Not so far-fetched future tech
Think of what the future holds for tech. Presuming you don’t have apocalyptic visions or homicidal computers in your mind, it’s exciting. Some might seem to exist in the far-fetched future. But technology doesn’t just appear fully-formed and ready to use. It will always have roots in technology in development in the here and now.
Here is some of the tech we can expect to see in the future, both near and not so near, based on what’s already in development today.
Wearables don’t begin and end with smartwatches. This is technology you can literally wear. Our clothes will soon include sensors and other hopefully washable electronics that can, at the very least, monitor our bodies and alert us to any potential problems. There are other wearables like contact lenses in development that could monitor our health. In the distant future, they could probably give us enhanced and augmented vision, too.
Drone delivery systems are already being tested in certain African countries, but we have yet to see mass deliveries from Amazon, Google and competitors, going from truck or warehouse to your doorstep. Safety regulations will probably require these drones to be small, which will limit what they can deliver. But imagine the impact even small deliveries could have for businesses sending original documents.
This is also something under development already. The reason why it will take years is less about the technology itself but more on safety. Developers have yet to reach complete automation as far as cars are concerned. But at the rate car manufacturers are pushing the technology, it’s not going to take too long. Self-driving cars are one thing. Self-driving, ride-sharing electric vehicles are another. Mercedes’ Smart EQ Vision Fortwo concept revolves around reducing traffic congestion by not only sharing your ride with another passenger but also kicking out the human driver to have just enough room for two.
Emotional Artificial Intelligence (AI)
There is a lot of talk about how AI and robots will make some of the biggest future decisions in business. What if AI, instead, offered emotional answers in addition to just factual ones? What if you can unload your feelings to your digital companion and it will sooth and comfort you? That might not exactly be possible yet, but the next step to recognizing our facial expressions is mapping them to emotions. While it will be a long while before AI has enough intelligence to know the appropriate responses, they can attempt to cheer you up with music, emojis, or jokes.
These aren’t yet the nanobots that can rewrite and corrupt your DNA. These will be tiny, motor-less and physics-driven robots that can give doctors a hand when dealing with the microscopic problems in our bodies. There are already pills that enclose tiny sensors that physicians use in areas where even the most hi-tech instruments can’t safely go. There are also robots in development that can move, especially through viscous liquid, with no motors and no batteries.
We don’t have to look to science fiction or gaze too far to see the technologies that await us in two to three decades. Some are already just around the corner, or at least being foreshadowed in what we have today. Some, admittedly, might seem ludicrous, but it’s those crazy ideas today that often give way to technology of tomorrow.