Technology is constantly changing, so what will it be like in five to ten years time? Here are some amazing developments which we could all be using:
1. Surface Computer
This is a multi-touch computer that “interacts with the user through the surface of an ordinary object“, such as a table, instead of a monitor and keyboard. There are a number of companies who have developed this technology, such as Microsoft, who launched ‘Surface‘ in 2008, at $5,000 – $10,000.
This device could be used in a range places such as schools, bus stops, on walls, for tourist information and restaurants. It can identify and interact with objects placed on its surface, such as a drink or a credit card. Also, via its wireless linking technology, contents such as photo’s or video’s can automatically be transferred from a device, such as your camera or mobile phone, onto the Surface to view.
AT&T were the first to use Microsoft Surface, followed by Harrah’s Entertainment, Disneyland, Sheraton Hotels and T-Mobile. It is expected to be seen in more places in the future. However, according to Microsoft, it will not be cost-effective enough to be used in homes, for at least another three years.
“Despite our reliance on computers to share and process information, there is still a strong dependence on the printed page for reading and absorbing content.”
Companies are looking into inventing paper which can be reused. Xerox are currently experimenting with erasable paper, which allows someone to print a document (using no ink or toner), where the image will fade naturally after 16 – 24 hours, or immediately when exposed to heat (such as during re-printing). This means that one sheet of paper will be used multiple times, making companies more environmentally friendly, whilst saving money on consumables.
3. Gaming Technology
Microsoft’s new Xbox Kinect, provides voice activation and motion sensors, making remote controls obsolete. Other games consoles and devices may follow on from these ideas. However, further into the future, games will develop into more realistic 3D environments, which will allow the gamer to see what the character would see. This could either be through wearing glasses, or even contact lenses. Future games will also be able to pick up your brain signals, to decide your moves within the game, using interactive mind gear. This could not only be applied to the gaming industry, but also in hospitals and in education.
4. Self Driving Car
In the future, cars will be able to drive themselves. The technology has been tested several times, but are a long way from giving the computer 100% control. General Motors have said that they will begin test driving the cars in 2015, and should be on the roads by 2018. Computer driven cars will be more accurate than humans, with better reactions, whilst not getting distracted, sticking to speed limits, stopping at traffic lights, and can put an end to drink driving. This hopes to reduce congestion and road traffic accidents.
Even further into the future, via GPS, you will be able to get your car to collect you from your location. This is something we have all watched in James Bond, but never imagined to become real!
It is astonishing to look back at the technology we used 10 years ago, and how certain developments have changed how we go about our everyday lives. Technology advances at such a rate, that it is hard to predict what will be the next big thing. It’ll be interesting to see how much is developed in the next few years, and how it significantly affects our lives. How do you think technology would have advanced in 10 years time?
I enjoyed watching what Microsoft’s vision for the future holds: