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Will 'Lab Food' Change The Way We Eat?

In an effort to alleviate food shortages and leave a lighter footprint, some biotechnology startups have begun developing alternative food products. Hampton Creek Foods, for example, has received $30 million in funding to create a plant-based substitute for eggs. Beyond Meat, another biotech food producer, heats, cools, and pressures plant protein from soy and peas so that it resembles meat tissue. In 2013, similarly, a hamburger was made from cow muscle grown in a lab — at a cost of $325,000.

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Will ‘Contact-Lens Computing’ Become Mainstream Within Five Years?

A recent report from Skyscanner, a UK-based metasearch site, predicts that ”Wearable technology will evolve from the recently launched Google Glass to a mobile device so small that it will fit onto a contact lens and can provide immediate translations, breaking down language barriers.” Dr. Ian Yeoman, associate professor of Tourism Futures at Victoria University of Wellington, similarly said: “Within five years, everything that Google Glass can do now will be available on a contact lens.”

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Will Jetpacks Take Flight?

The New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft Company has developed a commercially viable jetpack. The Martin Jetpack contains two cylinders with propulsion fans attached to a carbon-fiber frame. A strapped-in pilot uses two joysticks to control the wingless pack. The company aims to have the jetpack available for commercial flight sometime in 2014 if manned flight testing produces favorable results. Although the cost ($150,000) may be expensive for a personal vehicle, the Martin Jetpack could also be useful to emergency response and search-and-rescue teams.

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Will "Flying Cars" Become a Reality?

A Boston-based aerospace company Terrafugia announced last year that it began work on its TF-6, a four-seat hybrid electric car that can do vertical take-offs and landings. The vehicle has foldable wings, cruises at 100 miles per hour, fits inside a single-car garage, and drives at highway speeds. With the new prototype, Terrafugia believes that users can learn to operate the TF-X in just five hours. Users will have to learn how to interface with the vehicle; how to determine if it's safe to take off and land; and when to activate the vehicle's parachute system in the event of an emergency.

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In The Near Future, Will 3D Printers Be Used To Create Human Organs?

3D printers, an emerging technology, use computer-created digital models to produce a variety of objects, including toys, mechanical components, and even food. There is hope now, too, that 3D printers could someday create much-needed organs for transplants. Printing human organs is still years away, but many medical professionals are optimistic and see great promise with the technology. A major challenge will be the ability to create the material, which is biological in nature.

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Will You Use "Transparent Texting?"

US tech giant Apple has filed a patent for new technology that aims to make texting while walking safer by replacing the text background with a live video feed of whatever is in front of the smartphone user.

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Will 'Smell Notes' Catch On?

Set for a beta launch in July, a new "oPhone" app allows users to compose and send notes containing aromas. The free app lets user send the smell note by text or email, based on a set menu of scents contained in 'Ochips.' The message can be received like a typical text from a mobile device, and recipients can then download the composition from hotspots, which will be set up in the launch city of Boston. Creators of the technology see potential for the scent technology as a new type of self-expression, and possibly even a new language that may be used together with music, books, and other kinds of art.

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Will Most Doctors Adopt Wearable Computing Like Google Glass?

Emergency room clinicians at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston recently tried out the wearable Google Glass eyeglasses. With Google Glass, the doctors could communicate and examine patients while simultaneously reading their charts. By using Glass to access information, doctors could remain with a patient and did not need a tablet to search through relevant medical documents and files.

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Will You Use A Speed-Reading App?

Spritz, a Boston-based software developer, claims that users of its technology can read up to 1,000 words per minute (wpm) via its new technology. At that rate, readers could finish a 300-page novel (like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, as the Huffington Post noted) in less than 90 minutes. The app, optimized for small screens and set to be released soon with the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Gear 2, presents just one word at a time, each aligned by an "Optimal Recognition Point." The technology keeps the eye focused on the fixation point typically found just left of center in a word.

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Will Wearable Computing Improve Your Workouts?

A new technology called Moov wants to be your own personal trainer. A wearable fitness gadget, Moov analyzes an exerciser's form, offering real-time suggestions on how to improve workouts. The small, plastic disc attaches to a specfic body part that a wearer wants to analyze during a work: A runner can place the device in his or her shoe, for example, or a cardio-boxer can fit the technology on his or her wrist. By pairing with an app, the Moov tracks movement and body position to provide instant feedback and details about one's progress.

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