Summary: As purveyors of intranet software, we are really passionate about current and future technology trends. In this blog post, we have listed a few trends in technology that piqued our interest.
Are advancements in technology accelerating? Futurist and author, Raymond Kurzweil believes it is as do many others. However, there is a debate on whether advancements in technology are accelerating due to the slower adoption of personal computers and mobile phones by 50% of households than the adoption of their predecessors, radios, and televisions. One could argue that the adoption rate of technology is affected by the comparative price and proportion of disposable income available to households. Whether you feel that technology is accelerating or not here is a look at some current and future trends in technology.
Current Technology Trends
IBM Watson is a cognitive computing service exposed as a set of open APIs and SaaS (Software as a Service) products. Watson services include Natural Language Understanding, Virtual Agent (commonly know as chatbots), Visual Recognition, Speech to Text and Text to Speech. IBM Watson currently powers applications in the Financial and Health sectors, Pharmaceuticals, Travel and Retail. The services provided by IBM Watson are examples of Artificial Intelligence engines currently in practice.
Intelligent Personal Assistants (IPA)
Intelligent personal assistants are gaining adoption through smartphones and with the release of recent operating systems macOS (Siri) and Windows 10 (Cortana). In addition to Apple and Microsoft digital assistants, other appliance-based assistants are now in the market.
- Amazon Alexa with voice control Amazon Echo (available in English and German, capable of playing music, controlling smart devices, providing real time reporting of certain types of information).
- Google Now is another home automation, news, music player IPA
- Lucida is an open intelligent personal assistant developed by the University of Michigan’s Clarity Lab (http://clarity-lab.org).
Connected to wifi, these artificial intelligence gadgets connect to multiple devices and complete tasks hands-free, with commands such as ‘OK Google’. Depending on which device you go for, they partner with different companies that enable you to play music, skip songs, create playlists, adjust the temperature in your home, start Netflix, set reminders, have the news, traffic and weather read to you and more.
We’ve come a long way from the red view masters that my generation grew up on. Virtual reality made a comeback in terms of popularity in 2016 when it’s now become popular to use devices made for your cell phone. Currently, the only uses for it are Entertainment and gaming, but keep an eye out because the future trends in virtual reality will expand into multiple purposes:
- Design – homes, cars, or interior decorating.
- Education – practice brain surgery or take a class from your living room.
- Tourism – visit anywhere in the world without actually being there.
- Real Estate – walk through your potential new home, and see what your furniture looks like inside.
- Shopping – try on clothes before buying them online.
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Future Technology Trends
Hyperloop One company is currently in the research and development phase for building a high speed, autonomous, direct transportation systems. Hyperloop vehicles will carry passengers and/or cargo. The vehicles will accelerate gradually using electric propulsion until it lifts off the track using magnetic levitation which will allow the vehicles to glide at tremendous speeds. The company has facilities in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dubai and London.
To compare traditional and proposed transportation speeds, check out the Hyperloop routes page.
To learn more about Hyperloop One, check out their blog.
Autonomous cars have been in the works for some time, but are not yet available at your local dealership. However, predictions of up to 10% of all cars will be driverless by 2026.
SpaceX has applied for the development of a low-Earth orbit satellite network that will bring low latency, high-speed internet to the entire world. SpaceX has competition in that market from OneWeb, who seek to build a similar low-Earth orbit network.
We are always keeping an eye on what’s new in the field of technology, and how it can be applied to our intranet software. While the jury is still out on whether advancements in technology are accelerating, there is little doubt that new and exciting innovations will soon become commonplace where they were once the stuff of science and speculative fiction.