You are constantly surrounded by new technologies that offer to improve your life. From internet-connected devices in your home to AI assistants on your phone, there seems to be no end of ways you can streamline your everyday activities. Which tech is worth investing in? Which innovations will make a real difference to your day-to-day existence? Where should you invest your time and money? There are so many connected devices and services claiming to change our lives for the better, but how do you know which of these innovations will have a lasting effect? Here is an overview of the tech that has the potential to revolutionize how we live and work. These are some of the innovations that will change your life - whether at home, at work, or anywhere in between:
The Internet of Things
The most basic way in which our lives are being transformed by technology is through the Internet of Things (IoT). This is the idea that everyday objects, from sensors in our homes to medical devices, will be connected to the internet and able to communicate with each other. When you walk into your smart kitchen and say “Good morning, Kitchen!”, the lights will come on, the coffee machine will start brewing, and the blinds will open. Your fridge may even be able to tell you if you’re running low on essentials, and your washing machine can alert you when your clothes are done. But the IoT goes far beyond smart appliances: it’s predicted that over 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020. These devices are set to transform virtually every aspect of our lives, from working and living to travelling and shopping.
Virtual reality and 3D printing
In recent years, virtual reality (VR) has made huge leaps forward. While VR headsets are now commonplace, next-generation headsets are expected to allow users to interact with virtual environments in new and exciting ways. Imagine being able to climb Mount Everest or walk around the pyramids of Egypt. AR (Augmented Reality) could also become far more advanced, with AR-enabled glasses allowing you to see real-time data, graphics, and visuals superimposed on the outside world. 3D printing is another innovation that looks set to transform the way we live and work. This technology already allows us to make goods quickly and cost-effectively, even if they are extremely complex or have to be produced in large quantities. From toys to aircraft parts – now even food – 3D printing is revolutionising the way many products are made and distributed.
The rise of AI assistants is expected to have a huge impact on how we interact with technology, how we work, and even how we learn and communicate. Products such as the Amazon Echo, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana can already perform a wide range of tasks, including controlling smart home devices, answering questions, setting alarms and timers, and more. AI assistants are constantly being improved, with the potential to grow even more intelligent and useful. We can expect AI assistants to become even more capable, able to learn from our behaviour and interests and even have a sense of personality. AI assistants are also expected to grow beyond individual devices and become part of a broader ecosystem of smart devices. AI assistants will be able to communicate with each other, meaning you’ll be able to talk to your smart home devices, your car, your computer, and more.
Smart homes and smart offices
The coming years will see a massive increase in smart home devices, with over 80% of homes predicted to have some kind of smart device by 2022. From smart speakers to smart lamps and security systems, smart home devices are expected to become much more widely available, affordable, and capable. You can already use the Amazon Echo to control your smart home devices, such as lights or central heating, with just your voice. Similarly, your smartphone can be used to control various aspects of your home. You can even control your home remotely when you’re away, allowing you to turn the lights off or set the temperature to your liking. As the number of smart home devices grows and they become more advanced, these technologies will have a real impact on how we live. There will be countless ways to integrate smart devices into your daily life, such as using your voice to control your home and operate your entertainment system.
Robotics and automation
Robotics and automation have been transforming industries for decades, but their capabilities are constantly being updated and refined. From collaborative robots that can work alongside humans to drones flying overhead, robots have been finding their way into many industries. With AI advancing and robotics technology continuing to advance, we can expect many industries to be revolutionized by these technologies. Taxis are already being transformed by autonomous driving technology, while self-service checkouts are making grocery shopping more efficient and accessible to people with disabilities. There are even AI-powered robots like Pepper that can provide human-like companionship and emotional support.
Drones for business and leisure
The rise of the drone has been incredible to witness since its invention in the early 2000s. From being used by the military to deliver supplies in dangerous environments to becoming popular toys for hobbyists and photographers, the potential for drones seems limitless. Drones have also made their way into business and industry, with companies like Amazon and DHL using them for last-mile deliveries. They’re also being used to inspect power lines and other infrastructure, survey agricultural land, and more. With technology advancing and drone batteries becoming more efficient, we can expect drones to become even more useful in fields such as emergency service provision. They’re also set to become an increasingly popular way to enjoy leisure activities, such as photography and flying.
Smart speakers and voice assistants
Home assistants like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa are some of the most exciting innovations. They allow you to control various aspects of your smart home, including your thermostat and lights. They can also answer questions, play music, and even order products from Amazon. These home assistants can be controlled with your voice and even give you information about the news, weather, and traffic conditions. They are also increasingly able to connect to other devices, such as your smart home appliances and even some cars, so that you can use your voice to control your home. The potential for home assistants is huge and they’re only expected to become more capable in the coming years. They’ll be able to translate languages, help you with your shopping, and perform many other useful functions.
Blockchain and cryptocurrency
While blockchain has been around for some time, it has recently begun to make waves. This decentralized digital ledger records and verifies transactions between parties. The technology is expected to be applied to everything from supply chain management to voting, and has even been suggested as a way to end online piracy. Cryptocurrency is another innovation that is set to evolve and become increasingly relevant in the coming years. While Bitcoin is already a well-known example of a cryptocurrency, it has proven to be somewhat volatile and not as reliable as traditional currencies. Newer forms of cryptocurrency are being developed that aim to overcome these challenges, such as the use of a blockchain backbone.
As you can see, the future looks bright for technological advancements. The technologies listed above are just a few examples of how our lives will be revolutionized. We can also expect advances in artificial intelligence, smart home appliances, and more. With these innovations, we can expect to live healthier, more comfortable, and more convenient lives.