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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 December 30, 2018

              18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

              18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

              No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. It’s undoubtedly allowed us to connect, perform, improve and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

              If you’re not taking advantage of one of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

              But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use? Well, this will depend on your needs, but we’ve put together a list of 18 of the very best time management apps that can help you with the most common time management challenges.

              Let’s dive straight into the list…

              1. Rescue Time — Use your time wisely

                If you have doubts that you’re using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. You may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

                Download Rescue Time

                2. Remember The Milk — Keep on top of all your tasks

                  If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool which is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc. It helps you to manage your tasks easily, and reminds you of them – wherever you are.

                  Download Remember the Milk

                  3. Focus Booster – Boost motivation to complete tasks

                    This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It’s designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures.

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                    Download Focus Booster

                    4. Toggl – Keep track of time spent on projects and tasks

                      This is a great alternative to time-sheets, if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects. Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks, and then through analysis, working out how you can manage them more effectively.

                      Download Toggl

                      5. Dropbox — Store and send large files easily

                        There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices – but Dropbox is free and easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go.

                        Download Dropbox

                        6. Evernote — Keep all your notes in one place

                          Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes or images).  You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to really optimize your time.

                          Download Evernote

                          7. Mind42 — Focus on tasks at hand with mind mapping

                            Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mind42 is the best free mind mapping app currently available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

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                            Download Mind42

                            8. SyncBackFree — Back up and sync your files effortlessly

                              This free software allows you to back up, restore and synchronize your files easily. It not only saves you time now – but also in the future. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this pivotal tool.

                              Download SnycBackFree

                              9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) — Manage your to-do lists effectively

                                Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, to work with your to-do lists, and to organize your goals. This task management system helps you to target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives. It automatically generates to-do lists, with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                                Download MyLifeOrganized (MLO)

                                10. 1Password — Have all your passwords remembered

                                  This app allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database, protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. It also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                                  Download 1Password

                                  11. Pocket — Keep your eye on the ball

                                    When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. Use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time which will not impact on your immediate work.

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                                    Download Pocket

                                    12. [email protected] — Boost your attention span

                                      This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400%! Ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working or reading.

                                      Download [email protected]

                                      13. Launchy — Interact with your computer in a smart way

                                        This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want.

                                        Download Launchy

                                        14. Forest — Boost your focus by growing a forest

                                          This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track. The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                                          Download Forest

                                          15. Trello — Track your projects in a highly visual way

                                            This is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board (which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed) as your start, work on and complete the associated task.

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                                            Download Trello

                                            16. Wunderlist — Digitalize your to-do lists

                                              Purchased by Microsoft in 2015, Wunderlist is an easy to use, feature-packed to-do list app. From planning a holiday, to sharing a shopping list with a partner, or managing multiple work projects, Wunderlist will keep you on top of all your tasks.

                                              Download Wunderlist

                                              17. TimeTree — Have a shared calendar with your family

                                                This app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments. So, whether you’re planning a party, or run a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                                Download Time Tree

                                                18. Todoist — Capture and order all your tasks and activities easily

                                                  Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list. It’s available via browsers and apps, and lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as given a due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                                  Download Todoist

                                                  The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools. And the good news is – that many of them are completely free of charge! So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you – and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                                  Oh, and one more thing… Take a look at a couple of our other articles that will help further streamline your time management:

                                                  40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone and 20 Quick Tips For Better Time Management

                                                  More Recommended Productivity Experts on Lifehack

                                                  • Leon Ho — The Founder and CEO of Lifehack, which he share productivity hacks to make life easier
                                                  • Carl Pullein — A renowned productivity and time management coach
                                                  • Mark Pettit — A Business Coach for ambitious entrepreneurs who want to achieve more by working less

                                                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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