Technology in the future is both an amazing and deeply distressing thing. As excited as we can be by things like self-driving cars and televisions that respond when we shout at them, we also have to be aware that the future will likely be filled with more machines, and more machines means more military involvement. Smarter weapons controlled by stupid people.
There’s no need to be depressed about this though, as advancements may well make that problem where your phone dies halfway through the day a thing of that past. No longer will you have to sit on the train actually speaking to people because your phone can be recharged on your walk to the station by micro windmills. Watching Netflix on a tablet powered by micro windmills on a high-speed train sounds like something from a steampunk novel, but it’s a real possibility.
A single grain of rice could hold around ten of the micro windmills designed by a pair of electrical engineers at University of Texas at Arlington and funded by Taiwanese firm WinMEMS who hope this could be a solution where bigger turbines and windmills are not really practical. I’m not sure how practical it is to wave your mobile phone around in the air or hold it out the window on a windy day but I’m sure it will soon be just a ubiquitous as walking through town with your head down, looking at a tiny screen. [Source]