The world is changing fast. There are all kinds of moving parts shifting and shaping our civilization. Nothing is more prevalent than technology. It is making our lives easier, more convenient, increasingly productive, and dangerously pleasurable. When it comes to technology, the cutting edge gives us a look into the future. Below are the top ten emerging technologies that are augmenting our way of life and ability to innovate.
Much of the world’s technology is being vastly improved by new battery technology. With fast-charging, long-lasting, and highly useful lithium batteries, we can power all kinds of new emerging technologies. The latest battery advancements are in many ways the backbone of all technological progress. Tesla has been the leader in production of the best batteries around, but there are new competitors hitting the market as well.
Self-Driving & Electric Vehicles
The automotive industry has taken huge steps forward in the last decade. Not only are electric cars becoming cheaper, they’re better for the planet. With accessible electric cars and automakers producing more vehicles with self-driving and safety technologies, the cars of the future may not be what we think of now when we think of these vehicles. New camera technology and GPS capabilities combine with self-driving and battery power to create the modern car.
Batteries are powering electric Tesla vehicles, which have self-driving capabilities. This is a form of automation, a technology that is going much further than cars. Automating technology is replacing all kinds of different jobs in factories, technology, and beyond. Automation is essentially when the machines can run themselves with limited or no human intervention. While this is beneficial in a number of ways, there is great concern about the impact automation will have on the global economy. With over 7 billion people in the world, the question is “what will people do in the future?”
Another field of technology that is making huge strides is robotics. While the amount of robots that are in our daily lives remains low, technology companies are creating all kinds of machines to do specific and varied tasks. The most common form of robotics in the household are floor cleaners that move around on their own and find the dust, dirt, and trash to pick up. This is just the beginning.
Another example is battery powered exoskeletons. This industrial robot combines human intelligence and instinct with the power, precision, and endurance of machines. Like something out of science fiction, this wearable technology seeks to pursue the synergy between man and machine by offering safer manufacturing, assembly, construction, logistics, and warehouse work. It enables the human to become more efficient while minimizing occupational hazards.
While the United States military spearheaded drone technology for the purposes of war and surveillance, drones are becoming more multifaceted than ever before. These light, small, and remotely controlled machines can provide a variety of uses. Amazon has begun to use them to make deliveries. Uber has talked about a drone taxi service for many years. Civilians are using them to survey around their properties. The full spectrum of drone uses remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure. Their uses are many.
Renewable & Alternative Energy
It’s very clear that continuing to use fossil fuels to power our planet is outdated and unsustainable. The fields of renewable and alternative energy are growing and showing the public that not only can they provide cleaner power, they can be affordable. Solar continues to grow. Hydro and wind are more prevalent than ever. Hydrogen energy is getting cheaper. The days of coal, oil, and natural gas will slowly but surely come to an end. We don’t have much of an option.
The longer we use the internet, the more data we retain. Data is bought and sold by major technology and social media companies. The ethics of this are dubious, but there’s no stopping the fact that data is becoming as valuable as oil. Some even call it the new gold. The more data we have about consumers and their habits, the more effectively companies will be able to market to them. This is changing our economy significantly.
There are a lot of conspiracy theories and jokes about 5G internet, but that’s because it is such a leap forward. When 5G becomes available worldwide, the advancements will be nearly exponential. Files will be downloaded much faster. Streaming will be much more reliable. Surgeons will be able to do remote surgeries. Self-driving cars will become more reliable. The accuracy of just about everything on the internet will improve greatly.
Virtual & Augmented Reality
Virtual (VR) and augmented (AR) reality are changing so much about how we view the world. While primarily still existing within the entertainment realm, as VR and AR improve they will be a much larger part of our lives. The sky’s the limit with these technologies. Not only has it already made things like testing cars safer, the potential for making our lives more efficient is still not fully known.
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
Finally, perhaps the most significant emerging technology is artificial intelligence (AI). We’ve all heard the term, but the ability for machines to be self-aware and become as intelligent as humans expands every day. With machine learning, the ability for machines to teach themselves, many people think that technology has already surpassed human capabilities.
The future is uncertain, but it will surely be interesting. With all the emerging and expanding technologies augmenting our world, we will become more productive and knowledgeable. Still challenges remain. As a civilization we must be careful to keep our heart and our compassion, something we aren’t yet sure that machines are capable of.