Tomorrow’s Technology Today. The 8 Technological Trends That Will Define The Next Decade
Over the next decade, we will realize many incredible technological advances. Sure, we may not be living on the moon, eating our meals in pill form, or traveling to work using jet packs, but there’s no doubt an exciting future is fast approaching.
In this article, I want to outline the 8 key technology trends that will continue to define the next 10 years.
Here are the top 8 tech trends to watch:
1. Internet of Things
The Internet of things (or IoT) refers to the growing number of everyday objects connected to the internet.
Connecting our physical and digital lives will make our day-to-day experiences more seamless. Here are some examples of IoT devices that we are already using everywhere.
IoT is the backbone of smart home security. A massive range of sensors, lights, alarms, and cameras (all of which can be controlled from a smartphone) are available and connected via IoT to provide 24/7 security.
Activity trackers are devices with sensors that monitor and transmit critical health information in real time. You can track and manage loads of things, from blood pressure and appetite to physical movement or oxygen levels.
Industrial & Safety
IoT-enabled detection systems, sensors, and cameras can provide security in sensitive or restricted areas. They can also identify and alert people to a range of workplace hazards, fixing them before they become a serious problem.
Augmented Reality Glasses
Augmented Reality (AR) glasses are computer-enabled goggles that superimpose information (like 3D animations, videos, directions, etc) over whatever the user sees in real life.
This trend toward IoT is even seeing physical places like homes, offices, and whole cities becoming increasingly connected “smart spaces“ with tech like infrastructure sensors and management systems.
Today there are more than 9 billion devices connected to the internet, and that number is estimated to grow to nearly 1 trillion in the next decade.
These smart devices are constantly collecting and transmitting data, further fuelling the advancement of Big Data and AI.
2. Big Data & Augmented Analytics
Big Data itself refers to the ever-increasing growth of the mind-bogglingly massive amount of data we create.
Really, it’s insane.
Go back 64,000 years to the earliest known cave paintings. Now try to imagine every bit of ‘data’ created between then and 2007. Every piece of music. Every word that was ever written, typed or printed. Every song, story, photograph, and video.
As a species, we’ve created 10 times that amount of data in the last 24 hours alone.
293 billion emails were sent over the whole of 2019. In 2022, over 306 billion emails are sent every single day.
Over 500 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube every minute. More than 7,000 tweets are sent per second.
Social media, blogs, online forums, and simple website builders are also adding to the absolute avalanche of new data.
As you can see, we’re creating much more data than humans could ever hope to study, let alone understand. But all that data has value.
Now, thanks to augmented analytics – highly advanced data analytics fuelled by AI – we can make sense of enormously complex and varied data streams.
This breakthrough can benefit businesses in many ways, like enhanced data management, streamlined data analytics, accurate insights, and lower costs.
3. The Metaverse
Virtual reality, augmented reality, or mixed reality; no matter the method, it’s obvious there is a trend toward creating more immersive digital spaces and experiences.
Obvious enough that Goldman Sachs is betting on the industry to become an $80 billion market by 2025 – more than 11 times its current $7 billion (ish) valuation.
Enter Mark Zuckerberg and the Metaverse. Is it the internet? A video game? An incredibly uncomfortable version of Zoom?
The answer is kind of all of these, but in time, so much more. Let me (try to) explain.
It’s basically a combination of technologies that allow an unlimited number of people to experience and interact with 3D virtual worlds created in real-time.
No clearer? Ok.
In a sentence, just replace the phrase “ metaverse” with “cyberspace.” 99% of the time, the term doesn’t refer to one type of technology but rather a change in how we see and interact with that technology.
And just like the term cyberspace, metaverse may well become equally as obsolete, even as the technology it once described becomes common in our everyday lives.
Still unsure? It’s like The Matrix, ok?
Why does it matter? Well…
The plan is that eventually, it will become more essential to everyday existence than the internet and smartphones are today.
In the future, you’ll find a large part of your day will be spent in the metaverse. In fact, most activities will take place there: work, school, training, shopping, entertainment, fitness, and more.
4. Wearables & Augmentation
In 2015, former Google chairman Eric Schmid said:
“the Internet will disappear. There will be so many IP addresses, so many devices, sensors, things that you are wearing, and things that you are interacting with that you won’t even sense it. It will be part of your presence all the time.”
While we’re not quite there yet, with Zuckerberg’s Metaverse just over the horizon we could be soon — or soon-ish.
In the meantime, when it comes to smart things you’re wearing, here’s some of where we are at now.
These are all about measuring human experience. They started with fitness trackers like Fitbit but have now exploded into a whole industry of technology designed to help us live healthier, safer, more efficient lives.
Wearables are a category of electronic devices that can be built into clothing, worn as accessories, tattooed on the skin, or implanted inside the user’s body.
These hands-free electronic devices are another example of IoT and can send and receive data via the internet.
Some types of wearable technology currently available include smart watches, jewelry like biometric rings, fitness trackers, smart clothing, VR headsets, and human implants.
These implants – or augmentations – are sometimes seen as fringe science for sci-fi weirdos, but the truth is that it’s becoming more and more common!
(I once heard about a dude with an implant that lets him feel magnetic north).
This is any technology that boosts human productivity and improves or repairs the body or mind.
Things like Pacemakers, hearing aids, and prosthetics are some classic examples of augmentation we know and trust in action. But what about the future?
Naked Prosthetics is creating custom hand prosthetics for people who have had their fingers amputated, providing their clients with extremely high levels of dexterity and control.
A wearable device similar to glasses, eSight provides legally blind individuals with the ability to see their environment. It uses cameras to scan the environment and display it on a screen that sits right in front of the wearer’s eyes.
Cochlear Implants has developed a product that restores hearing without any need for an external hearing device to be worn.
Is the Blockchain complicated? Boring? Yes.
But it’s also the future. In fact, it’s predicted that 99% of digital transactions will be on the blockchain eventually.
But what is it?
Putting it simply, a super-secure method of storing, authenticating, and protecting data. It will revolutionize many aspects of the world.
The takeaway here is that information in the blockchain is constantly checked and compared to copies of itself, which are stored in multiple locations and updated instantly.
Because the records are public and verifiable, it means they’re transparent and tamper-proof (apparently). And since there’s no central location, it is harder to hack as the data exists simultaneously in millions of places.
The possibilities are endless, but here are just a handful of the 60+ ways Blockchain is being used today and in the near future.
Transactions processed over a blockchain could be settled within a matter of seconds and reduce (or even eliminate) banking transfer fees.
Some companies are experimenting with blockchain technology to help people control their digital identities while also giving users control over who can access that data.
Blockchain could act as a trustworthy middleman to securely store and move enterprise data among industries.
A decentralized database means artists (and open source developers) maintain their rights. It also provides transparent, real-time royalty distribution to musicians and other creators in general.
Blockchain could also play an important role in healthcare, managing clinical trial data and electronic medical records while maintaining complete regulatory compliance.
Is it dull? Possibly, but it is coming. It may be time we all learned a bit more about Blockchain tech.
6. Quantum Computing
Unimaginably fast and capable of solving seemingly unsolvable problems, Quantum computers will make our current state-of-the-art technology look like counting with your fingers.
While still largely restricted to labs, we should start to see the first commercially available quantum computer this decade.
It’s massively complicated, but basically, the term describes a future generation of super-fast computers that process information as “qubits” rather than the regular bits (ones and zeroes) of classical computing.
Takeaway: it’s super fast!
How fast? Quantum computing is estimated to be 158 million times quicker than our best-existing supercomputers today. To put that into context, a task that would have taken a traditional supercomputer 10,000 years could be accomplished in under 4 minutes.
It’s going to change our understanding of everything.
7 . Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
As the driving force behind most of the trends on this list, the increasing ability of machines to learn and act intelligently will absolutely continue to transform our world.
Natural language processing lets machines understand human language, and has dramatically changed how we interact with machines.
At the most obvious level, think Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, and online chatbots. Lots of us are already communicating with machines by typing requests or even speaking to them.
And as more people interact with these AIs, they collect even more data; data that – with machine learning – gives AI the ability to learn, in turn creating a more effective and realistic AI.
We’ve discussed assistants and chatbots, but where else will we find AI in our daily lives?
From personalized shopping to fraud prevention, AI is already an essential part of eCommerce.
It can create customer recommendations using data like user browsing history, preferences and interests, and helps improve customer loyalty towards your brand.
AI is also helping with credit card fraud and fake reviews, two of the biggest issues faced by eCommerce companies today. By analyzing usage patterns, AI can help reduce the possibility of credit card fraud as well as identify fake reviews.
Artificial Intelligence has slowly begun to enter the education sector, promising to increase productivity among faculties and help them focus more on students while spending less time on boring office or administration tasks.
AI creation of digital content like video lectures, conferences, and textbook guides can help make the material relevant to each student based on their own interests and capabilities.
With AI, some email providers can filter approximately 99.9% of spam from our inboxes.
Facial recognition on our phones and laptops provides added levels of awkward pose face security.
Systems that provide personalized recommendations (think Netflix, Deliveroo, Youtube, etc.) to help increase engagement (anyone else endlessly doom scroll through tv shows?). AI isn’t a lifestyle choice but an invisible necessity.
GPS technology can provide road users with accurate, timely, and de
tailed information to improve safety and efficiency.
The technology uses a combination of AI networks and is heavily used by Uber and many logistics companies to analyze road traffic, and optimize routes.
Robotics is another industry where artificial intelligence applications are becoming much more common. For example, Robots powered by AI use real-time updates to sense obstacles in its path when navigating factories and warehouses.
It has a massive range of uses, from cleaning offices and industrial equipment to inventory management.
More companies are using Artificial Intelligence to help with blind hiring. Through machine learning, AI can examine applications based on specific criteria, scanning job candidates’ profiles and resumes to give recruiters an accurate employee profile.
AI applications are used in healthcare to build machines that can detect diseases, identify cancer cells, and analyze test results to ensure an early diagnosis.
AI can also use historical data and medical intelligence to discover potentially life-saving new drugs.
Big data and machine learning mean that AI has gotten pretty good at content creation. AI can get artistic in all kinds of ways, like spell-checking your emails, painting a digital artwork, or creating your perfect website by asking 8 questions.
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
The next decade tech advancement will bring about massive changes in the way we live and work. But the signs of those changes are here today.
- IoT, wearables, and the Metaverse are going to increase connectivity and merge physical and digital spaces.
- As the real and digital world continue to become more interconnected, blockchain will become essential to all transactions.
- Big data, augmented analytics, and quantum computing will bring new Innovation at incredible speeds.
- AI and machine learning will continue to be the fuel that drives the next decade of tech advancement.
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