So, why would anyone spend their time looking over a list of topics instead of considering suggestions for actual hobbies? Well for starters, a topic is something you research and discuss, whereas a hobby is something you do. Perhaps you’re not ready for the “doing” stage just yet, and you just want some new topics to explore hypothetically in your spare time. If that’s the case, check out the following seven interesting topic ideas for gadget lovers and techies that can help you quell boredom during your next web browsing session:
1. Autonomous Vehicles
Like it or not, self-driving cars are definitely the future of the automotive industry, and that future is coming a lot faster than you think. Before you know it, it will be 2030 and there will already be plenty of autonomous cars driving safely, not only on the highways but also on urban streets.
If you’re interested enough in the topic, you might even want to base your career path around it by pursuing a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a specialization in advanced mobility.
2. Robotics & Bionics
The advancements that have been made in robotics within the past decade alone have been phenomenal. There are robot arms that can cook meals, bionic limbs that can make you run and jump faster and higher, and even machine-assisted exosuits that give you super strength.
A number of companies and universities have started working on humanoid robots, so we’re really not too far from a scenario reminiscent of the movie iRobot, but hopefully without the creepily advanced and aggressive AI functionality. Robotics and bionics are both very diverse fields that can provide hours of intriguing intellectual exploration.
3. 3D Printing
3D printing is extremely fascinating because it gives you the ability to reproduce almost any 3-dimensional object or shape. Even if you don’t have a 3D printer yet, reading new stories and watching videos about what people are doing with these amazing machines can be an entertaining pastime.
When you start to think about all the possibilities that 3D printers create – printed automotive parts, houses, office decorations, camera accessories, etc. – it’s as if this incredible invention is set to give man the ability to create objects at will using the single machine and packs of raw materials. Some would even argue that 3D printing can be used as a primitive form of pseudo-tele-transportation because you can scan an item in one location and then print it out in another.
4. Virtual & Augmented Reality
If you haven’t been paying attention to the developments in the virtual reality and augment reality industries, there are plenty of news stories and videos that will have you in awe thinking about all the ways this revolutionary technology could change, not only gaming but the world as we know it.
Right now, virtual reality is in its infancy and is still very much a glorified first-person viewing experience that adjusts to the tilt of your head. However, developers are working hard to create haptic feedback suits that can emulate the sensation of touch, as well as omnidirectional treadmills that would allow you to run and jump in all directions in the virtual realm. There’s also been the talk of using eye-tracking technology to change the viewer’s focus and peripheral vision content as they shift their eyes.
5. Technological Environmental Conservation
Why would a techie or gadget lover want to learn about environmental conservation? Well, mainly because the world is probably going to need some very technological solutions to address the pollution and climate change problems that upcoming generations will face.
Along those lines, there’s a treasure trove of news stories and research articles that have been published on the topic of saving the rainforests, the oceans, and the atmosphere using the power of technology.
6. Machine Learning & AI
Did you know that we could be on the verge of a major breakthrough in creating computers that can learn to think for themselves? Although it could be another 10-30 years before we see the first form of “true AI,” right now science already has a pretty firm grasp on “situational AI,” which is basically a way of describing an app or feature that appears to be intelligent because it’s been trained to know exactly what to do for specific activities or scenarios.
Hypothetically, one could assemble a robot that is loaded with an abundance of situational AI capabilities and it could be “smart” enough to fool someone into believing that it’s actually thinking and not simply performing programmed responses and tasks. However, the final frontier in AI is when true AI – a computer that can learn, imagine, and innovate by itself – becomes a reality, at which time humans could be in danger of being made obsolete by hyper-intelligent robots.
7. Facial Tracking and Modification Apps
Did you know there’s a Snapchat filter that can change the gender of your face when you take a picture with it? The results produced by this app are startlingly realistic. Likewise, there’s a filter that can change your racial appearance as well.
There’s also an app that can detect a person’s mood simply by scanning their facial expression. If you haven’t checked any of these cool apps and filters out yet, that would be a great topic for you to look into if you like doing fun, random things with your mobile device’s camera.
Stirring Up Your Imagination and Getting Inspired
Ultimately, any of the above topics can get your wheels spinning about what the near future holds in terms of technological advancement. If you have aspirations of becoming an inventor, web developer, or other creative contributors to society, reading stories related to the aforementioned topics can provide you with the inspiration and motivation you need to keep moving towards your goals. If nothing else, subscribing to blogs that center around these subjects will help you avoid a bout of boredom and can keep you occupied during commuting, lunch breaks, or other forms of downtime.