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Last Updated on January 3, 2018

15 New Technologies That Will Become Mainstream Soon

15 New Technologies That Will Become Mainstream Soon

Technology is an ever changing, always evolving thing. There are new technologies coming out every year and there is always something on the brink of becoming mainstream. Take the smartwatch for instance. Two years ago it was a prototype and now there will be at least four different high quality smartwatches by the end of 2014. Let’s take a look at other new technologies that are about to become mainstream soon.

1. Smart glasses

new technologies

    We’ve seen this already a little bit with Google Glass but that’s just the beginning. Despite getting a lot of press and controversy, Google Glass is a very young product. In fact, all the pairs that are out now are beta test units. Sometime in the next couple of years Google will be releasing a consumer level version for a much cheaper price. It’s also very likely that there will be competitors releasing smart glasses right alongside Google Glass. There will be some who don’t like it at first but eventually the kinks will be worked out and this is a thing that will happen.

    2. Smart data

      More and more things are becoming automated these days but there are things we still have to do manually. Like adding someone to your contacts list on your phone or in your email. Things like this are probably coming to an end soon. In the video above, a company called RelateIQ is already working on turning your relationship management into an automated thing by building a contacts list automatically based on things like your email inbox and your current contacts list, messages, etc. There will come a point where you just need to ask for someone’s name and you can create a contact profile immediately without any work on your part.

      3. Wearable electronics

      new technologies

        With the aforementioned Google Glass and smartwatches, we’re already seeing this to a degree but it’s going to get way more crazy than that. Smart glasses and smart watches are social devices that connect you to the outside world. There are other wearable electronics in the works that connect you to your body. We’re talking ear buds that measure heart rate, contact lenses that can measure your blood sugar, temporary tattoos that can unlock doors via NFC technology, and all sorts of cool stuff. Once they work this out for consumer use, it wont’ be long until you start getting options for implants that’ll track your vitals in real time so you’ll know you’re having a heart attack before your heart does. It’s going to save lives.

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        4. Smart houses

        new technologies

          Once again, this is a thing that is right on the brink of being a real thing. We already have smart appliances such as refrigerators that will tell you when you’re low on a certain food item or an oven you can control with your smartphone. Sometime in the near future these things will be aggregated into an entire home unit that you’ll be able to control with your smartphone, tablet, or computer. We’re talking changing the thermostat, changing the channel on TV, and getting notifications that your laundry is ready all without leaving your couch. You can preheat the oven for dinner as you leave work so it’s ready to cook when you get home. It won’t be too much longer before your house talks to you and you can talk to it. The tech is already there, it’s just a matter of putting it all together in a stable enough manner for consumers.

          5. Virtual reality gaming

          new technologies

            You game nerds out there prepare yourselves. Many gaming fans already know of the Oculus Rift which is a VR headset that plays video games. It was recently bought by Facebook that is actively working on turning it into a social device as well as a gaming device. Samsung is reportedly working on their own as well. There will come a point where you’ll be able to go buy one of these headsets, take them anywhere, and watch, play, or view anything. It’s already almost there.

            6. Screenless displays

            new technologies

              Screenless displays are pretty much what they sound like. Displays that display things but without a screen. This technology has apparently come a long way in the last two years and is expected to make even more strides in the coming years. Things like holograms won’t be science fiction anymore. There may even be contact lenses that shoot images straight into your eye. This won’t just be a breakthrough for entertainment mediums, but people who can’t see well will be able to enjoy things for the first time without laser eye surgery.

              7. Brain-Computer interfaces

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              new technologies

                These actually already exist to a degree. Quadriplegics have been using them for years to talk through a computer. The technology isn’t as refined as it could be but it’s well on its way. That means there could be a point in the future where you don’t need a mouse or a keyboard anymore. You can just think things and they happen on screen. This is great for people who have disabilities, people who want to be productive, and for gamers.

                8. Universally available services

                new technologies

                  This may sound complicated but it’s really not because services like this exist. You may have heard of Uber. Uber is a taxi service that you can access pretty much anywhere where Uber has drivers. It’s in the U.S. and Europe with more places being planned. What makes Uber unique is its ability to be a universal service. There will come a time where you can call an Uber driver no matter where you are. These kind of services that transcend borders and continents by using the magic of the internet will continue to pop up. It doesn’t matter what language you speak or what country you’re in, you’ll be able to use the same service everywhere. Mark my words, there will be more services like Uber (but for other things aside from transportation) popping up once people have more ideas!

                  9. Digital downloads will kill physical objects

                  new technologies

                    The end of owning physical copies of a video game are upon us. Popular computer gaming platforms like Steam and Origins have already begun distributing video games digitally without a disc or a cartridge. With the plummeting prices of flash storage (like you find on smartphones) and the increasing stability and speed of the internet, it’s absolutely certain that all video games (and media for that matter) will one day be only distributed digitally. That means no more CDs, game discs, DVDs, Blue-Ray, etc. It’ll all be files that you download directly to your TV, phone, MP3 player, or video game system. Music has pretty much done this already and movies are well on their way. Soon, it’ll be everything. It’s hard to imagine but streamlined and mainstream media and game downloads have only been a thing for about half a decade now and they still have a long way to go.

                    10. Robots will be everywhere

                    new technologies

                      Huge strides have been made in robotics in the last ten years and more are expected to be made in the coming decade. We’re not talking fully intelligent robots (yet) but definitely ones that are stable and reliable enough to start working. It’ll likely start with places like assembly lines and work their way into other facets of manual labor that humans don’t want to do. We’re even seriously talking about robots performing surgery on humans while being controlled by a doctor and a technician. You can find demos of robots doing things like shooting wads of paper into trash cans or ones that pour coffee. If those are prototypes, then the finish products can’t be all that far behind.

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                      11. Biofuels and renewable energy

                      new technology

                        The people alive right now know one thing for certain. We will be the last living creatures who considered fossil fuels as the only source of energy available on this planet. Within the next few decades, huge strides are expected to be made in solar and wind energy. People are exploring potential fuel sources from everything from wheat to algae. Our dependence on oil and coal is still pretty steadfast but it’s beginning to loosen its grip. In the next ten years, expect a huge push for electric cars, solar panels on houses, and lots of complaining from oil company executives.

                        12. Wireless energy transfer

                        new technologies

                          There are already examples of this out in the wild. The Qi Wireless charging dock allows people with some smartphones (generally newer ones) to charge their devices without the use of cables. This is a big deal because wireless energy transferring has a lot of applications. When electric cars are a bigger deal, you’ll be able to just park on top of a charging center and your car will charge. They may even build solar-powered roads that charges your car as you drive (how cool would that be, really?). The applications are limited only by one’s imagination and wireless cell phone charging is just the tip of a very large ice berg.

                          13. 5G mobile data

                          new technologies

                            Yes, I know we just now got 4G under control here in the United States and many places in the world are still stuck on 3G. Technology doesn’t stop just because we’re behind on our infrastructure. Currently 5G is in the research phase but the phrase has been increasingly tossed around. Keep in mind it only took a decade or two to go from 3G to 4G. Don’t expect it to take any longer going from 4G to 5G.

                            14. Artificial Intelligence

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                            new technologies

                              You’ve seen the movies about it but could it actually exist in our lifetime? The answer is yes, it very well may. If you’ve seen the famous robot designed by IBM that schooled everyone in Jeopardy then you’ve already seen the kind of progress we’ve made in artificial intelligence. There is still a long way to go but thanks to things like contextual technology (Siri, Google Now, Cortana, etc), we’re getting a lot better at drawing up software that can predict and react like a real person can. It won’t be much longer until it’s all integrated together to create a robot that can think.

                              15. Graphene

                              new technologies

                                Back in 2004, the first sheet of graphene was produced. Ever since, scientists have been trying to figure out a way to mass produce it. Why? Because it’s going to make everything better. It could give us much faster internet. It’s 100 times stronger than steel so naturally it’s going to be awesome for building anything. We could use it as a filter for water and scrub the oceans clean of toxic waste. It could be used on smartphones to make them virtually indestructible. It would make batteries obsolete. Truth be told, we’re not going to list all the things graphene could be useful for because its applications are practically limitless. Sooner or later we’ll figure out how to mass produce it. Prepare for the second industrial revolution where everything is made from graphene. I mean everything. Not kidding.

                                It wasn’t long ago that most of this stuff was science fiction. To many (including myself) it still seems like something you saw in an episode of Star Trek or read in an HG Wells book. It’s almost frightening how far we’ve come but we’re almost there and in a few more decades, it’s going to be amazing to see how far we’ve come.

                                Featured photo credit: University of Oregon via blogs.uoregon.edu

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                                Published on September 20, 2018

                                11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                                11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                                In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                                Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                                In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                                Minimizing Tabs

                                Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                                Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                                Incognito Mode

                                Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                                1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                                2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                                3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                                This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                                Save Webpages as PDF Files

                                Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                                Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                                Open Recently-closed Tabs

                                Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                                One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                                The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                                Solve Mathematical Problems

                                Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                                For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                                Play Media Files

                                Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                                In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                                Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                                With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                                Stay Focus(e)d

                                Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                                Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                                With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                                This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                                Grammarly for Editing

                                Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                                You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                                Loom

                                There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                                There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                                With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                                Chrome Calendar Extension

                                No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                                Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                                Final Thoughts

                                Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                                Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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