It is extremely hard to predict exactly how the future may look, however with the information we have gleaned today from a variety of sources, we can offer thoughts on what may be around the corner! There have been immense technological improvements in the last century (see the graph below for a visual outline of this) which would suggest technology has the potential to continue transforming our future.
In this blog, we look into new technology that may be soon on the horizon and how it could affect our future world, as well as current examples of technology you may not even be aware of!
Some potential changes
Today there are many ongoing innovation projects that people may never have believed would ever make it out of science-fiction books. With the development in robotics and holograms for example, we are sure the future holds a range of different and new technological advances.
Here are some of the most interesting innovative concepts we found:
Many technological developments have come from replicating the attributes of animals, and these gloves are no exception. They are designed to act like octopus suckers. The gloves can create a strong grip without crushing objects.
Clothes that can hear
Wearable technology has come on leaps and bounds over the years, adding new functionalities to what we wear every day. Researchers have created clothing that can detect a heartbeat, handclaps, and faint noise. The material is currently a work in progress, with hopes of it being rolled out over the next few years.
A look into technologies that will have a big impact!
This refers to the ability of how machines can learn / act intelligently; this means they can make decisions, carry out tasks and predict future outcomes based on what is picked up using data.
You may not realise but currently there are many examples of this being used in day-to-day life already. Such examples are Alexa, Siri, Netflix personalised recommendations, dating apps and more. There are some risks around future products made with AI which pose threat to humans, such as AI-enabled autonomous weapons, that other countries are racing to develop. However, to offer some balance, without AI, we wouldn't have achieved the amazing advances in innovation like virtual reality, chatbots, facial recognition, robotics, automation, or self-driving cars, just to name a few.
Extended reality (XR)
Extended reality, or XR for short, encompasses virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality and refers to the use of technology to create more immersive digital experiences. This technology is currently being used to boost brand engagement. It provides people with the option to try before you buy, enhance customer service, and improve organisational procedures.
This technology has already been implemented, with apps such as Pokémon Go, which generated over $3 billion in global revenue in 2018. It gives people the opportunity to be whoever and wherever in the universe they like.
But accessibility and availability are obvious obstacles to overcome, given that XR headsets can be pricey, bulky, and clunky. But this technology will become more commonplace, affordable, and comfortable to use, which will only increase the chance of widespread consumption.
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, means creating a 3D object from a digital file by building it layer by layer. This technology has the potential to completely transform manufacturing and other industries. Using 3D printing, the factories of the future could quickly print spare parts for machinery on site. Entire assembly lines could be replaced with 3D printers.
However there is an arguable downside to 3D printing. While having the potential to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing by using less materials overall, it is important to consider the environmental impact of the printers themselves. The negative impact comes from the use of plastic used to create shapes when in production. As there is a lot of support material used it creates a lot of waste.
Human augmentation has developed significantly in recent years, and we wanted to take a further look into this. It’s easy to conjure up images of sci-fi style bionic limbs and other futuristic inventions. However, human augmentation is more prevalent than many people realise.
This form of technology can provide enhancements or improvements to normal human health, quality of life, performance, and functionality.
There are three broad categories of augmentation technologies:
Below are some examples of augmentation that are regularly used but you may not be aware of, and some that may completely shock you:
Not often considered a human augmentation technology, orthodontics provides the ability to maintain and restore the function of teeth and gums. In today’s world, we can experience realistic tooth replacements or veneers.
What is next for the world of human tech? It is hard to say what could and may not happen, but as the Earth evolves so will technology. We wonder if many of the examples mentioned within this blog will make it to the market.
We would enjoy hearing any thoughts you have on this subject. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments & questions.