Imagine a period of time where the year 2000 seemed far away. Imagine being a child and wondering what would change. Imagine a mindset where the dawning of the year 2000 represented every innovation found throughout the entire Star Trek franchise.
In previous generations, entering the year 2000 was a clear indicator that the future arrived. How many items do you have today that you didn’t own a decade ago? You may not realize it, but the list is very long. As years pass, future generations have everything at the tips of their fingers. Many more innovations have not seen the light. However, remember this rule of thumb. The only constant in this world is change and technology constantly changes.
We don’t have flying cars…yet. However, the infrastructure of technology changed us for the better. In 2017, an important anniversary will dawn upon us. This coming year marks the 10th anniversary of our most celebrated piece of technology: the iPhone. Apple further propelled our leap into the future of technology with their history of innovative products, such as the digital music player, the tablet, and the laptop computer. However, there’s always that chance a future technological advancement will outshine the iPhone.
In the early ’90s, scientists developed one future innovation of technology: virtual reality (VR). Twenty years later, VR is a reality which is far from virtual. It’s here! However, VR goes beyond hyper-realistic video games. It’s used in the fields of medicine, broadcasting, social services, education, and real estate. The environment in a VR module is thoroughly designed. In that same vein, there is now augmented reality (AR). Unlike VR, AR works with your natural environment to provide an image. The best example of this was the Pokemon GO craze during the summer of 2016. Kids and adults of all ages walked, drove, biked, and took public transportation all around their neighborhoods and beyond trying to “catch’em all” with their pokeballs and conquer gyms. Beyond Pokemon GO, AR will go far. Often, real estate agents will use AR to display houses for sale. Educators use it to provide more visual material to their students. Further research continues by scientists to further implement AR in innovative ways.
We will also discover innovative methods to explore artificial intelligence (AI). It’s likely that hose who remember 2000 fantasized about a world controlled by robots. Well, we are close to tapping into the inner machinations of AI. The most recent innovative project was Watson, created by the tech gurus at IBM. Watson made a series of appearances on Jeopardy! in 2001. Watson took on Brad Rutter, who was the biggest winner in the history of the show. Naturally, a Jeopardy! tournament isn’t complete without legendary contestant Ken Jennings. In the end, Watson defeated them both. Of course, there are drawbacks to AI. It is corruptible and somebody will use it for hostile, corrupt, and vindictive reasons. Scientists could use AI to control the human population through its predictive methods. Like the atomic bomb, the end result is potentially scary.
Our next generation of tech users won’t know about putting notches into floppy disks, rewinding audio cassettes with a pencil, or blowing the dust out of game cartridges. In essence, this is how we look to the future. Newer generations of parents will talk to their children and grandchildren about the struggles of surfing the Internet with a dial-up modem, CD-ROMs which come with free AOL trials, texting on a flip phone, or that the number 143 was beeper speak for, “I love you.” But after all, where one generation fails, the next one triumphs. Remember, if you wonder why an invention doesn’t exist, you might be the one to invent it.
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