I love living in the 21st century. Technology is advancing at such a rapid pace that it is really difficult to keep up with every new innovation and the new horizons each one opens for all of us. As I look at all of the places technology will take us in 2015, there are 6 specific trends that truly stand out as stunning.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
If our grandparents could only see what we will in the next year or two – any object that can be turned on can be connected to the Internet and accessed from any of our devices. Certainly, we have this capability in small ways already – we can turn our lights on and off with our Smartphones; we can tune in to our pets, children and babysitters when we are not home. But think of the coming attractions. Soon, our vehicles will send information to their manufacturers and diagnose their own problems; our cars will determine the best route for the time of day or detect road problems; they can send notifications of time of arrival for those waiting on us. Our alarm clocks will talk to our coffee pots or any other appliance in our homes.
The public uses are endless as well. Software and sensors will be imbedded in roads, detecting snow and ice and automatically turning on “warmers” to maintain safe driving conditions; airplane engines will diagnose their own issues and map out repair procedures, and software in planes themselves will automatically detect turbulence and storms and determine proper altitudes and other air traffic, adjusting the flight path without traffic controllers or pilot interventions.
While 3D printing has largely been a “toy” for those who have the money, and has been used most commonly to produce models in 3 dimensions, the adaptations of this technology for industry, biomedicine and consumers are rapidly expanding.
Industrial Use: The expensive 3D printers in manufacturing today can use multiple materials and colors. Making parts for machines, automobiles, appliances, etc. is just the beginning – ultimately the entire product may indeed be printed rather than produced on an assembly line.
Biomedical Uses: Implants and artificial limbs and organs are the obvious thrust and will remain so throughout 2015. Medical researchers are just beginning to consider the endless possibilities of this technology.
Consumer Uses: While 3D printers for consumers have really gotten cheaper, they are still in the embryonic stages. But as patents expire and prices continue to decline, consumers can expect in the future to have some of the same technology that industry does.
We already have them in many ways – onboard GPS systems, technology that allows one to connect his/her cell phone into the system, even cars that parallel park themselves. The advances in self-driving cars will soon include systems that allow the handicapped and elderly the independence of getting into their own cars, voice-activating their GPS systems and allowing the car to do all of the rest! Ultimately, this can also relieve the nerves of parents whose children are new drivers.
We humans want what we want when and where we want it. Right now, we have separate apps for each network on each device, and it can be a bit frustrating going through each app to locate a specific program or show when we don’t know which network it’s on. In 2015, there will be a move toward one app for streaming anything on any device on any network – problem solved!
2015 will bring even more innovations than users saw in 2014. Users will be able to stream 4K videos directly to a television screen; video capabilities will include directional audio, so that only the sound from one person will be recorded; they will connect wireless to a monitor and keyboard, functioning just like a PC; and for gamers, a wireless connection to an external monitor will negate the need for a separate game system.
60% of the world’s population does not have Internet access, due to lack of infrastructure. Google has developed its “loon balloon” to bring the Internet to these populations – large helium balloons, floating above a rural area, equipped with solar-powered electronics that will beam down cellular signals to computers and other devices. Facebook will be in on this too, with solar-powered drones.
Every technological advance also brings new threats to security – public and personal. Let’s hope that security technology can keep pace!
About the author: Julie Ellis is working as the writer for http://www.premieressay.net/ finds her inspiration in the educational assistance to gifted students. Master’s degree in Journalism allows her to follow her vocation and help English-speaking students around the world.