The human mind has always been fascinated with the future. What does it hold for us? Can we accurately predict it? More specifically, the relationship between tech and the future is one that has captured the imagination of people for decades. People have been trying to outline the development, the evolution of technology in the years to come with quite some fervor. They’ve been right and they’ve been wrong but the truthfulness or validity of the prediction has never taken away from the pleasure of predicting.
The popular movie trilogy “Back to the Future” is a big piece of literature and reference point attached to this specific discussion. The movie presented a future that included flying hoverboards, which seem to have arrived, wearable technology, which is expected to reach a volume of $42 billion in sales in 2019 and self-tying sneakers, which Nike specifically created and sold for $100,000.
The right predictions did not stop there. From fingerprint recognition and video calls, to tablets and hands-free gaming, the movie was pretty spot on when it comes to predicting the tech we would be enjoying in today’s world. The movie and society as a whole has also been wrong about the tech/future relationship. And they have been wrong a lot.
We’re nowhere near flying cars, voice recognition and speech to text technology is not there yet whilst Iron Man suits are still a developing military idea rather than a commercialised product. Hits and misses are part of this guessing game which integrates current facts, knowledge and some wishful thinking to produce a future that seems both reasonable and exciting.
What do you say to indulging into some “Back to the Future” debauchery?
What will the world look like in 2050? Let’s predict.
Halfway to Becoming Humanoids
Let’s start with something bold. Man and machine will eventually start to merge. Don’t act so surprised as there are already signs that we’re treading in that direction.
In one of our most recent articles, “Brain Computer Interface: Is Mind Reading Becoming a Reality?” we already explored the rise in technology that will translate our thoughts into actions. What we currently use as seemingly simple phones and tablets has become an extension of our brains. We literally can’t work, communicate, navigate or be entertained without these devices.
Isn’t it reasonable to suggest that the next step to the evolution of this technology would be to integrate tech on the human body and have a symbiosis between man and technology? American inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil seems to be convinced of it. During his interview with the Council on Foreign Relations on “The Future of Artificial Intelligence and its Impact on Society”, Kurzweil outlined his belief that neocortex technologies will make humans smarter, more efficient and a better version of themselves.
Don’t be surprised if people develop new skills from this newfound marriage between man and machine. Robocop might be an exaggerated version of what can be achieved but Sheitan Tene is an example of the potential hidden in this technology. The French artist has a prosthetic arm that doubles as a tattoo gun.
What we are suggesting is a far cry from what “The Terminator” movie ever suggested all those years back but at the same a big leap to what the current situation is in the sector. A bold yet calculated prediction.
Cars Won’t Take to The Skies, They’ll Go Underground
The car and the aeroplane were the two main discoveries that shook the transportation experience to its core. Since then cars got faster and flights got more comfortable but there was no other transportation development that carried the same “wow” factor.
For many years flying cars were thought to be the groundbreaking invention that would redefine our journeys and it kind of makes sense as a thought since a flying car is what you get when you combine the two kingpins of our transportation world: the aeroplane and the car. Whilst the thought makes sense in principle, there’s a reason it has remained an inspiration for movie scripts and not part of our reality.
The idea isn’t practical, functional or smart if you really think about it. Even if building flying vehicles becomes a reality, managing order on the skies is a nightmare of a thought. Just think of traffic and accidents on the ground and then integrate the variables of being on the skies and you’ll realise that it’s not as easy as it seems.
What seems to be emerging as a more reasonable alternative to an upgraded transportation experience are underground, high-speed propulsion systems. In the simplest terms, tunnels under the surface of the earth that shoot cars from one end to the other in straight lines and ridiculous speeds. Hyperloop One and Elon Musk’s The Boring Company are two of the most prominent name working on this new breed of transportational technology.
Our prediction is that air travel will have some serious competition in 2050. Tunnels will be able to accomodate large parties that want to travel to a different city or a different country. It will be much faster and convenient (especially after looking at this video), but we can’t be sure of the pricing of such a service. Cars might not grow wings but they’ll fly you from place to place in no time!
Smartphones Will Become Obsolete
Apple’s first iPhone was released on June 29, 2007. It is safe to say that life has not been the same since because smartphones have morphed into the most important devices for the majority of people. They’re the way we keep up with the news, the way we are entertained, the way we interact with other people, the way manage our finances – in a nutshell, they’re the control centre of our lives. To suggest that within the span of the next 30 years we will live in a world where these devices are obsolete seems laughable at this point in time.
Laugh, but hear us out.
As great as smartphones are, the pace at which tech is galloping at, there will be the day when they will be thought of as old and outdated as corded phones are right now. Wearable tech is making such strides that it will eventually come to replace phones. Our wrist watches for example will be able to use augmented reality technology to project virtual screens/holograms of what we want to see.
If it’s not a watch or a bracelet it will be a pair of sunglasses or a hat or another wearable device that will be empowered by the power of VR and AR technology. The smartphone as we know it will disappear and its services will be elevated and integrated with a new generation of devices that will reshape the market the same way the iPhone did in 2007.
Bitcoin Will Be The World’s Principal Currency
We tried “Explaining Blockchain Technology in Less Than 5 Minutes” but the truth of the matter is that blockchain and Bitcoin are still an enigma to the general public and mainstream finance. Bitcoin is an alternative currency and blockchain is an infrastructure that is essentially going against everything that the current entire banking and finance system stand for.
To suggest that something so young and unproven will uproot the way we understand economics, finance and money and take its place as the main source of value, it’s obscene to say the least.
That’s what people thought when blockchain expert and Bitcoin advocate Andreas M. Antonopoulos was preaching about this subject a few years back. At the time, nobody was listening but as time has shown, Antonopoulos was onto something that will eventually change the world as we know it.
The reality is that decentralised finance is the future and the buffer of 30 years between now and 2050 is enough time for this technology to fight the sceptics, the conservatives and the naysayers before establishing its supremacy over the outdated way we transact today. Even though this mind sound like an outlandish statement on our part, we can’t claim bragging rights.
In early 2018, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey made an even bolder claim than ours as it proposed that it will take Bitcoin a maximum of 10 years to establish its position as the world’s single and unquestionable currency.
“The world ultimately will have a single currency, the internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be Bitcoin.”
2050 is closer than you think and the only way to see if our claims hold any validity is to keep checking back at this blog. You’ll either find a blog post titled “Told You So”, or a gif that looks like this….
Either way, the future looks bright for tech and we can’t wait to see what it has in-store for us. Stay tuned.