Through the years, technology has largely shaped human activities and continues to show promise for the future.
Compasses, the GPS, printing press, magnifying lenses, steam engines, electric light, power generators, computers, internet and now self-driving cars.
The list would be longer than the whole of this blog post, so we’ll skip it and cast our eyes on technologies that will innovate the future.
Technologies That Will Rule The Future
1.Internet of Things
Just as the internet has provided a channel for connecting the globe on a network, the internet of things refers to the connection of daily used physical devices to send and receive data over the internet.
Connecting vehicles, kitchen appliances, office equipment, medical devices and just anything possible with an on and off switch to the internet is the goal of IoT.
In theory, any device can be connected to the internet to allow sharing of information and full automation of processes that would have taken longer to carry out by humans.
For instance, office appliances can be configured to order supplies when it runs out while coffee making machines can receive information from your alarm clock that it’s morning already and start making your coffee.
Even though security threats and data privacy issues continue to surround the technology, it is expected to gain more clarity in the future and play a huge part in future human endeavors.
Trying to get machines or devices to execute actions that would have originally required natural intelligence is what AI entails.
In recent years, this technology has taken on increased significance for even the average internet user in the form of chatbots added to the customer service units on social media and native websites.
Speech recognition (Google Voice search), self-driving cars, natural language generation, AI optimized hardware, cybersecurity, and Biometrics are just a few of the vast fields where the technology will come to life in the not too distant future.
In 2013, e-commerce giants Amazon had 1000 robots (AI machines) working in its warehouse. These numbers are currently poised at 40,000 with the possibility of an increase not ruled out. Also, a 47% percent of human jobs is predicted to be lost when over 5 million robots are inducted into the workspace by 2020.
There is little doubt that AI holds a lot of promise for the future and we can only fold our hands and watch on.
Dubbed the ‘second internet’, blockchain technology is a distributed ledger of transactions that guarantee immutability. Information stored on a blockchain cannot be tampered with and can last for almost infinity.
The famous cryptocurrency “bitcoin” is the first demonstration of this technology as it allows users on the network to transfer money without the need for third parties such as banks and insurance companies.
Because of its distributed nature, blockchain technology has already gained application across different sectors of the world economy even though little is known of the technology in some parts of the globe.
For instance, application of blockchain technology in the healthcare industry means that patient record can be shared simultaneously by the clinic and the patient.
This record could include information on all the drugs or medical treatments that the patient has received in their lifetime and will be a source of reference for future visits to the clinic. Also, given that this information is distributed, it can be accessed over a blockchain network by a clinic in any part of the world without any fears that the information has been tampered with.
Several applications of the technology are said to be undiscovered as it continues to hold a lot of potential for the future.
4.Augmented and Virtual Reality
This technology aims to make computer-generated images or graphics look super real in order to get a user immersed in the on-screen activity.
AR has become a major trend for mobile game developers who integrate the visual and audio content with the user’s environment in real time. Even latest AR game versions can generate content from a users environment, making the experience very thrilling.
In the real estate sector, this technology can make it possible for house owners to get an almost first-hand experience of what their new apartment will look like even before the soil is dug.
According to a recent research, by 2025, the AR and virtual reality space in the healthcare industry is expected to reach $5.1 billion, engineering $4.7 billion, real estate $2.6 billion and retail $1.6 billion.
Given the huge potential locked down in technology, new problems are also bound to be created when these technologies come to life.
Several opportunities for Young Africans with career prospects in the tech space also abound and holds a lot of promise for the future of the continent.
Which field will you take to?