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5 Crazy Future Tech Trends to Start Preparing for Now

5 Crazy Future Tech Trends to Start Preparing for Now

With every passing day, we’re reminded that the future is here. Yeah, that’s sort of a redundant thing to say. What I really mean is that new innovations and disruptions are popping up every day, and they’re materializing at a rate never seen before.

I mean, think about the fact that the modern computer, which was created in either 1942 or 1946, depending on who you ask, used to cost a fortune and fill up an entire room.[1] It was almost 50 years before that computer would be reduced to the size of an affordable desktop in 1995. 20 years after that, it’s been engineered to fit in your pocket and is hundreds of times more powerful than that room-sized computer it was derived from.[2] Technological innovation is happening faster than it ever has before, and it’s only speeding up.

Right now, we have the unique opportunity of looking at new technology and seeing it both as the public saw the “computer” in 1946, and as the modern person sees the computer now. We can look at these technologies and predict just how much they will change society. Without further ado, here are five crazy future tech trends to start preparing for now!

1. Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual reality is already here. Samsung has been leading the charge with consumer VR with the Samsung Gear VR for the Galaxy S6 and S7 lines supporting virtual reality applications already. These apps include games like Minecraft, as well as entertainment applications like VR concerts from Live Nation.[3] It’s great to see these things finally hitting the scene after years and years of hearing talk about them, and you can even trace their roots all the way back to the Nintendo Power Glove.[4] The application for VR is limitless it seems and, as more realistic virtual environments come into play, we can expect to see it more in training scenarios and education as well.

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    Augmented reality, on the other hand, has not quite reached peak popularity yet. Sure, Snapchat filters that change your face into a dog counts, sort of, and Pokemon Go! showed promise. But while Google Glass showed us what the world could look like with a virtual overlay, it brought short-lived hype along with it. The world wasn’t ready for universal AR glasses and has stuck with purpose-specific AR headsets for now.[5] Fortunately though, the hype is still alive with Apple announcing AR-offerings that should materialize by 2018[6], and other manufacturers lining up to do the same.[7]

      2. Transhumanism

      The worst part about VR and AR are those clunky headsets that you have to wear, if you ask me… but what if I told you that in the future you won’t have to wear those headsets to see VR/AR? What if I took it a step further and told you that you’ll be able to make phone calls just by tapping your ear and listening to signals vibrating through your jaw bone?[8] What about sending emails with your mind?[9]

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        Neil Harbisson, world’s first legally recognized cyborg, can hear colors

        Transhumanism, like VR and AR, is still in its infancy, and some are taking it way further than others.[10] The most simple way to describe transhumanism is by saying it advocates the creation of cyborgs, or technological implants in organic bodies. Some people call this “biohacking”. This idea goes a long way back, but people like Rich Lee and Neil Harbisson have made it a reality by becoming some of the world’s first cyborgs. As computers get smaller and smaller, it’s not absurd to think that we may dump nanocomputers into our bloodstream, or implant small microchips subdermally.

        3. CRISPR Gene Editing

        For those unfamiliar with CRISPR and have about 15 minutes to spare, check out this informative video by Kurzgesagt.

        For those that don’t have 15 minutes, here’s the cut and dry version: a new technique in gene-editing called CRISPR has allowed us to perform very precise gene-editing and has also made it much, much cheaper than it used to be. The first human testing occurred at the end of 2016 in China[11] to combat aggressive lung cancer in clinical trials, and CRISPR also shows promise in fighting bladder, prostate, renal-cell, and mesothelioma cancers.

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          The hope is that eventually we’ll be able to fight back against any negative genetic predisposition, as well as to even modify ourselves in ways that may not be natural. This includes physical traits, and even extending our lives. Of course, there are plenty of consequences that pop up when we think about tampering with genetics–scenes from Jurassic Park immediately come to mind–but many are not as obvious as you’d think. The creation of designer babies, for example, presents interesting ethical quandaries[12], including whether or not those who opt out of genetic “optimization” would be discriminated against. It’s an interesting thought and one that is definitely worth exploring more before we embark further down the genetically modified path.

          4. Artificial Intelligence

          Smart homes. Smart cars. Smart…everything! Nowadays, it seems like it’s impossible to get away from the “smart” trend, and for good reason: everything is connected to the Internet, recording and sharing data, automating itself based on that data, and doing things that we previously reserved for science fiction. With Google’s foray into Nest, Amazon’s with Alexa, and others with their integrative “personal assistant” type devices, our homes gained ears.[13] Now they’re gaining eyes[14], and soon will be driving our cars too![15]

          The news that self-driving truck startup Otto completed its first delivery at the end of last year[16] without any snags means that the self-driving industry is ready to blow up, especially because of what Otto’s ready-to-install systems can do for other trucking companies’ KPI.[17] Now, this isn’t technically “true” A.I., but could be considered “expert systems” confined to our homes and our cars. Nevertheless, Ray Kurzweil, who has generally been pretty “on” with his predictions, thinks “true” A.I. will be invented by around 2045.[18]

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            When true A.I. is invented–or, I should say if, and that’s a big if, because some people claim it cannot be done–we will have reach what some people have dubbed, “The Singularity”. Nobody knows what will happen if a super-intelligent computer becomes self-aware. Will we have a Skynet/Terminator situation on our hands? Or will our robot overlords be benevolent in nature and help us reach our full potential? There’s plenty of debate out there–but one thing is for sure: after the singularity, nothing will be the same.

            5. Space: The Final Frontier

            The awesome thing about these future tech trends is that they work very synergistically, meaning that A.I. and automation, genetic-editing, and techno-implants could all work in unison to help us achieve even bigger undertakings. As we’re already pretty intent on setting foot on Mars by the mid-2030’s, you can’t help but think that pretty futuristic tech is going to have to get us there. Perhaps nanobots that protect the body from harmful cosmic radiation, or even genetic-editing that would allow people to live in the thin Martian climate. Even local space adventuring, like Zero G orbital manufacturing, is well-within our grasp.[19]

              Previously science fiction; soon-to-be science fact

              Of course, these are all just predictions, even if they are well-informed. What’s important is that we guide these predictions and control our technology instead of letting that technology control us. When it comes right down to it, the future is in our hands.

              Reference

              More by this author

              Andrew Heikkila

              Owner-Operator of Earthlings Entertainmnet

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              Last Updated on February 15, 2019

              7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

              7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

              Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

              Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

              Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

              So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

              Joe’s Goals

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                Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                Daytum

                  Daytum

                  is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                  Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                  Excel or Numbers

                    If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                    What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                    Evernote

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                      I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                      Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                      Access or Bento

                        If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                        Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                        You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                        Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                        All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                        Conclusion

                        I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                        What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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