Technology is what separates humans from animals, and it's constantly moving a mile a minute. It seems like every year, the human race is taking massive leaps forward in terms of their technological developments, although for some people it's never fast enough. Where are our flying cars and hoverboards that were predicted in the movie Back To The Future? Well, there are perhaps other things coming very soon that are even more interesting than those science fiction imaginings, and they are things which we could have never expected.
It can really blow our minds thinking about what technology will be like in 50 or 60 years. Some of us will look back on the technology we're using right now, and it will seem like the stone age. Make no mistakes, there are life-changing advances in technology coming soon. And we won't even have to wait until we're old to see some of these changes. That's right; some are coming within the next 5 years. Things like quantum computing, driverless cars, genetic engineering, and many other developments are pretty much already at our doorstep. So what's the next step? Well, that all depends on how we choose to use all this new technology...
One of the most interesting new technologies right now is definitely Graphene. We know, this idea has been around for a while and since the initial hype, enthusiasm has gone down a little bit. It's a technology that people have been losing patience with, because it just hasn't delivered. But what is Graphene? It's an extremely thin material, just one atom thick, and yet it's 100 times stronger than steel. It's also flexible, conductive, and transparent. There are countless potential applications for this material, and we should be seeing some within the next few years.
19 Foldable Phones
And one of the technologies that could very well utilize graphene is foldable, flexible screens which can be used in smartphones and many other applications. Those with an ear to the phone market probably know a thing or two about the Samsung Galaxy X, which is rumored to be able to fold into a wallet-like shape. It's also rumored to have batteries, which can use graphene to charge incredibly quickly. But the main thing to note here is that foldable, rollable screens are definitely a thing of the near future, potentially appearing in all of our next devices.
People love to talk about holograms. This is definitely one of those technologies which has a really futuristic vibe, and it looks as if this tech might finally be starting to deliver. We've seen a few examples of this in the past few years, but some of the most stunning showcases were delivered at CES 2018. A company called Hypervsn showed off some cool holograms created by LED lights on fans, but it's important to note that they're not true holograms. However, the real technology does not seem to be far off – so maybe we won't even need physical screens in the next few years.
17 You Won't Need To Charge Your Phone
Charging technology is becoming quite impressive, and considering the fast-moving pace of the smartphone industry, it's not that crazy to think that we might not even have to charge our phones at all in a few years. There are all sorts of things that people are trying to do, from solar powered phones to kinetic systems that charge using the human body's movement. Hydrogen cells have also been suggested, and the main takeaway is that charging our batteries will become much easier in the future, to the point where it might not be necessary at all.
16 Scanning Ears Instead Of Fingerprints
Another interesting development in the world of smartphones is in the realms of security and identification. The standard on most flagship phones is a fingerprint scanner or facial recognition. But the future might actually be a lot more secure and interesting. One method involves scanning a person's ears, because the ear cavity is unique and different in shape depending on the person. This would be very hard to fool. Other identification methods include recognizing the tone of your voice or even the way you type.
15 Advanced Robotics
This is perhaps one of the most unsettling developments coming in a few years, and it's not just because of all the robots you've seen in movies and television shows. Robots are going to enter the workforce in a meaningful way, taking up roles ranging from assembly lines all the way up to performing surgery on a patient. Robots aren't fully intelligent yet, but in order to fulfill a lot of these tasks they don't have to be. Every year, robots get a little more impressive and a little closer to being something that everyone will have to take seriously.
14 Genetic Engineering
Genetic engineering, popularly known today simply as "genomics," is a fast-growing technology that shows incredible promise and potential. It will probably begin to deliver life-altering results within the next few years. Although creating "superhumans" and designer babies remains a very real result of genomics, there are also many other uses, such as in agriculture and even energy production. Although genetic engineering remains a slightly controversial technology, it could result in things like longer life expectancies. This is all made increasingly possible with faster computer processing speeds.
Blockchain is considered by many to be a game changer, and the shift has been long underway. For those who don't know, Blockchain is a decentralized system of trading digital currency, although the uses for this technology can potentially reach much further than simply finance. Future systems might be much more universally accepted. Things like peer-to-peer lending and transactions will probably utilize blockchain more and more in the coming years, effectively eliminating the middle man for online transactions.
12 Quantum Computing
Hold onto your hats, because things are about to get even more complicated. Quantum computing is another area that could very well be huge in the next few years, and a lot of people have high hopes for this technology. The basics behind Quantum computing revolve around two concepts of quantum physics: superposition and entanglement. For example, entanglement is the correlation between quantum particles, which means that the two particles remain the same even when separated by large distances, no matter what changes they undergo. This and superposition result in much faster computing speeds, which means that this will be computed on a completely different level than what we have now.
11 Free, Unlimited Data Storage
The cloud is going to become more and more mainstream as the years progress. Local storage will quickly become a thing of the past, as more and more people realize that there is potentially an endless amount of storage space located on the public domain, rather than locally. The benefits for such a system are obvious, but until very recently it has cost us money to store things on the cloud. Nowadays, companies are starting to offer free storage space, and there are many that believe that eventually, storage space will be offered for free, at an unlimited quantity.
10 The End Of Video Game Consoles
Staying on the topic of cloud-based systems, such technology could effectively spell the end for video game consoles – or at least physical ones. Streaming video game services are already being explored, but many of us still rely on our trusty console that we can see, touch, and put games into. But many experts believe that the next generation of consoles will be the last. How will streaming video games work? Essentially you would sign up for a subscription, and play all of your favorite Playstation, Nintendo or Xbox games online. Kind of like Netflix. Cloud technology is becoming so advanced that even weak computers would be able to handle the games, because all of the data and actual hardware is stored online or at a server.
9 3D Printing
3D printing has been around for quite a while now, and it's been something of a novelty for that time. It seems like 3D printers are only good for printing out vaguely interesting and semi-useful plastic objects. But within the next few years, we could witness 3D printing truly coming into its own. 3D printing other materials such as metals could change the face of manufacturing. In addition, it should be possible to print things like organs and other medical necessities. This could truly be life-changing.
8 Internet Access Could Become A Human Right
This is an interesting one. We already know that internet is important and that it's been a major part of humanity's leap forward technologically. But it's not like the internet is anything new. We're pushing it a little bit here, because although the internet is nothing new, the way we view it is changing quickly. The internet has ceased to be a luxury, becoming instead a necessity. Some are even arguing that it should be considered a human right, much like access to clean water and a reliable food supply. If that's the case, we might see genuine attempts by world governments to supply internet to every citizen on Earth, free of charge.
7 Cars Will Forever Change
Before the internet, one type of technology that really changed everything was the automobile. When the first cars were invented, it changed how we lived, how we worked, and even how we built our cities. Well, it looks as if cars are going to change massively, and it could happen soon. No, we're not going to be getting flying cars, but what we will get might just have a huge impact. Self-driving cars are becoming more and more mainstream, and soon we might all be letting computers do the driving for us. As a result, cars themselves will change. There will be more space for relaxation and entertainment, because they won't have any controls. Furthermore, car ownership might also become obsolete, with ride-sharing services on the rise.
6 Artificial Intelligence
Like robotics, artificial intelligence is another potentially unsettling development that is well underway, and could have more of an impact in the coming years. Machine learning has become incredibly advanced, to the point where AIs can now function without human input, sometimes more efficiently than the human mind. The obvious concerns is that artificial intelligence could become something used to actually control or spy on the general populace, but it could have some positive effects as well. We will find out in the next few years.
The hyperloop is one of the most exciting new technologies that we might see in the next few years, and this is another one of those projects that Elon Musk is very much involved in. It's basically a train that is so fast that it would replace planes as a means of travel, and it should be taken seriously. Linear induction motors would propel these trains at a speed of 760 miles per hour, which is much faster than an airplane. The trains would be put in pressurized tubes under the ground. Although this project wouldn't be easy to complete, it's clear that it's something being taken very seriously by those who want to build it.
Wi-Fi is no longer the only way to connect wirelessly to the internet. A new technology has been created, and it's called Li-Fi. Instead of using radio waves to transmit information, Li-Fi uses light. LED lights are used to transmit that same internet signal, and this has been shown to have many advantages. Because the light spectrum is so much larger than the radio frequency spectrum, faster internet can be achieved, comparable to the highest broadband internet possible. It's also estimated to be ten times cheaper than Wi-Fi.
3 Smart Windows
Although windows aren't something most people get excited about, it's hard not to be at least a little interested in this new technology. Smart windows, also known as smart glass, is a new invention that allows glass to change its properties with the introduction of heat or electricity. This basically eliminates the need for blinds, but it can also cut down or even reduce the need for heating or air conditioning, especially if used in tandem with other new architectural methods. Some types of smart glass can even automatically react if exposed to heat, which translates to a window that gets darker when it gets sunny, to stop the room from getting too hot.
2 Armored Exoskeletons
Armored exoskeletons are also starting to become more and more viable, with plenty of countries all over the world racing to make soldiers even more durable and technologically advanced. It looks as if video games like Halo and DOOM might not be so crazy and far-fetched after all, with researchers and engineers getting closer and closer to making powered exoskeletons a reality. The advantages are obvious – a powered frame means the ability to carry heavier, more durable body armor, and more supplies. There are also indications that the wearer will have increased strength.
1 New Ideas In Space Exploration
We'll leave you with new information and rumors in an area of technology that everyone seems to get excited about – space travel. There are a number of positive developments that we can expect to make major headway in the coming years, and we're already seeing some exciting things happen in this area. SpaceX and other companies are taking on space travel themselves, and they've been using interesting technology such as renewable rockets, which can cut down on cost. But one very interesting development is the proposal of a so-called "space elevator." Remember how we started the article with Graphene, that super strong, flexible material? A lot of people are saying that a space elevator could be made out of this material. You never know, it might just happen.