Technology has been developing at a rapid rate. If we dial back just a decade Facebook, Twitter and Instagram didn’t exist, Snapchat wasn’t even a concept and you couldn’t hail a taxi with one tap of your smart phone… and that’s more because smart phones didn’t exist rather than Uber.
Technological changes have been mind-blowing. And they’ve had a dramatic effect on our culture; particularly how we living our daily life and interacting with others.
But what will be the next big changes in tech? Here are a few wild (yet completely feasible) technology predictions for the next decade.
Virtual reality will become the new reality
OK perhaps not the new reality, but it will become an everyday occurrence.
For example, I can see real value in big warehouse brands creating virtual showrooms. Take sofa retailers: why have 200 sofa showrooms around the country costing you hundreds of thousands of pounds when you can spend £50k on a virtual reality showroom that customers can access directly from their home? These retailers could also utilise augmented reality to allow customers to preview what their new sofa would look like in their living room.
VR and AR isn’t going to tell you how that sofa feels to sit on though. But who knows, in 10 years’ time, tech may have solved that problem too.
No one will drive
Autonomous transport is already developing rapidly, and there are a few big players in the self-driving car market. Google’s at it, Uber’s at it, and Ford recently invested $1 billion in self-driving car start-up Argo.
I think this technology can only go one way, and that’s to become the norm in the near future. But there are some companies that are taking it a step further, in a better direction – up.
EHANG is “the world’s leading tech company of intelligent aerial vehicles”, specialising in drones. Now drones are not new, but fusing drones with self-driving cars is. The EHANG184 is just that; an autonomous, self-driving, intelligent drone, big enough to carry a human. Sexy marketing video below:
Wearables will actually be worn
No one’s invented a wearable that’s got everyone excited quite yet. Google Glass spent ages in development only to be canned. The Apple Watch has come close but is perhaps just riding off the success of the iPhone.
There are few other pieces of wearable tech popping up here and there though, which may seem more practical. These mainly focus around sports and include products like a sports top with built-in heart rate monitor and GPS sensor, a bikini with UV protection sensor to tell you when you’ve been in the sun for too long, and some smart shorts that can track “cadence, ground contact time, pelvic rotation and stride length”, whatever that means…
Virtual assistants will run your home
This one’s already started, but it’s not mainstream yet. 2016 saw the biggest wave of developments, particularly with Amazon releasing Alexa through the Amazon Echo and Google launching the Google Assistant, which is available on the Google Pixel smartphone as well as Google Home. Even Mark Zuckerberg got in on the action by creating his own AI to run his home:
These devices and their AI software are big steps towards integrated, remotely-controlled or even automated homes. Over the next few years, I think we’ll see homeware manufacturers integrate their products with tools like the Google Assistant or Alexa so that you can control every aspects of your home wherever you are – whether turning on the shower when you’re lying in bed, or closing the windows whilst you’re out and about.
And it might not stop with your home. Virtual assistants could also expand to the high street, chucking out the gormless temp who has to run off for 10 minutes to find your size in the back room and replacing them with someone/thing who can simultaneously answer your questions, check stock levels, place your order, take your payment and dispatch the product to your home all in one go.
Hover boots will be a thing
They just will. Can’t wait!
How we operate technology will change
The touch screen changed a lot with how we interact with devices. But this kind of revolution could happen again. Your guess is as good as mine on what this could be, but a few radical ideas include controlling your devices based on eye movement, gestures or even expressions.
Imagine opening a web page by looking at the button on the menu bar, moving to the next slide on a PowerPoint presentation with a wave of your arm, or even closing a boring news article with a yawn.
More space stuff
At the end of 2016 Blue Origin became the first company to successfully land a rocket that had been into space. The more famous SpaceX became the second company to do so the following month, and they’ve done it several times since.
This technological development makes space travel suddenly a lot cheaper, as you can reuse the rocket again and again.
Naturally, this opens big doors for a greater number of excursions into space. So much so that SpaceX’s CEO, Elon Musk has already announced his rough plans for a whole colony on Mars!
Technology predictions for the next decade
So there’s a few wild but perhaps not so outlandish ideas on how technology might change over the next decade. What do you think? Add your predictions in the comments section below.