THE NEED FOR STATISTICS, ALL OF US ARE AWARE THAT UNDER THE worst circumstances men, and especially women, are one wrong turn, one missed ride, one late night away from being in mortal danger. And, as much as mobile phones are useful, they are usually not always the easiest to access when under threat. That is where rescue gear like the innocuous looking ring, Nimb, comes into play. Worn on the ring finger (or any finger that fits really) this stylish piece of plastic and circuitry has a button on its underside, which when kept pressed can alert the Nimb centres to contact the police, the military or Rajinikanth, with GPS coordinates that it pulls off the victim’s mobile phone. Now run, hide and wait for the cavalry to arrive.


Social media - Augmented Reality

The flappy dog ears, the fake sunglasses, and those filters on Snapchat/Instagram are all augmented reality in its infantile stage. Over the next year, expect these to increase x50, not just in numbers, but in quality. Mark Zuckerberg has already spoken of how the next big thing on FB is to “mix the physical and the digital”. Snapchat is working with artists like Jeff Koons to contrive their mix of augmented reality. The new iPhone comes kitted with some zany AR gear, while Microsoft is betting big time on Hololens to save its sinking fortunes. Gaming, pornography, advertising, education, almost everything is going to get AR fitted over the next year, while companies like Magic Leap and Avegant are creating ridiculously high-tech AR gear that might change the way we interact with the world itself. Imagine a future where you stay in a crap studio apartment, but it has a dope AR skin. And if you think that it is too farfetched that everyone will be viewing the world through their mobile screens, just step out of the cave you have been living in and count the number of people staring at a screen around you.


MAX (Modular Agile Exoskeleton) by SuitX

This piece of tech won an Edison Award this year for office tech; we think it’s a travesty. A separate category like superhero tech or Batman tech would have been a more appropriate fit. It straps on to the back, and is a metal and hydraulics exoskeleton that allows its wearer to switch between three modes. ShoulderX mode lets you hoist heavy object overhead for a long time, BackX mode gives you enough support to hold back a car and LegX mode lets you squat for hours. So far MAX has revolutionised workforce efficiency in the construction space and is helping paraplegics and folks with muscular dystrophy. We think it could break new ground training white men to sit on Indian-style toilets. See what we did there - future tech, meets retro tech, meets gobar tech.


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