By Vineel Dean
It’s entertaining to make predictions about the technology that we’ll be using in the future. Even though it’s pretty likely that current predictions may end up in totally alternate technology, we are still excited about what the next few years will bring in terms of new advances. If you’re curious about the future, too, read on to learn about tech that will likely make its way in a number of applications in the coming years.
1. Biotech for the human body
There are predictions that in 2020 will enable real-time diagnostics for cancer, the immune system, intestinal flora, and conditions like pre-diabetes. Such gadgets, which may come in the form of wearable devices or patches, could make health care preventive rather than reactive. Such technology is already on its way. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2014, Google had begun developing tiny magnetic particles that could search the body for biomarkers that indicate the presence of cancer and other diseases. These nanoparticles would bind to cells, proteins, and other molecules inside the body, and would be counted by a wearable device equipped with a magnet. The particles could be delivered via a pill, and would make it easier to detect cancer or predict an imminent heart attack.
2. 5G smartphones and networks
The telecommunications industry are already eyeing the transition to 5G technology, which will likely deployed in 2020, once the parameters are codified and agreed on by regulatory bodies and tech companies. 5G is expected to be faster and less energy-intensive than 4G, and will bring faster smartphones, better smart home devices, and longer-lasting wearables. 5G smartphones will likely experience much lower latency than what we’re used to with 4G, which would mean faster-loading apps and websites, plus lightning-speed downloads of videos.
3. Virtual reality entertainment
Many electronic games manufacturers and investors think that headsets that will immerse users in digital worlds are going to be the next big thing in entertainment and communications. The main stumbling block at the moment is the high price tag of a headset and the (extra expensive) PC that some will require. However VR enthusiasts believe that affordable VR headsets will offer compelling 3D experiences within a few years, especially if the industry can find killer apps that appeals not only to gamers, but to the general consumer as well.
4. Autonomous Self-driving cars
Truly autonomous cars may are here, but the widespread use is still a few years on the horizon, but existing self-driving cars are already beginning to drive on their own in certain situations. In the next few years, they’ll increasingly be deployed – perhaps in the ride sharing industry — but they’ll still require human supervision, and may continue to hand over control to a human driver when they encounter complex situations. By 2020, there are expected to be around 10 million cars with self-driving features on the road.
5. Advanced Intelligent Assistants
The intelligent assistants we’re currently using — think Apple’s Siri, Amazons Echo, and Googles Alexa now — they all need an Internet connection and a lot of data to answer your questions and respond to your requests. But in the future, we’ll have smartphones, tablets, and wearables equipped with intelligent assistants that perform deep learning tasks and complex AI tasks, like natural language processing and facial recognition, without being connected to the Internet. That would not only save your battery, but also alleviate some of the privacy concerns inherent with assistants, which have so far sent data to remote servers to parse and respond to your requests. Improving speech recognition technology will make it easier to get things done with AI and chatbots, and enable our devices to better understand what we’re saying and what we want to do.
6. 3D printing in the home and office
The 3D printing process uses a mechanical printer to build a three-dimensional object from a computer-aided design model, usually by successively adding material layer by layer. It is now possible to make objects in the home from such material as plastics and other synthetic to incredibly high standards. From classrooms to design shops, 3D printers have found an audience with students, makers and industrial designers. And as you would expect, the aim is to see 3D printing to make it to household where they can be used to make a range of items in the future.