It’s mind-blowing to think just how much our world changes from year to year because of technology. In the past few months alone, we’ve gone from signing into our phones with fingerprints to using 3D maps of our faces to unlock our devices. We live in a time of technological disruption when our wildest ideas about where tech can take us actually unfold right before our eyes. It’s when “Back to the Future” becomes our present. To bring it home, watch this video of 5 movies that actually predicted the future:
Technological change has a way of sneaking up on us. So, before we are engulfed by another wave of tech advancements, here are four key tech trends you need to know.
“Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. It might also be the last unless we learn how to avoid the risks.” – Stephen Hawking, Theoretical Physicist
Artificial intelligence, also known as AI, is an area where science and engineering blends into one to create intelligent machines that work and react like humans. And though the first thing that comes to mind is a clan of humanized robots, AI can be much more sensible and commonplace than we think. For instance, have you ever wondered how Uber and Lyft determine the price of each ride and match you with the perfect short-time chauffeur? Or how does your inbox just know to filter your spam into the right folder? The answer lies in the brilliance of AI algorithms that use rule-based predictions and adjust over time to provide you with the most up-to-date experience.
With our society becoming more digitally inclined, the future of AI is set out to reach new heights in the coming years. From smart personal assistants (Amazon’s Alexa) to voice-to-text and face recognition systems (Apple’s iPhone X), we aim to cut out the human error in areas that reach far beyond the professional setting. As AI becomes smarter and more reliable, we can foresee its capabilities expanding into fields that promote the future well-being of humanity as a whole. There are already AI designs geared toward medical research assistance, such as a program that can detect Alzheimer’s disease up to a decade before the symptoms show. It’s only a matter of time before we start seeing these intelligent machines become a part of our everyday lives.
“The future of money is digital currency.” – Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft
In the past year, we’ve heard a lot about digital currency, which is a collection of computerized tokens that can be used in place of physical money. And here’s the catch – you don’t need to process your payments through a bank for cryptocurrency to work. Bitcoin is by far the most well-known digital currency out there and recently had quite the run, allowing individuals everywhere to trade outside national currencies and rack up substantial profits. That being said, Bitcoin’s value fluctuates too much and will need to undergo heavy regulation before it can operate on a nationally recognized level.
Because of these fallbacks, economists are convinced the future will be Bitcoin-free, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be cryptocurrency-free. In fact, given our accepting attitudes toward digital transactions, we can only expect to see more Bitcoin proteges infiltrating the market in the near future. With added regulation, it’s not out of the question that governments will jump on trend as well, given the huge opportunity cost to making central banks more efficient.
“My guess is that in probably 10 years it will be very unusual for cars to be built that are not fully autonomous.” – Elon Musk, Co-founder of Tesla
Like artificial intelligence, driverless cars used to be the kinds of things you’d only see in movies, but they are actually finding their way into our soon-to-be reality. Autonomous car technology is already being developed by large car manufacturers, like Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, and Tesla, with the latter recently releasing its autopilot version for Tesla Model 3.
Twenty years ago if I asked you if you’d ever have a self-driving car someday, you’d probably laugh in my face. Although, fast forward 10 years to 2008, you’d probably say “maybe” with a hint of intrigue to your voice. These days, the same question would elicit a completely different response. Now, we know for a fact that these cars are going to be available in the next few decades, with research predicting them to hit the roads as early as 2020!
Technology in the Promo Industry
The current of technological innovation has also made an appearance in the promotional products industry with the upcoming release of SAGE Online 14. Featuring an industry-first printing service, that allows you to make custom catalogs in minutes, an ultra-competitive full payment processing solution and over one hundred new enhancements, fields, and options, SAGE Online has defended its reputation as the industry’s most advanced product research and business management solution. If you’re looking for new ways to work more efficiently, enjoy a free, 30-day, no-commitment trial of SAGE Total Access, which includes SAGE Online, SAGE Web, and SAGE Mobile.
You should always stay ahead of the technology curve. After all, the survival of your business depends on how well you can utilize modern technology to increase your sales and capitalize on the opportunities provided to you by your technology partners. If you aren’t using the top-notch resources of your industry – your competition is, it’s as simple as that.