Technology is already changing our lives in ways the no one ever predicted to be possible. New software and hardware is being created every day, and it’s causing real distruption to traditional industries.
Already,customers forgo high street banks in favour of banking on the go with mobile apps. Contactless and mobile payments are replacing cash in many countries around the globe. Payments are becoming quicker and more secure too. With the current surge in cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin may one day become the world’s reserve currency.
It is predicted that 70% of people of all people will own a smartphone by 2020, giving everyone equal access to the wealth of information and education on the internet. Tools like Khan Academy have already given children in first world countries access to everything they would learn at school. Indonesian, Chinese, Arabic and Suaheli versions of the software are due to be released this year.
Already, apps like Uber and Lyft have taken the place of traditional taxis. In 2018, the first self driving cars will go on the market. It is predicted that in the future, car ownership will drop significantly. People are expected to be able to order a self driving car from their smartphone to take them from A to B, without needing to park, and only paying for the distance driven.
Already, car manufacturers have new competitor. Whilst traditionally, car manufacturers simply tried to build better cars, they now face competition from companies like Google, Apple and Tesla. These companies are revolutionising the market, building computers on wheels.
At present, 1.2 million people around the world die each year in road accidents. This number is set to fall significantly, with the rate of accidents set to fall to 1 every 10million km from 1 every 100,000 km. This will cause massive disruption to the car insurance business model.
More solar energy was installed in 2016 than fossil. This cheaper source of energy brings with it cheaper water. Desalination will become cheaper, making drinking water more abundant.
In addition to this, electric cars are gaining popularity. By running cars on electricity, cities will become much quieter and air pollution will be reduced.
In China, a full 6 floor office building was made using a 3D printer. The cost of 3D printers has come down significantly over the last decade, making it much more accessible. The technology also improved, making production much faster and more efficient.Upcoming smartphones are predicting to have 3D scanning capabilities. What if you could scan your feet and print yourself the perfect fitting pair of shoes at home?
IBM Watson is already helping nurses to diagnose cancer 4 times more accurately. The Tricorder X is also due to be annouced this year. It is a deivce that works with your smartphone to diagnose almost all diseased. It does this by analysing 54 biomarkers after taking a retina scan, blood sample and breath test. This inexpensive device will bring top quality medical analysis to the masses.
With innovation occurring constantly, what else could technology bring for our futures?