York Thought Leadership Blog

The Future of Technology: Cool and A Little Bit Scary!

Posted by Danielle Toste on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 @ 11:04 AM

Think back to how much technology has evolved in the last 30 years. The development and main streaming of computers, internet, cell phones, GPS, televisions, DVD players, etc. has shaped the way we live and interact with others. It got us thinking about what technology will be like in the next 100 years and boy are theories flying around –some very interesting, and some that are downright scary to think about! Here are a few ideas that are either in the works or that many technology experts predict will be developed which will, once again, drastically change the way of life for everyone.

Self-Driving Cars

This is happening already. Google has a driverless car project currently in progress and they are testing cars out on the road. Even though Google has no plans to commercially develop the system, it is believed that by 2025, driverless cars will be the norm.  As a matter of fact, 4 states have already approved the operation of autonomous cars; but, some still require a human to be in the car.

According to CNN Money, Nissan says it will offer a driverless car by 2020, while the Audi A7 is currently developing a “traffic jam assistant” which will allow the car to travel up to 40 mph in heavy traffic without assistance from the driver. That feature, in particular, focuses more on a “piloted” driving car than a driverless car.

Other car executives want “autonomous” or “assisted” cars to be developed. Either way, it is clear that the way we drive will be changed dramatically. Some technology experts are predicting that by 2030, all cars on traveling on major roads will be under control of satellite and roadside control. 

Advanced Robots

While robots are already being widely used in manufacturing, warehouses, and laboratories, the use of robots is predicted to increase dramatically over the next few years. We currently have robotic vacuum cleaners and surgical robots. Now, add in the fact that technology is rapidly increasing the power of microprocessors and artificial techniques. This will result in
robots increasing their potential as flexible automation tools. It is predicted that robots will take over most service industry jobs such as fast food service, housecleaning, and retail sales by 2030. Consequently, it is also predicted that by 2055, more than 50% of Americans could be unemployed by robots.

In addition, the future of the military may look like something out of a present day movie! Robots may be used in warfare or “super soldier” may be created who could be deployed anywhere in the world within hours and remain in the field for extended periods of time. Their bodies and performance could potentially be enhanced through nanosensors that constantly
monitor their medical status, embedded nanoneedles that release drugs when needed, and possibly even nanorobots that can quickly heal wounds in the field.

Virtual Animals

It all started with the Tamagotchi in the 90’s. Do you remember the small keychain computer kids were dying to have so that they could have a “pretend” pet that needed to be fed, walked, and cared for? Well, that was only the beginning. Currently, solid objects can be digitized by laser scanning them and a 3-D model can be made. Soon, you will be able to input the
pet’s basic personality and actions, and potentially recreate a deceased pet. Advancing from that, there will be full blown artificial intelligence driven robots that will be almost undistinguishable from the real thing.

Wireless Recharging

How great is the thought of not having a drawer full of tangled, unused and out dated chargers?! Instead, you would be able to simply put your device on top of another device –and the first consumer products might be debuting sometime this year! This product will focus on charging smartphones and maybe even laptops.

Within the next 20 years, wireless charging stations will be at restaurants, airports, coffee shops, bars, you name it. But, wireless charging won’t stop there. Kitchen appliances will be powered by the kitchen counter and big appliances such as refrigerators will utilize wireless charging, thus cutting down on production costs and eliminating power converters.

Universal Translator

No longer will people struggle in school to learn a second language or face a language barrier while traveling to foreign countries. According to InfoWorld, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and other technology companies are working on a device that will be known as a universal translator – something reminiscent of “Star Trek.”  The handheld device will be an accurate, real time translator that will convert live conversations instantly and correctly.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is already starting to appear in the tech world. For those who still don’t fully understand what augmented reality is, let me explain... According to Total Immersion, augmented reality can be defined as the integration of digital information with live video and the user's environment in real time. Devices used for augmented reality are commonly those
of a computer, a camera, a processor and a screen. Augmented reality recognizes a visual picture or film, blends new information, and displays the virtual result.

In the next 50 years, augmented reality will be just as common as Skype or Face Time – just way better! There will be virtual fitting rooms for online shopping; corporations will use it as a marketing tool to make segmented reality games; GPS will be forever changed by being able to display an enhance real time map that shows everything from restaurants to grocery stores; schools will use it to recreate historical events; activate books into 3D images; and present structures of the galaxy in real time. Also, soldiers (if any are still around) will use it to
have detailed, 3D maps and doctors will be able to perform surgeries from across the world!

Do you agree with these predictions? What are your predictions for the future of technology?

Topics: Industry Trends, Industry News, Information Technology