Though my last science course was a biology class taken in 11th grade – whose tests are still the source of my most vivid nightmares – I am in awe of the technological breakthroughs in so many areas of our world. While we still don’t have flying cars (yet), advancements in genomics, artificial intelligence, automation and communication continue to boggle my mind. Below are two that I find particularly fascinating.
The $540,000 Camera in Your Pocket
Every couple of years, Bret Swanson of Entropy Economics updates his blog to tell us what an iPhone would have cost in 1991. He looks at measurable components such as data storage, processing speeds, and communications bandwidth. This time, Swanson included the camera as part of his analysis in a blog titled, “The $540,000 Camera in Your Pocket.” I hope you’re sitting down.
The iPhone 12 has three (count them…three!) 12-megapixel cameras. For reference, that’s “36 times the number of pixels of the original DCS 100,” the first digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera, which was created by Kodak in 1991. The DCS 100 was marketed to professional photographers and sold for $20,000. “At $15,000 per megapixel, circa 1991, that’s $540,000 worth of photographic power in every smartphone.”
As if this weren’t incredible enough, looking at the three other factors of data storage, processing speeds, and communications bandwidth, the iPhone 12 would have cost $51,000,000 to build in 1991! Don’t believe me? Here’s the math:
3D Printing and Augmented Reality
I first geeked out on 3D printing in my 2014 blog, “Disruptive Innovation & 3D Printing.” Since then, the applications for this incredible technology have ballooned.
For example, The Jerusalem Post recently published an article about Israel’s first-ever augmented reality, 3D eye socket surgery. Doctors used 3D printing to produce a titanium plate that was then inserted under the patient’s eye to repair the fractured socket.
To position the plate accurately, doctors used Microsoft’s HoloLens glasses connected to a computer containing a model of the patient’s skull. “The model was virtually and accurately placed over the patient’s head through the glasses, which enabled the surgeon to place the plate correctly in real time.”
Are you ready for the best part? The surgery took only an hour-and-a-half and the patient was released after a recovery of just a few days! Mind. Blown.
The future is officially here.