Technology has transformed all our lives… and will continue to do so in the next decade though innovations such as these…
Imagine the impact if the family car could drop the kids off at school, then the parents at work, then drive home to the garage before doing it all again that afternoon — all without a driver behind the wheel. Far from being some fantasy lifted from a Jetsons cartoon, driverless cars are looming this decade thanks to billions of dollars of investment from companies like Google, Uber, Mercedes Benz and Tesla, while Volvo have also held trials in Australia. Less congestion, more reliable public transport thanks to driverless buses, and with less human element on the road, more security.
3D printing for medical uses
Creating a three-dimensional object from a digital file won’t just be used for producing key rings and car parts — 3D printers are already capable of making human cells, including internal organs, transforming the future of medicine. The technology has already fabricated bone, heart valves, cartilage, organs, tissues with blood vessels, prosthetics, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, touching a huge range of medical fields.
The office of 2026 will host a meeting involving colleagues from as far afield as London, Los Angeles and Lima thanks to the wonders of virtual reality — think Princess Leia’s hologram in Star Wars, only in crystal clear definition and interactive. Holographs will create ‘shared workspaces’ where you can interact with employees from all over the world — an innovative way for businesses to improve communication, reduce geographical boundaries, improve productivity and allow people to work remotely.
You’ve heard of bitcoin — the secure cryptocurrency based on the blockchain — but the game-changing innovation is the blockchain itself, what tech-heads call a ‘decentralised consensus system’, which basically means a list of transactions (or a chain of blocks, hence the name) that no single person or organisation controls. This cutting-edge protocol for the secure, direct, digital transfer of assets means the blockchain has the potential to fundamentally change the way global markets operate — a new infrastructure that cuts out traditional intermediaries like banks and lawyers.
Still a controversial field — Blade Runner, I, Robot, The Matrix anyone? — and we’re still decades off anywhere near that kind of sci-fi technology. But the AI we have now will impact our everyday lives more and more over the next decade, no longer confined to industries like science, manufacturing and construction and instead coming into our homes with things as basic as autonomous vacuum cleaners and lighting systems, and as complex as virtual assistants like Siri and recommendation services like Spotify.