2020 has been such a miserable year for most people that the only positive thing we can say about it is that it’s nearly over. There’s barely over a month of the year to go, and soon we’ll all be living in 2021, where the world will hopefully be a little kinder to all of us. Give it a few months, and 2020 will start to feel like a strange fever dream that we all shared. Instead of dwelling on it, it will be time to start thinking about the future. To be more specific, it will be time to start thinking about the future of technology.
While it might seem like nothing happened for the majority of people in 2020, in reality it will become a great year for technology in the long run. Technology always progresses the most during times of crisis, and some of the innovations made in labs this year will turn out to have practical uses that their inventors never considered when they came up with their designs. It might be too soon to see the fruits of their labors in 2021, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some very exciting technological developments to look forward to in the twelve months ahead.
In this article, we’re going to highlight five ways that improvements in technology might improve all of our lives a little next year – in some cases, in ways that we wouldn’t have thought to be possible as recently as five years ago.
Companies like Amazon have been experimenting with drone deliveries for some time now, but the 2020 pandemic has underlined how much we need this service now, not years into the future. With shops closing down and doomed never to return in many cases, ensuring that people can always receive essential goods in a timely manner has never been more important. That’s where drones come in. Instead of waiting hours – or even days, in rural areas – for a delivery driver to come your way with your goods in their van, a drone can bring your items straight from the warehouse immediately and then set off back home. Governments all over the planet have been looking into the practicalities of using drones to deliver medicine, and the British government is apparently about to give the green light to using drones to deliver pretty much anything. The sky above you is about to get a whole lot busier.
If you’ve never seen or heard the phrase “shoppable TV” before, you should brace yourself. You’re going to see and hear it everywhere for the next twelve months, and perhaps for the rest of your life. The idea of “shoppable television” is a simple one. If you’re watching an advert or even a TV show, you can buy whatever it is that interests you within that advert or TV show almost immediately. There are a few interfaces for this being trialed as we speak. One way to go about it would be to use a smartphone app, which can be pointed at the TV screen and used to identify the product you’re interested in. Another way would be to use a voice-activated service – Amazon’s “Alexa,” for example – to describe what you’re interested in and go about buying it. It might sound far-fetched, but Amazon is playing around with the format already. Next year, if you see something you like while you’re watching the commercials, getting it might be as easy as saying, “Alexa, I’d like to buy this.”
Popular Wearable Technology
Someone’s eventually going to get the concept of smart glasses right. We’ve had a few false starts – very expensive false starts, from Google’s point of view – but as the hardware necessary to create smart glasses continues to get smaller and lighter, we’re edging ever closer to our first viable product. Huawei has recently come up with “Eyewear II,” which is a pair of glasses that allows you to play music and make calls, but you’ll probably struggle to get hold of the product in the USA or Europe. Snapchat Spectacles might succeed where Google Glass failed, or Google might return to the table with a refined concept. Apple made more than ten billion dollars selling wearable tech last year, so the public is ready to embrace the concept. Selling AirPods might be easier than selling “EyePods,” but we’ll inevitably get there.
As things stand right now, you’d have to spend huge amounts of money to buy personalized clothing or footwear from a big company like Adidas or Nike. Sports stars with endorsements get their own ‘signature’ lines, but such luxuries don’t exist for the everyday person. That might begin to change in 2021. 3D printing has been around for a while now, and the costs of the hardware and software that drive it have dropped significantly within the past two years. That makes it easier and cheaper for companies to print almost anything you want on custom clothes and sell them for reasonable prices. Would you like a pair of Nike sneakers with your own slogan and color scheme includes? You’ll probably be able to order one next year, and it won’t cost you four figures to do so. Hyper customization is upon us. We’ll never have to go out wearing the exact same clothes as our friends again.
The Year Of Cryptocurrency
For the past several years, financial analysts have wondered what it would take to make the concept of cryptocurrency acceptable to the general public. Very few of them imagined that it would be gaming. Two major things have happened when it comes to cryptocurrency and games with free spins no deposit within the past year or two. Firstly, online slots websites have started to accept crypto as a form of payment. Nobody should underestimate how big a step that is. You might not pay any attention to the market if you’re not a gambler, but online slots generate revenue figures in excess of fifty billion dollars each year. We’re talking seriously big business. Online slots websites opening themselves up to crypto is a big deal. The second thing that’s happened is that some of the world’s biggest video games, for example, “Fortnite” and “Minecraft,” have introduced their own in-game currencies, which have become a form of crypto. These currencies can be exchanged for ‘real world’ currencies and vice versa. PayPal has started allowing users to convert their cash into Bitcoin and other forms of crypto, and to buy and sell goods in crypto too. Crypto is no longer standing on the sidelines of the world’s financial markets. It’s breaking down the walls, and 2021 might be the year you buy into it for the first time.
Will we be wrong or right with these predictions? Well, there’s only one way to find out, and it’s going to take us quite a while. Feel free to come back at the end of 2021 and ridicule us in the comments if we’re miles off the mark, but right now, we’re feeling pretty confident!