11th April 2012
We take a sneak peek at the future of technology
Tomorrow’s world is filled with exciting new technology. We look at the most likely developments that are headed our way and how it will affect our day-to-day.
Technology has transformed our lives and continues to evolve at an ever-increasing pace. While only a few short years ago video phonecalls, tablet devices and even Facebook were unheard of, today these are an integral part of many people’s lives. So how will technology continue to evolve over the next few years?
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics nearly three quarters of a million Australian households now have access to broadband technology. The same study found that 68 per cent of internet users bought something online in the 2010/2011 financial year, with our most popular purchases being travel, accommodation, memberships, tickets, CDs, music, DVDs, videos, books and magazines.
Plus according to the ABS, when we’re online, we love social media. The research showed 88 per cent of 15 to 17 year olds and 86 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds are active social media users.
View from a futurist
So where is all this headed? Ross Dawson is globally recognized as a leading futurist, keynote speaker, strategy advisor, and bestselling author, with his finger on the pulse when it comes to technology. He says although in the short term the devices we use to access technology – smartphones and tablets – won’t change, what will change is the interface through which we use these tools. He says the rise of voice recognition controls – such as Apple’s Siri voice control software – will increasingly become the norm.
“We will also see the rise of tools such as gesture recognition and eye tracking. Opening a web page by looking at a link will become increasingly common,” Ross says.
Another innovation will be new screen technologies such as folding, rollable screens that can be used in much the same way as newspapers are used now. Initially, Ross says we will access text and static images with this technology, which has some way to go before we will able to use it to view videos.
“Another development will be the rise of video glasses that allow you to watch full-size videos anywhere, anytime. These have been on the market in the US for four or five years. Several companies, possibly including Google, are on the verge of launching augmented reality glasses that will allow relevant information to be overlaid on whatever you are looking at,” he says.
Sharing, shopping and channel surfing
On the home entertainment front, Ross says the day is coming when we will be able to leave, say, the lounge room and walk into the kitchen and the devices in the room will be able to know it’s you that’s walked into the room and turn the TV to the channel you were last watching.
Ross says in terms of social media, we’re still at a very early stage. He says niche content sharing sites such as the increasingly popular Pinterest will start to challenge Facebook’s current dominance in this arena.
“Online social shopping will also start to dominate e-commerce and Facebook will play an important role in that. Online shopping is set to become a much more social activity, allowing people to compare and recommend items, with online shopping becoming even more social than in-store shopping,” he suggests.