The 21st century has been the age of information and data. Over the centuries, we have collected a smorgasbord of information and knowledge and with computational power increasing every year, we have created an almost virtual reality on which we exist and have based our studies. This vast ocean of knowledge has enabled us to lay the foundations of a future that was previously only possible in movies. The 19th and the 20 centuries were the ages of industrialization and discovery, and the 21st century in turn has all been a study of our past to foster a future. Whether it is for the best or for worse, only time can tell. But this article lists the top emerging technologies to watch out for in the foreseeable future, and even for the coming decades.
- Electricity driven transportation
Often referred to as “black gold”, fossil fuels have long been the cornerstones when it comes to energy sources. They have powered our homes, factories, vehicles, and wars for a century. But with increasing environmental concerns and the fact that those resources are finite, they are being replaced with electrical power with ever-increasing efficiency. What was a laughable idea 15 years ago, is today a very good substitute for the gas-guzzling environment polluters.
- Artificial Intelligence
Commonly known as AI, it has found its way into most systems where human decisions played a role previously. AI and machine learning have seeped into our daily lives. They track what we do, what we like, and what we want and tailor the world around us accordingly.
- Virtual and Augmented reality
With enhanced computing prowess thanks to manufacturing processes getting more and more efficient, we have now everyday computers that can render objects and worlds that are often hard to tell apart from real life. Virtual reality is fast changing the way we develop and see models before they are actually put into production, and with augmented reality, a person can see his future car in real life by simply projecting it into his porch using nothing but a smartphone.
- Big Data and automation
With more grasp on the vast oceans of knowledge and data that we have available to us through powerful tools and, business intelligence and predictive analysis have taken on a new dimension altogether. Businesses are now able to predict what the market customer demands will look like in the future and adjust their marketing and business strategies to be in the best possible position to tackle those challenges. Furthermore, many processes can be automated within corporations because the tools and technologies are able to learn from the data sets, and hence, human intervention is reduced in everyday mundane tasks.
- Internet of Things (IoT)
There are hardly any electronic devices manufactured nowadays that do not have WiFi built into them, and that is because we are moving to a future where everything directly related to us would be connected and communicating to each other. Everything, from our cars to our washing machines to our home lights and security systems, are connected to each other and all are controllable with a simple smartphone.
As the world moves towards a more connected future, with everything connected to each other and available online, it only makes sense that the biggest bottleneck to a smooth user experience would be the internet speed. With 5G, it is set to all change dramatically, as reviewers and testers have seen speeds of more than a gigabyte per second in selected areas. The technology is still in its nascence though, as there are not many 5G carriers and the ones that are, do not offer much network coverage. Plus, 5G is a major bottleneck for current smartphone hardware.
Blockchain has emerged as a relatively new type of data structure that works on the simple principle that once a record is added, it can only be added onto another block, with no other changes to its original state allowed. Because of this, blockchains have become fundamental building blocks for such diverse applications like cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, domain names, healthcare records, energy trading, and financial services to name a few. It is blockchain’s inherent secure nature that makes it valuable in any application or field that uses and stores sensitive data.
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