The effect of technology on society has been increasingly more profound each passing year since at least the 1980s. This year is shaping up to be another banner year for technology innovation and breakthrough. The past few years have seen the rise of the smartphone, the social network, the meme and many other digital-based cultural phenomena. Which new trends should you expect to see unfold in 2016 and beyond? Here are a few of the biggest ones to consider, although there are certainly far more.
1. 3D Printing: This technology has been around for nearly two decades, but is now coming to market at a scale that approaches affordability for middle-class homes. The world where you purchase cooking utensils and household tools such as screwdrivers, from a store, is nearly behind us. You’ll be customizing the spaghetti spoon and dinner plate design you desire on your phone and then sending it to your 3D printer. Just like the internet, a new technology won’t be in every household overnight, but this one is about to knock on plenty of doors.
2. Drones: Look up! It’s a bird, it’s a plane– no, it’s a drone. With consumer-friendly products such as the Lily camera / drone coming to market in 2016, the consumer aerial photography and videography space is about to explode (https://www.lily.camera/). High-definition video quality attainable by the new crop of drones can be afforded in the sub-thousand-dollar range, whereas traditionally such camera angles required the rental of a helicopter and specially trained camera people.
3. Driverless Cars: You love driving, as most do, but when you’re in traffic, you probably loathe the experience. Why sit and stare at the bumper of the car in front of you when automakers such as Mercedes-Benz are crafting vehicles that pivot chairs towards a center-of-vehicle orientation, thus facilitating easy conversation? The vehicle is about to become more of a chauffeur and mobile office space and indeed society has technology to thank.
The world wherein your time is better spent on your creative and intellectual pursuits, rather than on piloting a vehicle or going to the store for a new cutting board or spaghetti spoon, is a world we all eagerly anticipate. For the things you can’t print at home, a delivery drone should be able to have something flown out to you within a few hours from a regional distribution or high-scale 3D printing facility. At this rate, who could possibly guess what developments in tech are on the horizon three to five years from now. One thing is for sure– it’s guaranteed to be exciting!