Category Archives: Uncategorized
By Dennis Draeger
Nanotechnologies offer a myriad of benefits and applications with more than 1300 nanotech-enabled consumer products from hair straighteners to cleaning fluids, but they also present several uncertainties and lack extensive regulation. As more products enabled by nanomaterials are released to the market, more workers risk exposure to potentially harmful materials—whether in a lab, a factory, or a construction site.
By Dennis Draeger
Sensory substitution is a method of replacing the information flow of one sense with that of another sense. The research dates back to the 1960s and has been used in various ways to help people with physical impairments. Biohackers and other researchers have recently adopted these techniques to enhance and extend the sensory experiences of the non-impaired with potentially practical applications, some of which might even enter the mainstream market.
Our latest public trend alert was initially inspired by a post on this blog. The question really is: “who needs paper?” With all the technology in modern life increasingly capable of accomplishing the same functions as paper, paper has become more of a want than a need, but society still wants it as you will see in the trend alert. It appears, however, that a balance is drawing ever nearer between paper use and that of electronics and between tactile and virtual experiences.
Hines was one of our professors at University of Houston. I cannot recommend Andy more. Here's a great video about the experiences professional futurists.
The idea of a paperless society has been talked about since the 70s. Professor F.W. Lancaster, who coined the phrase, expected its arrival by the end of the 20th century--a typical time horizon for prognosticators of his time period. However, we still use millions of reams of paper everyday, but a significant decline in paper's use is now being seen at least in the home printer industry.