Future technologies that are transforming our lives within the next five years. Did you know it took fifty years for one in four Americans to adopt electricity and thirty years for the same number of people to use the radio? It then took us eighteen years to ‘accept’ colour television, thirteen years for laptops and just seven for smartphones. The world is changing faster and faster.
There are changes in education, agriculture, energy, banking, health and even fashion, all tech-driven. Here is our selection of top 10 future technologies that we believe it will transform our lives within the next five years.
1. Future Technologies – Big Data
‘Big Data’ is a term used to describe datasets whose size is beyond the ability of traditional databases. However, the term’s meaning has changed over the last few years. Nowadays, ‘Big Data’ not only refers to the data you create but also the ‘tools’ that capture, store, and analyse such data. Cisco predicts ‘Big Data’ to become a $50 billion industry by 2019 along investments and third parties.
It sounds a lot but the emerging landscape of Internet of Things and wearable depends on ‘Big Data’ in a way or another to store and analyse and produce actionable information in real time. We already generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day as in 2.5 followed by 18 zeros, data that once converted into meaningful information can change help eradicate diseases, stop world hunger and save lives. That is how relevant ‘Big Data’ tech is.
2. Future Technologies – Internet of Things
Imagine IoT as an invisible network made from physical objects around you. These objects will be ’embedded’ with smart sensors and connected to the internet. The sensors are capable of collecting and exchanging data with other smart objects, services, you, even with your doctor or your insurance company, for example.
I already have smart sensors in my home and, in my car. Lights go off when I leave my home and turn back on when I return. I can turn the heating on from my mobile even if I am abroad. My car unlocks the doors in my proximity and when I touch the driving wheel the engine starts. Oh, yes, the fridge; I have a relationship with my fridge. The truth is, my fridge messages me more often than my partner does but no, it is not that kind of relationship. My fridge lets me know the food is about to expire or if I need to replenish the stock.
While now in 2015 there are not many devices connected to the internet, by 2022 – according to Intel – there will be a network of 50 billion connected objects.
3. Future Technologies – Robotics and AI
Next generation of robots with AI might follow and replicate the human thought process. A man-made machine with human-like intellectual abilities able to learn new things, reason, and formulate original ideas just like us. Maybe even fall in love, who knows?
In the coming decades, robots will ‘leave’ the industrial environment and scientific labs and come into our daily lives. The migration will begin with utilitarian robots such as autonomous vacuum cleaners, kitchen helpers and pets, in a gradual process just as the computers took over our homes in the 80’s.
4. Future Technologies – Augmented Reality
The more we decipher the neurochemistry of lived experiences the more we understand that, in fact, we don’t “sample” objective reality as our perception creates our reality and the world around us influences our perception. Certain smells, sounds or images can make us see the same “reality” in different ways.
Augmented reality allows for ‘enhanced’ perceptions of the ‘real’ world. Reality is enhanced by augmented elements as generated by sensors and computers. AR is seen as one of the emerging technologies that will reshape the way we interact with the physical world around us. Companies like Google, Facebook and META are looking to capitalise on the AR market.
5. Future Technologies – MEMs
Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, consist of micro-computers with tiny mechanical devices such as valves, pumps, gears, and actuators. These are mini robots if you like. MEMs technology is already in your car. MEMs is the ‘accelerometer’ system inside your car’s airbag but the trend here is to see MEMs adopted in healthcare soon.
6. Future Technologies – Biotechnology
In simple terms, biotechnology is tech based on biology. Biotechnology uncovered new biomolecular processes that let us develop improved biological organisms and products Biotechnology is still at the beginning despite reaching new heights in recent years. Nevertheless, biotechnology allows us to create drought-resistant crops, with better vitamin content and salinity tolerance.
Moreover, biotechnology allows us to combat rare diseases, decrease the environmental footprint and maybe one day get rid of the world hunger.
7. Future Technologies – Nanomaterials
Nanomaterials are layers of particles arranged in components at a nanoscale level or measurements of under 100 nm. By their structure nanomaterials have greater relative surface area than any other materials, higher strength and reactivity with other materials. The quantum properties of nanomaterials affect the electrical, magnetic and optical performances of the ‘target’ objects.
Current applications include healthcare (in targeted drug delivery, regenerative medicine, and diagnostics), electronics, cosmetics, textiles, information technology and environmental protection.
8. Future Technologies – Terahertz Imaging
Terahertz Imaging is a new technology that can detect ‘invisible’ explosives. It also helps in path-planning for self-driving cars and the market for Terahertz devices is predicted to grow by 35 percent each year and reach $1.4 billion by 2020.
9. Future Technologies – 3D Printing
3D Printing is the process of printing three-dimensional objects from various materials, according to digital files on a computer, all done via special printers. Raw printing materials can be anything, from plastic to metal and more recent crops of human cells. The 3D printed objects are then used in healthcare, fashion, auto industry, and constructions.
3D printing is a $3.1 billion industry and growing by 39 percent each year. This industry will ‘touch’ all future aspects of our lives as in 2015 we already have not only 3D printed fashion accessories, but human organs.
10. Future Technologies – Energy Storage
Technology needs power but power needs energy storage. Demand for such technologies is a direct result of both, fast tech developments and population growth. As such, there are significant developments in battery technology as green products are more incentivised. Solar energy has developed considerably and cold fusion power is to become a viable solution by the end of 2020.