Technology Advancements Anticipated In Next 10 Years
Looking back ten years, would anyone have predicted the rise of social media and how prevalent this has become in our daily lives? What was your world like before Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and a dozen others. Outside of the gaming world, who knew about Twitch until it was sold for nearly $1 Billion? Was “sharing economy” even part of your vocabulary? Now we have AirBnB, Uber and Lyft. These technologies have shaped the way we interact with our friends, co-workers, business, communities and the world-at-large.
We’ve polled the thinkers and dreamers to see what they think is coming for the next 10 years. Unfortunately, still no flying-cars or personal jet-packs, and the Jetson’s life-style isn’t here just yet.
Augmented Reality – Allowing anyone, anywhere to have real-time information about their surroundings. This will also become more prevalent in advertising to let customers visualize how clothes will look on them, how furniture can be arranged in a room, menu items at restaurants.
Holographic Imaging – We’ll soon be approaching displaying true 3D images similar to Princess Leia’s message in Star Wars. This technology will be built into cell phones, mobile devices and home theaters.
Internet of Things (IoT) – Everything connected everywhere, all the time. You’ll be able to communicate with every device in your home and office from a smart device. Business will be able to monitor inventory and personnel. Your car will communicate with you and the service station to let you know when it needs a repair or tune-up. Insurance companies will be able to monitor your driving habits – speeds, distances, etc.
Personal Health Monitoring – Every minute of your life will be monitored, measured and stored in the cloud. Your heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, hours slept, time spent in REM sleep, weight, calories burned, blood sugar levels, alcohol levels, blood oxygen levels and a hundred other parameters can be tracked. This will help your (robotic AI?) doctor and medical providers keep you healthy; And your insurance agency to know what your premium should be.
Life Recorders – With Google glass and vest-mounted body cameras, we are already approaching recording every minute of our waking lives. Everyone you meet, and everyplace you go will be stored for future reference and retrieval. Much like Twitch for video games, you’ll be able to let anyone else view the world through your cameras. Police and government agencies will be first to widely deploy this technology, followed by the automotive industry. Cars will include dashboard / rear view mirror cameras, similar to those fitted into police cars.
Wireless Power / Charging – The end of cords and connectors. Tesla first promoted the idea of wireless electricity. Generations later, we are mass producing the first charging pads. These will soon be replaced with a wireless power generator which creates waves or fields to continuously power and/or recharge devices. Experimentation is already underway with using laser-beam type technology to power small aircraft drones.
Data Mining of Audio, Photo and Video – Storing and searching text has been reality for decades. The next stage is how to identify, translate, store and retrieve information contained in audio, photos and videos. Speech to text programs are becoming more accurate. Image recognition is making progress – facial recognition is the first step for photos; Next will be identifying everything else in a picture – the buildings, animals, landscapes and items. This is particularly interesting to advertisers to know what make, model, color car is in a photo, or the type / brand of clothing worn, etc. Movies and videos will be the most challenging due to the sheer amount of information contained in even a short clip. Once the information has been extracted and placed in a database, the task will be how to organize and use it.
Cashless Transactions – Paper and coins are costly to make, wear out over time and can be counterfeited. Credit cards, Debit cards and on-line banking / payments have become commonplace for the industrialized countries. Progress with security (e.g., chip-cards) allows more business to accept cashless payments. The next stage comes with person-to-person transactions – how to split the check at dinner, pay the babysitter, give children an allowance, etc.
Mobile Payments – Eliminating physical currencies and cards in favor of a device independent system could be a reality in the coming years. On the receiver side, they no longer have to have specialized equipment to accept a payment. For businesses this is a huge cost savings, and also allows them to accept all payment types. For consumers, this means never having left behind their wallet / purse, needing to go to an ATM for cash or forgetting a credit card. Smartphones are ubiquitous in most countries and everyone always remembers to bring their devices.
On-Line and Social Learning – Many parts of the world do not have access to educational institutions. At colleges and universities, there may be only a small demand for certain courses or topics. On-line education allows instructors to reach a broader audience, while providing access anywhere to anyone. Educators are embracing this technology and collectively working on ways to make learning more accessible to a greater number of people.
Personal Space Travel – We are in the early stages of companies building commercialized air/space vehicles. It’s only a matter of time until the safety issues are fully resolved, and then the economics will drive the cost down.
Driverless Autonomous Cars – Mercedes, BWM and others have been testing various types of self-driving cars with remarkable success. There are numerous regulatory issue to address before this will become a reality. For now, features are being incorporated a little at a time. Drive-by-wire steering, throttle and braking systems are now standard. Adaptive cruise control, anti-lock braking, traction control systems, collision warnings, night vision cameras, parking assist and more options are available on most cars. Bringing all of these together with more advanced AI on-board will gradually make driverless cars a reality.
On-Demand Food “Printing” – 3D printers are becoming more prevalent, just as ink-jet and then laser printers were decades ago. As the technology advances, researchers are working on using biological materials rather than polymers. In a few years it’ll be possible to use ingredient cartridges, much like different color ink cartridges today, which the printer can source for printing cookies, pizza, meatloaf, etc.
Some others technologies we will be looking for include:
- Alternative Energy Generation
- Artificial Intelligence For Call Centers
- Designer Pets
- Digital Brains to backup your thoughts
- Dream Recordings
- DNA sequencing at home
- Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars
- Telepathic Control of devices, keyboards, cards
- Virtual Reality Rooms
Let us know if the comments below what other technologies you think will be coming in the next 10 years.
(Image Credit – Bing Images )
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