In recent decades we, as a society, have been able to witness the evolution of technology from the invention of cell phones and computers, to cars that run on solar energy and advances in medicine. The ongoing advances in technology can most certainly make life better and easier. Things that have plagued society for centuries such as illness, immobility, and rising living costs can steadily be improved based on the advancement of many fields; advancements that heavily rely on technology. In recent years certain technology focused on as renewable energy, improvements in science and medicine and “smart” electronics have gained popular demand and as their technology progresses it leads the way to a better and happier life.
Solar power has gained quite a bit of popularity in the last few years. The solar energy business is projected to grow 20-40% per year over the next 10 years. As U.S electrical prices increase about 6% each year the switch to using solar energy becomes much more appealing. Although quite expensive, the government has offered those interested in solar power such renewable energy credits and tax write-offs on upgrades to homes or new vehicle purchases keeping in mind that solar panels added to your home offer full payback to occur quickly so it won’t crunch your budget. Besides sun energy, the other two common types of solar power are wind and water power. Wind is developed through various temperature increases and decreases (caused by the sun) and rainfall, likewise, is created by sun-warmed evaporated water which feeds our water resources such as rivers and lakes. These uses of solar energy have been around longer than people think.
In the 15th century Da Vinci envisioned a use for solar power energy by using mirrors to heat water. Society will greatly benefit from the use of solar power technology not only as an alternative and renewable energy source but also to steer away from pollution and global warming. We, as a society, would greatly benefit by using a renewable source of energy as opposed to fossil fuel reserves which are limited.
The use of solar energy and hybrid cars has greatly reduced the cost of transportation as users get immensely more gallons to the mile. Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program was a $25 billion dollar project financed by Congress in 2008. The Department of Energy is responsible for overseeing the program. In order to qualify for one of these expensive loans automakers must guarantee an increase in the fuel economy of their vehicles by 25% compared to similar model vehicles from 2005. In 2009 Ford, Nissan and Tesla Motors were approved for such loans and began developments toward this advanced technology. Ford committed to produce 13 more fuel-efficient models and Nissan focused on electrical vehicle development as well as advances on lithium-ion car batteries.
Aside from fuel economy the technology based around automotive safety features has greatly improved since the 80s including features such as motion detectors than can stop the driver from accidentally hitting an object or even a person in their blind spot. Safety belt features such as noise signals remind the driver to wear their seat belt which can help if in an automobile accident. The introduction of more air bags for crash reassurance, touch screen stereos, voice recognition and wireless calling all greatly add to the safety of operating a motor vehicle.
Technological advances in the field of science and medicine have also helped society as we see new treatments developed. There is a need for continual advances in medicine to combat ever-changing viruses. In 2011 German doctors announced that an American man had been cured of HIV – the virus that causes AIDS. The man, who had suffered from a deadly blood cancer, was given a bone marrow transplant in 2007 to treat his leukemia. The doctors had found a donor with a rare mutation known as Delta 32. This rare mutation was found to provide natural resistance to the immunodeficiency virus. Three years after the transplant the man still remained stable showing no signs of HIV. Similarly doctors in Thailand reported a vaccine in 2009 that reduced the risk of contracting HIV by as much as 30%.
Focusing more at a personal level, is the way that technology has changed us individually by offering us new electronic devices that make life a little easier. Everything has an affect it seems, be it smart phones or wireless communications, top-of-the-line cameras, GPS and camcorders etc. These items can better our lives by offering us options that previous generations did not have. You can video chat with relatives in other countries, look up directions on your phone if you’re lost, avoid traffic jams with real-time GPS traffic updates, or do primary research for a college paper from your computer. The vast information presented to us in the palm of our hand has opened up a new realm of opportunity.
In conclusion, there are so many things that advanced technology can do for our society. In many ways this technology makes our lives better by giving us more options to better our lives. From finding a cure to a widespread illness to having independent energy available, it seems the possibilities are endless.