5 Technologies Revolutionizing the Future
While we look around us at the destruction, violence and tragedy, it's difficult to see the good that's in our world. In fact, it's probably easier for us to imagine the dystopian future depicted in many sci-fi, futuristic films where cars are abandoned to burn on the side of the road and people have to fight to survive.
But while a few people are making headlines through acts of evil, there are armies of people who are working together toward a greater good — toward a peaceful, abundant future. We're living in an age of advancement that is both exciting and hopeful and it's good for us to dream about the possibilities. Given 10 years, technological innovations will disrupt energy, healthcare, shopping, manufacturing, exploration, transportation, communication and virtually every area of our lives.
We're just on the cusp and I want to show you a few glimpses into what our future holds:
While 3D printing might just seem like a cool Pinterest project, the implications are incredible! Imagine a day when advanced 3D printers are common place in everyone's households. If you need a specific screw or a new iPhone case or spatula, just purchase and download the 3D model from the internet and print it in your home within minutes. A few years from now, shopping will be a completely different experience.
Healthcare will also look entirely different in the not-so-distant future. Using a 3D bioprinter, we're within 10 years of being able to print complex organs such as a human heart using cells based on the recipient's own body to decrease the risk of rejection. No more lengthy donor waiting lists, just customized solutions to each patient's needs.
Let's go even further... like outer space! Companies such as Made In Space, Inc. are inventing special 3D printers that function in zero-gravity. Imagine a load of such printers being sent to the outer reaches of our solar systems allowing astronauts to set up a base camp and print new supplies before launching off again to explore new frontiers. Or a spacecraft that can troubleshoot emergency situations by printing the part they need rather than frantically rigging something together like in Apollo 13.
Software powered by A.I. will eventually lead to advancements in technology even cooler than Google's Self-Driving Cars or walking, self-correcting, load-bearing robots which could revolutionize transportation (among a lot of other things).
Couple Artificial Intelligence with advancements in virtual reality and, eventually, augmented reality and you're reimagining the very way that we interact with the world.
If you're unfamiliar with VR and AR, here's the simple version. Virtual Reality allows you to interact with a purely digital world through special goggles such as Facebook's Oculus Rift, HTC's Vive, and Google's Cardboard as well as haptic suits which allow you to literally feel what your avatar is experiencing in the virtual world.
Augmented Reality is essentially virtual reality interplayed with reality. By projecting a virtual reality onto clear screens such as glasses, like the ones you'd wear for correcting your vision, you can augment your reality with live, real-time data. Early versions of this include Google's Glass, Microsoft's Hololens and Magic Leap.
Smart Objects (aka: Internet of Things)
While people may scoff at the idea of turning ordinary objects into "smart" objects, the implications are truly limitless. As increasingly powerful platforms such as Apple's Healthkit and IBM's Watson emerge onto the scene, we're giving developers the ability to create applications that track, analyze and deliver relevant information to our lives.
For instance, imagine pants that have sensors in them and can track if your waistband is getting to tight. It can send that data to your nutrition app on your smart watch and customize your approved eating list to help you trim down. Or a refrigerator that automatically orders more milk when your jug gets low. Or a smart kitchen that augments your experience with digital overlays that help you prepare food more efficiently.
Through projects such as Google's Loon, Facebook's Internet.org and Virgin's One Web, we'll soon have a true world-wide-web. Global connectivity that provides internet access to everyone no matter where you are. Rather than the 3 billion people connected to the internet today, we'll nearly triple that number to 8 billion.
With everyone connected to the web, education will become decentralized and democratized providing anyone with a device with access to rich amounts of knowledge. As access to education becomes increasingly available, over time we'll more than double the number of minds helping to solve the world's toughest problems. Eight billion people working to innovate, create and contribute.
Sure, the world will always have its issues. I've read the Bible, I know where things are heading. But I also see the potential that we have to make a difference in people's lives. To create beautiful things that can be enjoyed and appreciated. To worship God through the gifts and talents we've been given. To love people better. There are a lot of incredible things on the horizon that are fun to get excited about! I'm personally giddy just thinking about the opportunity to design things with my entire body instead of just my mouse finger. Or to 3D print those very designs into the world. Opportunity awaits.