Life In 2027: 3 Tech Pieces We’ll All Be Using Daily
Ready for the future already? After the madness of the last couple of years, we don’t blame you. While the tech we use daily right now is pretty cool, the big three advancements that will unfurl in the next 10 years will make your Apple Watch look like a toy. Read now and get ready for the world after tomorrow.
It seems as if there are a thousand and one movies, books and television programs warning us about the impending horror of Virtual Reality (VR). From George Saunders to Black Mirror to the new Spielberg flick, there’s a lot of finger wagging about what a post-VR world will look like. And that makes good sense: it’s hard to predict how radical change will impact us for the positive, especially an invention that further removes us from the naturalized world.
But let’s focus on the positives: VR will revolutionize gaming and storytelling. Be it passive or active narrative consumption, the possibilities are literally endless. Imagine stepping into the black boots of Darth Vader, swashbuckling in the Caribbean, or even calling your parents and recreating sitting in the same living room despite being in two different countries.
When it comes to education, VR will become an essential part of the classroom. When used correctly, it can be used a tool to excite and spark the imaginations of students. Remember those stuffy nature videos you used to watch in Life Science class? Imagine watching one of those and feeling as if you’re three inches from a lion’s roar, or down in the depths like Jacques Cousteau.
VR is probably the most nebulous of the items on this list because it’s hard to know exactly how expansive its impact will be. But one thing is assured: it’s a brave new world, and an exciting one.
Automatic cars will change everything. That might sound like hyperbole, but the advent of self-driving vehicles will be an epoch marker, like the rise of television, the release of the personal computer or the dawn of the internet.
How? The better question is how won’t it impact every facet of our lives. The American ideal of the car as an extension of self will be eradicated. Companies like Uber and Lyft will see a dramatic drop in price — no drivers to pay equals unmatched reduced labor costs — and cities will begin to run on automatic driving. Imagine a $2 ride across town, with perfect routes and greatly reduced ride time.
Beyond city commutes, automatic cars will reduce traffic on highways exponentially. Most traffic happens because of bottlenecking, where a chain reaction occurs once the ‘lead car’ (the car at the front of traffic) slows erroneously. The car behind the first slows further in response, and so on and so forth until you’re sitting in traffic for two hours. Robots are smarter than that. They don’t need to have the cautiousness of human drivers because they can make calculations we can hardly comprehend in a split second.
On a more human level, thousands upon thousands of lives will be saved. Sure, detractors are already posing philosophical questions about how an automatic car should ‘choose’ between killing its passenger or an innocent bystander. But that’s missing the forest to see the trees. Over 3000 people die a day in car crashes in America alone. Robots, while a little unsettling, are much better drivers than humans.
Impressed with Amazon Prime in its current incarnation? Just you wait until drone delivery really starts to take flight. Not only will it lead to things like reduced delivery time, greater accuracy in delivery, and the general reduction of human error. (How many packages have you received a week late, looking as if it recently went 9 rounds with Mike Tyson in his prime? Or, the more common never receiving your package at all.) It also means that the dream of instant gratification is closer than ever. Order something in the morning, get it that afternoon.
Both Amazon and Google are feverishly working to make this dream a reality, but one can already see a real life example in the German Alps. Delivery service DHL has configured a system that allows anyone to drop a package at the mountain’s base. It is then retrieved by an autonomous drone, flown up to 5 miles in mixed weather, and dropped off at the next town. If these drones can handle the treacherous German Alps, the rest of us are probably in good shape.
Of course, the future is never assured. One only has to look back at the driving-car dreams of our parents, of promises of trips to the moon, of the dystopian fiction of yesteryear, to realize how bad humans are at predicting the future. Did anyone truly see the iPhone coming? Or predict that the Zune was such a terrible idea?
But these are three pieces of tech that are simply too impactful, juicy and profitable for major corporations to resist. The gears are turning, the money is being poured in. Ten years from now, you may be reading this article on your commute to work as your automated car does the driving. You don’t need to be a tech nerd to think that’s pretty cool.