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4 Emerging Technologies that will Change the Way we live
In the early 21st century, we can say that we live in the Information Age, informally known as the age of technology. Technology is changing and evolving every day. In fact, it is evolving as you read this article! Nowadays, new technologies emerge all the time and evolve even faster. Still, in this article we'll attempt to point out 5 emerging technologies that are likely to revolutionize the way we live in the future.
In the late 20th century, we were all using bulky desktop computers affixed to tables. Soon after, portable notebook computers came along that allowed people to carry their machines to work or home.
There was a point in the 1990s when we would use paper encyclopedia to acquire information on a subject and go through the Yellow Pages to find local information in their city.
At the turn of the century, we started using Google to answer our difficult questions and Wikipedia to acquire insight into any subject matter. All of this happened fairly quickly and seamlessly in retrospect. However, it took a lot of hard work to get there.
Now, we have more emerging technologies in the 2010s that have the potential to change the way we live in a radical manner. Consequently, while the current gadgets excite consumers and techies everywhere, future technology news should also pay attention to the upcoming ones. Whether its emerging technologies in gaming, lifestyle, or education, machine learning now means that the cross section benefits the whole.
Some of these are already making inroads into the mainstream while others are merely still prototypes and ideas. See our list of the top 4 below:
1. Autonomous Vehicles
When we drive our cars to work every day, we manually control the gearbox with the shift stick, turn the steering wheel for maneuverability, and step on the pedal to accelerate. Driving has become second nature to us but imagine that you did not have to drive any longer.
Imagine being in a vehicle that is able to navigate with very little input from the driver.
Just a few years ago, the idea of a driverless car was inconceivable in real life, only to have existed in fiction stories but now, we do have autonomous cars that are able to sense their surroundings and drive entirely on their own. In what is now one of the quintessential emerging technologies definitions, autonomous vehicles are now here. You can now simply take your seat in a car and relax as your car drives you around.
These cars are not just in the works. They actually exist. Tesla Motors, a company spearheaded by the great innovator Elon Musk, has already designed and produced autopilot capable models of their cars.
These automobiles are capable of completely autonomous driving and are able to steer through traffic all on their own. Besides Tesla Motors, other major automobile manufacturers are following suit, designing driverless cars because they realize that this is the future of locomotion.
As a result, future cars and other modes of future transportation will have such technology fitted as standard. In fact, manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Nissan, and Toyota are currently prototyping these cars and will soon launch their products on the market.
2. Virtual and Augmented Reality
Gaming has become more popular than ever before, with graphics becoming very lifelike through highly detailed character models and environments. With the improvement of graphical features came the emerging technologies in gaming to create better experiences. The idea is immersing people into these imaginative gaming worlds to enrich the experience. When Oculus Rift burst onto the scene in 2013, it was billed as the first virtual reality headset.
Virtual reality (VR) is a set of technologies, including software and hardware, that literally teleports users to a realistic and immersive simulation of a three-dimensional environment. VR allows users to look around the artificially or recorded scenes and interact with objects.
As a result, VR offers limitless possibilities for all manner of industries and sectors. From emerging technologies in education to travel, healthcare and industrial uses, virtual reality's uses are endless.
These experiences are so immersive that they actually generate real life sensation in your body. In essence, you are the player character in that virtual world. A VR headset is a giant pair of goggles that encapsulates your entire field of vision. Recently, Sony released the PlayStation VR to bring traditional video games to a virtual reality experience. Now you can play Call of Duty in VR and actually run around and shoot enemy troops and feel the adrenaline.
Microsoft's Hololens augmented reality headset
Apart from VR, there is another similar advanced technology in augmented reality (AR). Unlike virtual reality, which places you in a virtual world, augmented reality pulls the graphics and elements out of a virtual world and integrates them into our real world environments.
Augmented reality allows you to interact with digital information that otherwise does not exist there. In 2015, Microsoft showed off its HoloLens, a head-mounted display that generates hologramsof objects that you can manipulate.
Just like VR, Augmented reality is not only exciting for emerging technologies in gaming. They present many interesting possibilities for various applications, like education, medicine, and even simple everyday activities around the house. With advanced sensory technology, you will be able to use these virtual objects and in the real world.
3. Emerging Technologies - Voice Recognition
One emerging technology that is coming to the fore is voice recognition and voice-prompted technology.
Growing up, you may have read books or seen films where somebody enters their home and talks to their house to turn on the lights and air conditioning. They can turn on the washing machine by saying a simple phrase like “Washing machine ON.” With gadgets such as Amazon Echo(Pictured above) we have nearly reached that state.
Many electronic companies are conducting research on finding ways to voice activate their products, like lighting and fans. This is one of the most exciting emerging technologies in business as Amazon customers can order their shopping using voice commands.
At the moment, phones are also one of the few devices we own that can be voice activated. You can dial a contact or play a song without ever touching your phone. For example, you can use your iPhone or Apple Watch and say “Call Dad” and your smartphone would call your dad. Now with Siri, a virtual personal assistant and others like her, you can do more advanced things on your smartphone.
Such as making reservations at restaurants, buying tickets online, and even asking for directions on Apple Maps. This is all possible with the technology of voice recognition. Consequently, emerging technologies like voice recognition are no longer the stuff of movie legend.
Similarly, voice recognition has reached such an advanced stage where there are now devices that can translate languages as you hear them in real-time. These emerging technologies in computer science amazing?
You can now travel anywhere in the world and not worry about not speaking the local language. All you need is Pilot, an earpiece that functions as a smart translator. This is all part of the emerging technologies in voice and language recognition artificially intelligent software systems. These devices aim to create a world without language barriers by translating everything you hear into a language you understand.
The significance of such a device should not be understated and while it has not yet been mass-produced, we project that this gadget will sell in large volumes when it does arrive on the market.
4.Internet of Things
I think we can all admit that we live in the age of the Internet. We use it every single day of our lives. When we want to find the location of some place, we use the internet. When we want to talk with a friend half way around the world, we need the internet. When we want to find the recipe to a dish we are preparing, we use the internet. Internet-connected devices are slowly becoming ubiquitous and we can no longer imagine a life without it these days.
Now, technology has reached a point where we can connect all of your devices via the internet. That means that apart from your smartphone and computer, things like your car, your home’s heating and air conditioning, your home’s lighting, and your refrigerator will all be connected invisibly to the internet.
Hence the name, Internet of Things. It is surely one of the most important emerging technologies in computer science. But what advantages does this bring, if any? You can now send and receive data no matter where you are located and perform actions you could not have imagined.
For instance, you can be at work and after a long day, you want to relax in a nice bath. You can use your phone to activate the hot water in your home so that when you arrive, you are ready for a nice, warm bath. You can set up your refrigerator to inform you on your phone if there is a shortage of food so that you can go to the grocery store after work.
In the future, you home will be fitted with so many sensors that when you leave the house, your lights will automatically shut off and your blinds will close by themselves because you are not present. When you arrive home, the house will turn on the lights for you and open the blinds to allow let to enter. In essence, the Internet of Things, or IoT, will create a smart home, a home equipped with sensors and has all of its digital appliances connected via a network.
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