Technology – What to Expect in the Near Future
Technology is synonymous with change and progress. Through exponential growth, technology is expanding and progressing at a rate faster than we could ever imagine. As technology becomes more widely available, and easier to use, we can expect to see a variety of advancements and trends emerging not just in the marketplace, but in the core of our society as well.
There are four trends that will greatly affect the way we think, act, and present ourselves:
- Increased release rates,
- Increased consumption of resources,
- Increased user-friendliness, and
- Increased on-line presence.
The first trend to keep in mind, and possibly the most exciting/fear-inducing, will be the increased rate of releases. All one has to do is look five years in the past to see that everything from computer processors to imaging mediums are being released far more regularly and with more and more “hype”. People waiting in line for days to purchase a product that still might have manufacturing faults and software glitches have already become a common sight surrounding new smartphone releases. For good or ill, the more technology advances the more people become dependent on it.
While decreased wait times between upgraded model releases are an exciting thing for most, it must be kept in mind that everything produced and sold in any market has, in some fashion or another, been produced from dwindling materials found in nature. Therefore, the second trend of technological advancement will be the increasing scarcity of required materials and, consequently, an increase in price for the finished product. As resources dwindle, the leading powers in the world will engage in conflict, economic disparity will increase, and the gap between the “assimilated” and the “left-behind” will continue to grow. A great counter to this would be an increase in recycled electronics, however it remains to be seen if that, too, will become a trend.
The third most apparent trend of technology is already paramount in developer’s business models: user-friendliness. As technology advances, those that are capable and qualified to design, repair, and code will slowly decrease. Therefore, the need to design advanced technology that the “every-man” can use is directly linked to that company’s success. The increase in user-friendliness will, and has, taken many forms, but the easiest to see is the transition to everything being either touchscreen or hands-free. Many companies are already transitioning to technologies that do not even require screens. It would seem that the new phase of user-friendliness is the ability to turn virtually any flat surface into an interactive “screen”.
The fourth, and final, trend worth mentioning is a by-product of user-friendliness. As more and more people are capable of using tech, more and more people are connecting on-line. This “connected-ness” has many by-products itself. Many people are beginning to experience problems of “logging off”, shortened patience, and an increase in social awkwardness. However, as a caveat to increased personality issues, there is more digital information created everyday than has been created since the dawn of man. The wealth of knowledge is virtually limitless, and continues to expand everyday.
Truly, technology has changed the way we think and act. Like everything else in this world, the path that technology is forging is repetitious, to say the least. While there are many changes, just ask the remnants of the Baby Boomer generation, following the trends of those changes is key to understanding what the future might hold for all of us.