Innovations to Look Forward to In 2015

Waking up to the blaring of your alarm on the first Monday back after winter break is probably one of the five worst sounds on the planet. We grudgingly pull ourselves out of the comfort of our cozy beds, and so ends the cherished vacation, the holiday season, and all of the memories made in 2014. This year, as I woke to the obnoxious strumming of my phone at  6 a.m. sharp on that dark January 5th, I decided not to dread the transition back into the regular swing of things, but rather to embrace it. A new year is a time for new opportunities: traveling to Europe, getting fit, finally writing that paper that’s been hanging over your head for months, or maybe even dying your hair pink. Whatever you decide to do this year make it unforgettable, because the world is certainly gearing up for a memorable 2015!

Technology/Science

scott kelly1. In March, astronaut Scott Kelly will begin his mission to spend a year in space, the longest time ever for a U.S. astronaut. The data collected will show how humans adapt to life in space and will pave the way for exploration of our solar system. I know I’ll be checking his twitter for updates . . . talk about the best vacation ever!

2. The Internet will get faster on our phones in January. Thanks to a new HTML code, instead of loading large image files regardless of the device you’re using, browsers will adapt downloads based on screen size and signal strength. Reduced size of downloads equals reduced time it takes to view them. So, everyone here at HHS will be able to see the few webpages the school hasn’t blocked in record time!

3. Starbucks will debut its new Duracell Powermat mobile-charging pads in stores nationwide. The pads look like high-tech coasters and are built into tables and counters throughout the store. All phones or devices sitting on top of the pads will be charged — no annoying wires in sight.

smartphone4. Samsung will start to incorporate foldable screens into some of its phones and tablets by the end of this summer. The screens are as thin as paper, and could lead to phones that expand into tablets, or even tablets that fold up and fit in your pocket. This only means one thing . . . Netflix viewings will become ten times better, of course.

5. In-flight wireless should become truly usable by the end of 2015. AT&T promises to create a wireless network on planes as speedy as the service you receive on the ground by building an air-to-ground LTE network. You’ll be able to use your own data plan instead of buying a Gogo pass, and since you’re no longer sharing with everyone else, it also means you’ll be able to watch video. Selfies at any elevation! Thanks, technology!

6. Through technology and research, medical science is becoming what was once only imagined in science fiction. New drugs that use the immune system to fight cancers of the bladder, lungs, stomach, and skin are in the works, and organs grown from human tissue will hopefully be ready for use on people in the coming year. Is this Grey’s Anatomy or real life?

Sports

1. By opening day on April 6, Major League Baseball will have installed a series of play-by-play cameras and sensors in all 30 ballparks. This new technology will make the game easier to analyze and allow for measurements such as bat speed, player reaction time, and distance covered to make a catch. Maybe this is the excuse I have been waiting for to start watching baseball!

2.Starting with this year’s College World Series June 13 to 24, the NCAA is making the switch to flat-seam baseballs. These balls travel an average of 20 ft more than the typical raised seam balls. More home runs!

bird3. Beijing’s famous Bird’s Nest stadium will be used in August for the biggest sporting event in China since the 2008 Summer Olympics, the World Athletics Championships. The event, to be held from August 22-30, will see the world’s best athletes compete with each other. Featured among the contenders is the lightning-fast superhuman sprinter  Usain Bolt. It was in the 2009 championships in Berlin that Bolt set new world records in both the 100m and 200m races.

 Environment/Health

1. In the fall, scientists are expected to release a full report showing that the world’s efforts are working and that the hole in the ozone layer has gotten appreciably smaller. The report will come at a meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (the group of nations that signed the treaty in the 1980s to reduce atmosphere-destroying chemicals that big businesses seem to love). I knew it seemed colder this winter.

car2. This summer, Toyota will produce the world’s first fuel-cell car, the FCV, with a charge that lasts for an amazing 310 miles. Though it sounds pretty unlikely, your fully charged FCV could also power the average home for up to a week. So don’t worry guys, if the zombie apocalypse is real, our fancy cars will come to the rescue.

3. Americans are starting to improve their eating habits. Consumption of fresh foods including fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs and other dairy products is on the rise, with fewer microwaveable, processed, ready-to-eat meals being consumed, according to a new study by the NPD Group. The national survey forecasts sales of fresh foods rising 6 percent in 2015. This is the year to actually become the health blog you read!

 

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