10 Things that are Rare Now but will be Common by 2030

Technological change is happening faster and faster as an increasing number of countries and companies work to build the next cool ‘must-have’. Yet only a small number of advances actually stay the course to become common in our lives. Here are my top ten technologies that are rare now but will be common in just ten years.

When I was a young adult it was claimed that VHS and rental stores would be the death of cinema. Then it was internet piracy. Now it’s on-demand streaming services.

Each new technology we develop is amazing. A game-changer. The last, best thing to replace all other things. Until suddenly it’s old and the next new technology is on the market.

Here are ten of my next new technologies that will be so common place by 2030 that they will just be accepted as ‘the way things are’. Please keep in mind I’m only looking at commonly used personal technology and I haven’t devled into the sciences or healthcare, which will also see massive changes in the next decade.

 

1. Self-Drive Cars

While this isn’t a sure bet, if not by 2030, self-drive cars will be common place shortly after. There are a great many experiments occuring in the cities and on the highways of the U.S. with self-drive cars even now.

The is the power of major corprations behind their development, and both environmental and safety concerns are pushing for their implementation. So, after a short surge of ‘dumb’ electric cars, it won’t be long before the ‘smart’, self-drive cars are the only cars allowed on the road.

2. The Internet of Things

At the moment, internet refrigerators, stoves, and toasters are luxury items. They have their uses, but most people find them unneccessary and possibly even invasive. And with less than consistant internet in some places, they can be bothersome.

The advent of 5G and greater comfort with ‘smart’ devices other than a TV will lead to the realization that such devices can save time, energy, and money if used properly. By 2030 they will be common place in most urban homes.

3. Everything is listening all the time

As the Amazon Echo and Google Home fight it out for the ‘smart speaker’/voice activated control system market, many people are still resisting the usefulness of these devices fearing concerns over invasion of privacy.

However, as an ever increasing number of devices function with voice activation, and the smart speakers become increasingly common, most people will just forget they’re around except when using them. We will become so used to asking our machines to do something that it will come to be normal.

4. Artificial Intelligence

One of the big breakthroughs of the last decade has been in machine learning. The ability to train machines to make decisions with large amounts of data (or even incomplete data sets) has been an amazing breakthrough.

So far we’ve only been scratching the surface of what these artificial intelligences can do. We’ve trained them to play very advanced games where they can beat humans. We’ve used them to develop more successful protein folding models, and we’re employing them in health services for patient healthcare management.

However, they can do so much more. The government of Singapore has already suggested they will use them in running the country. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to believe other countries will follow. I’m also convinced we will eventually turn their use toward human problems like the environment and economics.

By 2030, artificial intelligence will be everywhere. From mundane jobs like optimizing delivery schedules at grocery stores to flooding the internet with fake news to helping run cities and countries. We will apply AI to anything with data sets too large for humans to interpret and manage.

5. Wearables

Currently the domain of watches with a belt coming on the market and a safety necklace, wearables are still niche items. Many people use smart watches for tracking their health but they don’t currently have a general usefulness.

By 2030 we will have cracked the wearables market. Producers will have devices of all types. Not just watches, belts and necklaces, but rings, headbands, bracelets, glasses, and earrings.

These will enable all kinds of new abilities that could include improved sense of direction, total health awareness, and augmented reality. One that I’m very excited about is real-time verbal translation.

 

6. Flying Cars

Almost unheard of in 2020, the flying car is just set to come on the market. However, there are a number of practical, safety, and legal roadblocks that will halt their usefulness.

Once self-driving technology is good enough for the road, however, it will quickly be implemented in flying cars to create aerial highways managed by a central computer system.

By 2030 we will have the first streets in the sky.

7. Personal Jet Packs

There have been several personal ‘jet packs’ invented recently. While they’re not practical or affordable for the average person, now that the first key breakthrough has finally been made, it seems reasonable to expect more to come.

It may be that continuing advances in drone technology and battery power could lead to one type of new jet pack. Like the flying car, however, personal jet packs would obviously face heavy regulation and may end up only be usable in specially regulated areas.

8. Personal Wall-size Screens

Like something out of science fiction, by 2030 we will have affordable wall-sized television screens. While this may seem intrusive, the built-in computers will allow for many interesting effects.

One obvious use of the wall would be to display a scene from a foreign environment — another city, underwater, the space station. Another would be to allow the viewing of multiple smaller images on separate video streams for each member of the family (remember 5G/6G will allow very rapid transmission rates).

Built in cameras would make video calling much more personal, as the entire person could appear before you, and you before them. This could also be useful as a tele-office where the room at home would just be a visual extension of the workplace.

9. NeuraLink

Brain-machine interfaces are at the beginning of their development in 2020 with Elon Musk’s NeuraLink. With so much potential for improving human-machine interfacing, the next decade will see this rapidlly developed. While it may not end up in the form it’s currently taking, there is little doubt mind-controlled devices will be common place.

10. Digital Contact Lenses

While digital contact lenses are currently being developed for measuring glucose levels, advances in technology will allow the creation of generally useful miniature displays.

Initially, this will be in the form of glasses, something the world is more ready for now than they were at the time of the testing of Google Glasses. However, while glasses will have a place for those who can’t or won’t use contacts, the smaller, more convenient technology of the digital contact lens will eventually win out.

Your Thoughts?

What do you think of my list? Which developing technology is your favourite? Did I list them all or do you have one that’s not there.

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