Whether we like it or not, technology influences our everyday lives and as much as our elders try and tell us that the Internet is a fad, it is clearly more than that.
But technology is so much more than just the Internet, technology includes things like medical advances, innovation in the financial services industry, A.I., and so much more.
With technology poised to shape the future, here are seven technologies that will almost certainly play a major role in the coming decades.
1. Augmented Reality
Do you remember the mass hysteria that was Pokémon Go? The game featured a very early form of augmented reality and it showed that this technology has a bright future for whatever company can find a way to blur the lines between reality and fantasy.
While gaming is an easy route for this technology, it could also be adapted into our decision-making process, allowing users to do things like choose which channel to watch or cycle between playlists on Spotify. The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to augmented reality.
2. Chatbots and Virtual Assistants
Chatbots are not exactly a new technology. After all, they have technically been around since the early instant messaging programs from the 1990s. Like most technologies, chatbots have greatly evolved over the years through the use of sophisticated algorithms and A.I.
Modern chatbots allow users to make use of their favorite apps, like Facebook Messenger, to receive the news, check the weather, make payments, check the status of their flights, and much more.
3. Virtual Reality
We are already experiencing the dawn of virtual reality. The technology is still primitive, but great strides have been made to normalize it. For most, the biggest barrier to entry is still cost.
Virtual reality is already being streamlined in the gaming industry, yet it is capable of doing so much more. Imagine being able to visit lifelike vacation destinations, experience the horror genre through terrifying games, or engage in online dating for those of us who are too shy to head to the local bar to try and find love.
The biggest challenges to VR revolve around its cost and how much space it requires. If both of these problems can be solved, you can expect that it will become a mainstay in most American households.
4. Machine Learning
Machine learning will revolutionize the way we work and act once the technology improves. We already use it in recommendation engines, like the ones employed by Netflix, Amazon, and other choice-based platforms.
As algorithms become more sophisticated and hardware advances enough to allow us to simulate human thinking, machine learning will change the world as we know it. In the workplace, machines will replace basic jobs, like those that can be streamlined via processes.
At worst, machine learning will finally enable Netflix to provide you with a list of recommended shows that actually mirror your interests. Here’s to hoping.
5. Autonomous Vehicles
How can you not get excited by the prospect of self-driving vehicles? Pretty much every major tech company is battling it out to try and be the first to mass-market the technology for autonomous vehicles.
This technology will be a game changer and here’s why:
1. You will be able to travel to locations in a way that works for you. Did you stop at McDonalds and dread the thought of eating your messy Big Mac while driving? Let the car drive for you.
2. The insurance industry will have to adapt or die. With autonomous vehicles, insurance companies, over time, will be forced to drop premiums if the software is deemed safe and reliable. It also begs the question of who will be at fault should an autonomous vehicle crash or malfunction.
3. The Uber revolution will greatly change the way people travel in cities. Whether or not Uber is around, the idea of an autonomous vehicle serving as your taxi will be massive. Whichever company gets to the market first on this will have the ability to take in massive profits and they will easily be able to corner non-drivers by offering them an extremely competitive price.
These concepts are just concepts, but the future looks bright and autonomous driving will almost certainly be a part of it.
Beacons aren’t the sexiest item on this list, but the Bluetooth Low Energy technology that it makes use of will have a direct influence on the way we interact with major companies and at popular locations.
Users make use of beacons by connecting to them and interacting with an application that is provided through the beacon itself. Once connected, companies will be able to provide customers with targeted messages and offer them other useful services.
As this technology advances, we can expect to see it dominate the marketing and tourism industries. For example, if you travel to a new city that has beacons installed, you will be able to download content rich maps that help you navigate and interact with popular places.
Even if you know nothing about cryptocurrencies, you probably have heard of Bitcoin before. Cryptocurrencies are part of a new disruptive technology that is heavily changing the way we send and accept payments.
Without delving into specifics, cryptocurrencies will allow individuals to send and receive money with ease, they are harder for a government to devalue since they are part of sophisticated networks, and they allow users to engage in transactions in a secure way that has never been possible before. Major financial institutions have taken notice and are already developing their own ways to integrate and adapt the technology into their own platforms.
While we don’t know which cryptocurrency will win out between Bitcoin and Ethereum, the technology isn’t going anywhere and it is only a matter of time before it is streamlined into our everyday routines.Recommended for you: The History of Facebook: From the Dingy Dorm to World Domination