5 new technology in 20 years
BY: AFREEN ISMAIL
As seen in any movie that wants to make basic interactions with a computer appear high-tech and science-fiction, holographic interfaces are both a highly intuitive way to interact with a computer and a great way to blow a movie’s special effects budget in one take. Even the best real world examples of this technology today are crude by movie standards but, as with everything else on this list, it will only get better in the coming years.
Imagine being able to control your computer with your mind. For most of us, the brain-computer interface would only serve to heighten our dependence on computers and further isolate us from the outside world. But for amputees and victims of paralysis, in conjunction with bio mechanical prostheses, the brain-computer interface could provide a return to normalcy. This technology is in its infancy at the moment but it has enormous potential for the years to come.
While we’re on the subject of Apple, consumer electronics industry insiders have been hinting for a couple years now that the Cupertino company would one day release a smartwatch, long dubbed the iWatch. Apple has yet to make any formal announcements, but its presence in this nascent category would likely legitimize what until now has been viewed as a bit of a fringe market. Several companies have already ventured into the smartwatch game with mostly middling results. MP3 players, smartphones and tablets already existed before Apple came along and revolutionized those categories. If it decides to get into the smartwatch category as well, there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t do the same to the world of wearable technology for years to come.
Like it or not, this one’s probably here to stay. Though mercifully it will likely never be as mainstream as smartphones or tablets are today, Google Glass has actually shown some real promise in the medical industry, enabling doctors to quickly access patient information, confirm diagnoses and even aid in complex surgical procedures. Thankfully, Glass holes in the wild are still few and far between, and we can only pray it stays that way.
3D printing isn’t new. In fact, it’s been around since the 1980s. But it’s only been in the last few years that the technology has finally started to come into its own. In the next 20 years, 3D printers will become as common as inkjets are today. Think of the possibilities: you just got back from Ikea and realized you’re missing a screw for that beautiful new bookcase you spent $300 on? No need to curse our Swedish furniture overlords. Just go to their website, download the plans, and 3D print yourself one!