Anyone that was alive before the computer or even the iPhone can attest to how much life for the ordinary person has changed since those days. The smartphone craze that exploded in 2007 has connected the world in a way that many could not imagine. There is literally no limit to what a smartphone will be able to do in the future and what kind of access people will have at their fingertips.
Luckily, the world continues to march on and innovation continues to explode in virtually every country. Many companies and people are on the verge of new discoveries and inventions that will change the world in a huge way once again. Here are five to keep an eye on.
This is not the cheap little drones that many kids will be getting for Christmas this year and will have destroyed before New Year’s Day. This is about real drone technology that is being developed by Amazon, Boeing, and other large companies. There are hundreds of useful ways drones will be used. Facebook is looking at using drones to provide internet to places that are off the grid. The U.S. military is using drones to explore space and monitor foreign nations. And Amazon plans on using drones to start delivering products autonomously and incredibly fast.
Expect drones to fill the skies in 10-20 years. They will all be unmanned and will have a huge variety of purposes. Some will be delivering, others will be watching and monitoring, and others will be filming beautiful footage of scenes below.
2. Virtual reality
With Facebook also investing heavily in virtual reality, the industry is on the cusp of an explosion. Currently, there are small virtual reality businesses popping up all over the world. They do it mainly for entertainment, setting up interactive video games for people to come enjoy. That is just the beginning, however. Nearly every industry will benefit from virtual reality. An interesting one is the medical industry. There are dozens of mental health implications that arise when you can create something so realistic that your mind actually believes you are there. Imagine being able to go to a beautiful mountain in Scotland whenever life becomes too much and just sit and meditate.
3. Self-driving cars
Self-driving cars are the next big thing in transportation. Nearly every company that is involved in vehicles in any way is getting involved with automated vehicles. Uber has already put self-driving cars on the road and Lyft has announced self-driving vehicles in the near future. Tesla and Google are also at the front of the self-driving car craze, each with their own current working model.
Self-driving cars will change the way we transport more than many people think. Car ownership is expected to become a thing of the past. Instead, companies like Uber and Lyft will have millions have vehicles out patrolling the roads. When someone is a few minutes from getting off work they will just order a self-driving car to come get them home. Because there are millions of cars, it will only be a matter of minutes until this service arrives. It will also be incredibly cheap because of the amount of cars and competition.
4. 3D printing
If self-driving cars are the game changer in the transportation industry, 3D printing is a game changer in the construction and engineering industry. Imagine in ten years being able to build something as complex as a house without a single worker. Instead, dozens of printers will do the majority of the work, with construction workers simply guiding the process. This will also hold true for other industries. Households will own a 3D printer and instead of running to the store for simple things, they will be able to download a template and print one out themselves.
While this is still far from happening, space travel for private citizens will eventually happen. There are dozens of well-funded companies already in the game and more will surely follow. The problem slowing down the space industry is safety. The technology exists, but it needs to exist perfectly. There can be no mistakes when space is involved. SpaceX, a leader in the space industry is working on reusable rockets but suffered a recent setback when a test rocket exploded. This highlighted, once again, that we are still far from conquering space.
These technologies that were once only found in movies like Star Trek are now a reality. Today, they are new and exciting concepts, but in twenty years, they will likely simply be a part of our everyday life.