From farms to schools: Technology reigns supreme in the Golden State


Photo by Ashes Sitoula

Technological advances in the agricultural industry and electricity will improve the lives of Americans, Californians in particular, during the coming year.

Chris Lucio, Staff Writer

During the coming decade, California communities will experience the effects of two technological advances that will revolutionize the way citizens of the Golden State grow food and access electricity.

Agricultural Industry Improvements

One of these important technological advancements, the improvement of autonomous farming machines, will affect the lives of all Americans, but California residents especially.

California features roughly 76,400 farms and ranches, and approximately 10 percent of California’s population, or 417,000 people, help to run and to maintain them. Because one-quarter of the population is farmers, the use of automated machines would result in positive effects, as well as major problems.

One of these problems is worker displacement. According to the recent US census, 6.3 percent of California’s residents are out of work. With the advancement in farming technology, experts estimate the unemployment rate will increase by 1-2 percent.

However, the benefits of these automated machines outweigh the employment issues they will cause. One significant improvement over the 20 years these machines have been used is their new ability to “learn” how to do the job they are assigned, and how to improve their performance.

With the technology that has been recently developed, such as new sensors and new detection systems, a farm owner can program the machine to pick fruits with the same gentleness as a human. The only difference being the machine can pick multiple fruits, or even entire trees worth of fruit, in the same amount of time a farmer could pick a basket of fruit. These machines have produced roughly three times more produce per harvest because of their autonomy and minimal power requirements.

While the development and utilization of automated farming machines may leave a significant amount of people without work, the technology will create an opportunity to produce more food and could, in turn, feed more people throughout the state, and even the country.

Charging without the Cords

Another technology that may make its way to Cathedral Catholic High School during the coming decade is the invention of “wireless electricity.” This technology has been under development since the year 2000 and is estimated to be completed by 2026.

In a recent interview with CNN, Dr. Hall, the Chief Technology Officer at WiTricity, said that wireless electricity could be transmitted as easily as the WiFi signal in a person’s house.

WiTricity is a start-up company that has been developing its ideas for how to power homes without any wires. These professionals have invented a simple way of accomplishing this task, which involves the use of copper coils to emit a magnetic field of a particular frequency. When a device with the same frequency enters the field, the electricity is transferred to the electronic device. This transfer could theoretically make it possible for people to charge their cell phones by simply placing it on a side table or by entering their home.

With the technology still under development and catered to residences and businesses, there is a high possibility it will exist in the CCHS community. Students could come to school, having forgotten to charge their iPads the night before, and as soon as they step into the classroom, it starts charging, without even having to plug it into a wall.

The future is now. Soon, CCHS students will not have to worry about teachers getting mad because their iPads are dead.

Now that is something to celebrate.