Just when you think you’ve seen everything, suddenly a new technology comes along and changes the way we live. From buying and selling online to taking pictures on our smartphones, technology has evolved at lightning pace. If you can barely remember a world without swipe screen phones and WhatsApp, you’re not the only one. And you know what? There’s a lot more where that came from.
And not just in terms of information technology or computer science either. Some of the following emerging technologies are simply breathtaking. Let’s take a closer look. Check out the top 5 emerging technologies that will change the world as we know it.
- Artificial intelligence – Otherwise known as AI, Artificial Intelligence has already weaved its way into the fabric of most aspects of our lives. Whether you realize it or not, AI is increasingly adopted by businesses and consumers alike. Business Insider predicts that 85 percent of customer interactions will be handled by some kind of AI application, without human involvement by 2025.So, if you’re the type of person who likes speaking to a real person on the phone or at the grocery store, you may need to look for your social interactions elsewhere. The scope of Artificial Intelligence is limitless, and covers many technologies that we may not even consider.AI is used to describe how a machine can replicate a human and reproduce their actions – much faster than anything else we can do. So, beyond driverless cars, self-checkout registers and intelligent apps; think chatbots, robots and neural networks on the agenda for the very near future.
- Facial Recognition Technology – Facial recognition technology is making great strides, but what exactly is so world-changing about a technology that allows us to spot a face in the crowd? Quite a lot actually. Facial recognition technology is already being used widely in airports to make crossing borders easier for e-passport holders. It can also be very helpful for identifying those traveling with fake passports.Facial recognition technology doesn’t stop at airports though. It’s already being used by high-security buildings and even large retailers including Saks, Walmart and Macy’s. How? By detecting the faces of the people who enter their stores, they can prevent any would-be shoplifter and help find any wanted felon.Beyond security, facial recognition will be big for marketers as well, particularly in the bricks and mortar retailing industry. Improving at a fast pace, facial recognition can bring up a customer’s profile and buying preferences the moment they enter the store. This means that if you recently bought a television set, for example, the store can instantly offer you complimentary items as well.Better than that? Facial recognition can record consumer “dwell times.” In other words, how long you spend looking at certain items in the store. So, if you dwelled for a long time in the baby clothing aisle, through facial recognition AI, you can now receive a targeted promotion on your preferred social media platform or browser. Say goodbye to mass marketing!
- IoT Technology – IoT (or Internet of Things) technology may have been around for some time, but we haven’t yet reached the point where every household item and inanimate object is harmoniously connected to the web. We soon will though. And when you can program your oven to turn on and cook your food for you on the way home from work, your clothes to find matching combinations intelligently and your home lighting system to adjust to your mood at the flip of a switch, it will be hard to remember a time before IoT.IoT has, in fact, already been dubbed by many as the “third wave” of the Internet, and is a true technological revolution, like the invention of the printing press and steam engine. IoT has endless potential. Just stop and think about all the things around you coming alive and being made intelligent thanks to IoT. That’s pretty game-changing, or world-changing, even.
- Desalinization – It’s no secret that global water resources are finite. In fact, by 2040, the majority of the world will suffer from water shortage. Seeing as we need running water to survive, that’s even more worrying than the thought of running out of oil. What’s the solution? The idea of desalinization may be nothing new. And it makes sense, after all, the world mass is made up mostly of water. But until recently, desalinization has been unable to deliver a viable, reliable source of drinking water.What’s changed? Here’s where it gets a little bit technical. When salt water is desalinated to become fresh water, what is left over is called brine. Brine is not only packed with salt, but many other kinds of contaminating metals as well. Up until recently, brine has been treated as waste, but new methods are arising of extracting these harmful metals from the brine. There’s still a long way to go. It’s an expensive, exploratory process but, if it becomes economically viable, the benefits will be felt by all. In fact, we may just be able to save the world as much as we change it!
- Agricultural Drones – Drones, particularly in the farming and agricultural industry are changing the way we feed the world. As drones increasingly step out of military technology and decrease in price, they can be used to patrol large farmlands and detect any problematic areas.What does that mean for farmers? No more hard work and low returns. With agricultural drones, farmers can monitor their crops easier. They can see areas that need irrigation, or that are suffering from pest infections, or even fire. By increasing harvests and reducing costs, world farming will be more efficient than ever. Which means we can keep more people above the poverty line.
We tend to think of technology as all things smartphones and Internet. But, there are many different types of emerging technologies developing every day. With the world’s problems of finite resources, overpopulation and climate change, technologies like renewable energy and desalinization will save many lives. We’re not just talking about another cool app for your iPhone, but truly life-changing technologies that will make the world almost unrecognizable in the near future.
Christina Comben is Content Manager at translation and medical translation services specialists, Day Translations. Multilingual and qualified to MBA level, Christina is passionate about writing, traveling and continued education.