Innovation

5 amazing technologies that are so close to existing

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There's tech we know exists, like smartphones. And there's tech that will never exist, like teleportation (sorry). But between them, there's the tech that is so close to existing but seems perpetually "a few years away."

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Consider the air taxi. This technology—small flying crafts meant to fly within cities, or from cities to the suburbs—has had companies like Uber drooling for years. They've partnered with Hyundai to make this model come to life.

Uber thinks Uber Air will be in business by 2023, while Hyundai thinks this craft will up in the air by 2028. Who knows what could happen between now and then?

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Henrik Fisker, the legendary designer of the BMW Z8 and Aston Martin DB9, tried to beat Tesla to the high-end electric car market, but poor engineering led the company to bankruptcy. He's back in the game with the Fisker Ocean, a $40,000 electric SUV built by 2021.

“The electrification looks impressive,” analyst Tim Urquhart tells the L.A Times, “but again, you need to deliver on these vehicles. We’ve already had a couple false starts.”

Bridgestone Tires has made headlines with their smart tires. "Today's mobility technology is unaware of what is happening in a tire and on the road surface, which is a barrier to fully autonomous driving, the company warned in a press statement.

But luckily, with its "tire sensors and powerful simulation capabilities, Bridgestone is addressing this need by building a next-generation digital twin of the tire." The Tokyo-based company says its smart tire will cost around $175.

Then there's the smart shoe, designed by Japan-based company Kobe.

The shoes offer "data tracking and real-time analysis will help runners," according to a press release. No release date yet, but this prototype might be real soon: ASICS says they'll debut at some point in 2020.

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Finally, Sony debuted a surprise prototype car earlier this year at CES in Las Vegas, jam-packed with 33 sensors and a slick design. "I believe the next mega-trend will be mobility," said CEO Kenichiro Yoshida.

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