For the majority of human life, the progress witnessed has been relatively slow. In the 21st century, however, obviously this is no longer true. It all comes down to the fact that the rate of technological advancement grows exponentially. Futurist, Ray Kurzweil, predicts that in our lifetime, we will actually experience 20,000 years of progress, based on how fast technology is multiplying, creeping and crawling into nearly every facet of human life. Less than 25 years ago, mobile phones were not even on the market – and yet, look how much these devices have transformed the way that we, as humans, live. These little things are multiplying five times faster than us, too.
Nevertheless, it is an understatement to say that the year of 2030, only fourteen years away, will look much different than the world in which we live today. In fact, in the next twenty years alone, we will experience more change than in all of human history.
In a condensed version, computers are predicted to be everywhere, from fashion accessories to body parts – but you won’t be able to detect them. The average person will have several packages delivered by flying drones each week and we will all be printing out our dinners with a 3D printer. What do cyborgs eat, anyway? 10 percent of cars on the road will be driverless by 2026, at least in the United States. We will all be spending our down time on an activity that hasn’t even been developed yet. Now, proceed with caution, to your future.
10. Robots Designed to Kill
Another prediction for the year 2033 and one we can basically count on happening is the anonymous robot. In fact, we already have some forms of anonymous robots in society as it is (patriot missiles, for example). The Korean DMZ uses something even closer to a traditional-looking robot with their sentry guard robots. The key difference is that these robots are under the control of humans. The autonomous robots of 2033 will not be. While these robots could certainly spare a lot of human life, the fact that they will identify targets and kill them without any human input, is somewhat of a scary thought.
9. Artificially Intelligent Personal Assistants
In other words, your best friend may just be a robot. You may not have to write an e-mail or book an appointment yourself again. Your robot best friend will be so intelligent that it will be able to respond to you in complete sentences and will understand when you call him/her “basic” or that you “ship” this person, or any other range of slang that may be going around in 2030. We are already beginning to see the roots of this type of technology in Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Chippy – so, it’s not that unrealistic that there will be advanced versions on the market over the next decade or so. These personal assistants will know the very intimate details of our very lives, including our range of behavior (we go to bed at 9pm each night) and personal preferences (we do not like vegetables).
8. Pillows To Share + Replay Dreams
By 2030, it could be possible that we will be able to not only tell what someone else is dreaming about, but also share dreams with another person if two people are dreaming at the same time. How is this possible, you may ask? The piece of technology comes down to a pillow, which, through its conducting fibers, will monitor all of the brain’s electrical activity. This monitoring of electrical brain activity also means that it might be possible to replay dreams on a computer screen. In fact, as of 2008, a team of Japanese scientists had already created a device that translates dreams into simple images. Needless to say, this technology is certainly in the works.
7. Implantable Mobile Devices
By the year 2023, only seven years from now, experts believe that implantable mobile devices will be commercially available, with much of the world’s population officially being considered cyborgs. The location of such a device could potentially be one’s arm or even one’s head, and have among their various practicalities things such as never losing our phones and the ability to monitor our health, for example. We are already beginning to see the seeds of implantable mobile devices with the likes of pacemakers, which, at the time of introduction, were seen as “unnatural.” Nevertheless, implantable mobile devices do bring up possible negative scenarios such as tracking in a Total Recall sort of situation. Could we end up being susceptible to a computer virus?
6. Augmented Reality
In essence, we will be like walking Instagram filters, giving the world around us any kind of filter we want. The field of augmented reality is indeed growing at such a fast rate that by 2030, it is predicted that people will wear visors that completely change (that is, augment) the world around us. You could make your walk to work seem like you are part of Tolkien’s world of hobbits, quests, and swords – just don’t forget to wear your visor, of course. Augmented reality is also projected to play a large part in the hotel industry as well. According to Ian Pearson, the walls of hotel rooms and even furniture will be turned into various “fantasy” locations, with sounds to go along with it. This could even allow guests to impose their own bedroom onto the walls of the hotel.
5. Digital Contact Lenses
It has been predicted that digital contact lenses will make actual screens (televisions, iPads, mobiles) a thing of the past given that they will allow you to watch a movie or read a book without so much as opening up your own eyes. If that isn’t 2030’s version of the American Dream, we don’t know what is. These contact lenses are like any regular pair of contact lenses, except they are equipped with various technologies like tiny lasers and micromirrors, which project 3D quality images onto your retina. One bizarre prediction, made by Ian Pearson, is that these contact lenses will be able to change the way your significant other looks.
Have you ever wished you could be a Ninja Turtle? By 2033, your wish might just be granted. In essence, we might all be wearing shells to protect us from
The Shredder danger. Just like exoskeleton insects such as cockroaches or crabs, which have a shell to predict their inner body, humans may follow suit. These exoskeletons will be made out of artificial muscles that are five times stronger than our current muscles. In addition, the technology inserted into the exoskeletons could make humans be endowed with super powers like increased strength, speed, memory or night vision. Some predict that these will make a very popular line of active wear, in addition to serving the elderly and the military.
3. Active Skin
This technology, which, in a nutshell, connects nerves with electronics, would allow people to completely relive any type of sensory experience, from a first date to the feeling of cold snow being whipped across your face. Minuscule electronic capsules or chips, smaller than human skin-cells, would be inserted into upper layers of the skin, and then record nerve signals. Ian Pearson, a leading futurologist, actually made this prediction in the early 2000s, thinking it would come to fruition by 2015. Alas, that is not such the case, but by the time the 2030s rolls around, it could be a possibility.
2. 3D-Printed Liver Transplants
A team of experts in the technology sector believes that the first 3D liver transplant will occur in the year 2024. Given that every year in United States there are 120,000 people on a list to receive a transplant and only approximately 28,000 transplants actually performed, this type of technology could be quite literally, life-changing. In fact, 35% of all deaths in the United States could potentially be entirely prevented if there were enough organs. Given that this sort of technology is already underway with 3D-printed rib cages and a mini 3D printed-liver, a functional, human sized 3D-printed liver may not be far off. Hopefully, organ shortages may be well behind us.
1. Anti-Aging Treatments (Extension of Human Life)
Sure, we have a lot of anti-aging creams on the market that claim to make us “look” younger. But currently, there is not an actual product that makes us live longer by changing us at a cellular level. By 2033, however, this will likely not be the case. Although scientists are not exactly sure what these anti-aging interventions will look like, some might involve therapies that extend the length of certain chromosomes called telomeres. Some might follow the path of the treatments previously performed on roundworms, which more than doubled their lifespan. Additionally, even now, studies are underway to isolate the factors that have allowed certain people to live beyond 110 years of age.