Posts Tagged ‘emerging tech’

6 Future Technologies you should know about

Friday, January 24th, 2020

There has been a huge increase in the technology involved in the daily life of humans in the past 50 years. From engineers feeding in 0s and 1s into a room-sized computer to a wrist watch reminding us to complete our daily goal of 20,000 steps, technology has come a long way. The common man hadn’t even heard of a smartphone 12 years ago and today it’s hard to spend even a few hours without it. The technological advancement seen in the last decade was unseen in human history and it’s natural that we will one-up ourselves in the coming years. With a lot of new tech being conceptualized developed and tested, the future looks more exciting than ever before. There are many exciting new technologies that will continue to transform the world and improve human welfare. Here are six of them.

1. Self-Driving Cars

Self-driving cars exist today that are safer than human-driven cars in most driving conditions. Google, Uber have been testing them for over 2 years now. Over the next 3–5 years they’ll get even safer, and will begin to go mainstream. The World Health Organization estimates that 1.25 million people die from car-related injuries per year. Half of the deaths are pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists hit by cars. Cars are the leading cause of death for people ages 15–29 years old.

Just as cars reshaped the world in the 20th century, so will self-driving cars in the 21st century. In most cities, between 20–30% of usable space is taken up by parking spaces, and most cars are parked about 95% of the time. Self-driving cars will be in almost continuous use (most likely hailed from a smartphone app), thereby dramatically reducing the need for parking. Cars will communicate with one another to avoid accidents and traffic jams, and riders will be able to spend commuting time on other activities like work, education, and socializing.

2. Virtual and Augmented Reality

Computer processors only recently became fast enough to power comfortable and convincing virtual and augmented reality experiences. Companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft are investing billions of dollars to make VR and AR more immersive, comfortable, and affordable.

People sometimes think VR and AR will be used only for gaming, but over time they will be used for all sorts of activities. For example, we’ll use them to manipulate 3-D objects.

To meet with friends and colleagues from around the world. And even for medical applications, like treating phobias or helping rehabilitate paralysis victims.VR and AR have been dreamed about by science fiction fans for decades. In the next few years, they’ll finally become a mainstream reality.

3. The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things has long been talked about amongst tech insiders as the next big innovation in-home technology. In recent years, IoT has begun to carve a niche for itself in everyday life with the growing adoption of systems like Google’s Home and Amazon’s Alexa. These devices will continue to integrate more aspects of the home into one harmonious system by utilizing the internet, allowing a user to control anything from the air conditioning to their security via voice command and a small personal assistant.

Apple has announced its plans to roll out the HomePod this year and Samsung is reportedly working on their Bixby technology in order to compete with the success of the Google and Amazon systems. You can expect that one of these devices will be simplifying life in your home and the homes around you by 2020.

4. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence has made rapid advances in the last decade, due to new algorithms and massive increases in data collection and computing power. AI can be applied to almost any field. For example, in photography, an AI technique called artistic style transfer transforms photographs into the style of a given painter.

Google built an AI system that controls its datacenter power systems, saving hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs. The broad promise of AI is to liberate people from repetitive mental tasks the same way the industrial revolution liberated people from repetitive physical tasks.

Some people worry that AI will destroy jobs. History has shown that while new technology does indeed eliminate jobs, it also creates new and better jobs to replace them. For example, with the advent of the personal computer, the number of typographer jobs dropped, but the increase in graphic designer jobs more than made up for it. It is much easier to imagine jobs that will go away than new jobs that will be created. Today millions of people work as app developers, ride-sharing drivers, drone operators, and social media marketers- jobs that didn’t exist and would have been difficult to even imagine ten years ago.

5. Internet for everyone

We can’t seem to live without the internet (how else would you read sciencefocus.com?), but still only around half the world’s population is connected. There are many reasons for this, including economic and social reasons, but for some, the internet just isn’t accessible because they have no connection.

Google is slowly trying to solve the problem using helium balloons to beam the internet to inaccessible areas, while Facebook has abandoned plans to do the same using drones, which means companies like Hiber are stealing a march. They have taken a different approach by launching their own network of shoebox-sized microsatellites into low Earth orbit, which wakes up a modem plugged into your computer or device when it flies over and delivers your data.

Their satellites orbit the Earth 16 times a day and are already being used by organisations like The British Antarctic Survey to provide internet access to very extreme of our planet.

6. Cryptocurrency & Blockchain

After Bitcoin’s meteoric price jump in 2017, major tech players have begun to take cryptocurrencies seriously. Along with major Initial Coin Offerings that have hit major news outlets like Etherium, smaller companies are developing Stablecoins that provide an attempt to provide all the pros of cryptocurrency transactions without the price fluctuations that have plagued the system. As these coins begin to work themselves out and exchanges even out the fluctuations in prices, expect these assets to be mainstream methods of payment by 2020.

Blockchain, the decentralized ledger that holds together cryptocurrencies, has applications reaching far beyond financial transactions. Companies have applied the technology to everything, from simplifying tracking and access to information in academia to interesting and amusing games that use complex algorithms to create unique experiences.

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Self-Driving Cars: The Road to a Driverless Future

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

The idea of driverless cars that can run on roads without requiring humans to control them seemed like something out of a sci-fi movie just a few years ago. It sounded like a far-fetched dream.

However, as we have witnessed, the world of technology and machine learning are making long strides rapidly, which means that many of the things we thought unimaginable are now very close to becoming a reality.

According to the SAE International, there are five different levels of automation for vehicles, which are outlined below.

Level 1 automation (Driver Assistance)

While navigation is controlled by the driver, small steering and/or acceleration tasks are handled by the vehicle, such as lane centering and adaptive cruise control.

Level 2 automation (Partial Automation)

This is where the driver controls the core vehicle but can make use of driver-assistance features simultaneously.

Level 3 automation (Conditional Automation)

A driver is still required at the seat, but certain safety-critical functions can be used under certain traffic and other environmental conditions. Otherwise, the driver must always be ready to take control.

Level 4 automation (High Automation)

Here, the vehicle can drive itself and can perform all navigational functions without needing a driver. However, the quality of navigation may suffer in certain road conditions, or severe weather, or an unmapped area.

Level 5 automation (Full Automation)

Here, the vehicle is fully automated, regardless of external conditions.

Top automotive companies make their predictions

Today, the major automakers in the world are investing heavily in self-driving cars because they know the potential the technology has. Ford expects to have true self-driving cars by 2021, which means a Level 4 automation. According to Ford, the vehicle will not need a steering wheel or a gas pedal, and drivers will not be required as long as you are in a predefined area.

Another car company in the self-driving race is General Motors (GM). Back in 2016, GM acquired Cruise Automation for a whopping $581 million and has since been working on integrating the self-driving technology into their vehicles. As of 2019, the company is testing its driverless cars in select cities such as California, Michigan, and Arizona.

Honda, too, is making news with its ambitious goal of having self-driving cars on the highway by 2020.

An important part of self-driving cars is the user interface, which means that the best UI UX design services are employed heavily by automakers.

Technology in Everyday Life

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

The Land of Techno-mo sapiens

  1. There is a lot of salagonitiation these days.
  2. Jake got a job in Tajikistan that pays him 5600 Somoni every month.
  3. Doesn’t this song on the radio sound like the one we sang at Thanksgiving last year?

Go ahead. Type ‘meaning salagonitiation’ in your Google search box. Convert 5600 Somoni to your currency. Check who the music director is for both songs.

It is often said that technology doesn’t change people’s basic needs or their natures. But if you monitor your everyday routine and notice carefully, you’ll realize that it has become indispensable. It does not change what you want but it does change how fast you can get it and with how much ease.

We have talked about Docker, Cloudinary and the stories of famous tech entrepreneurs but let’s scale it down this time. Let’s delve into our quotidian routines — from waking up in the morning to finally catching some Z’s in the night. How do we use technology in our day-to-day life? How deeply entrenched is it in our system? Are we controlling or being controlled by it?

Business and Communication

Gone are the days when your boss had to be in the same room as the rest of her team to discuss monthly sales targets or when you had to put your fax number below your phone number on your website. You needn’t coax customers into filling feedback forms and you needn’t sigh over the fact that you haven’t spoken to that professor from college for years. You don’t even have to tell your employee to keep mailing you the revised version of his work after every few days for you can keep a check at it in real-time — thanks to the Google Drive service! Money transactions have also become much easier via apps like Paytm and so has scanning of documents using GeniusScan or CamScanner.

It is all just a click (or multiple clicks) away. With technologies that allow us to connect to people via multiple social network platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, video conferencing, electronic mail, WhatsApp and much more, communication have become unrestrained and unbounded.

“Sharing is good, and with digital technology, sharing is easy.” — Richard Stallman

Education

Remember when your Aunt bought you the entire volume set of Britannica encyclopedias for your 10th birthday or when you used to carry a pocket dictionary in your bag? That doesn’t happen anymore. Students do not have to make flashcards anymore to learn vocabulary and universities have apps to keep a track of students’ attendance. Dropbox allows file sharing while the TED app provides motivational lectures. Examinations are shifting towards online mode from offline mode and YouTube has replaced a lot of teachers. With mobile apps and websites that allow you to access full libraries and venture into the vast realm of education, the world had transformed into a place where the only thirst for knowledge, not opportunities, determine ‘how much you know.’

Transportation

More and more ride-hailing companies like Uber and Ola are sprouting up with every passing day. Within minutes, app users can get a ride to a place that is 4kms away or 40kms away. Even metro users of different cities can know the fastest route and the respective fares by using apps like Next Stop Paris or Delhi-NCR Metro. However, a major facelift to the domain of transportation has been provided by web mapping services that process data from a geographic information system database. How long will it take me to get there? Should I take the bus or drive? Is there any traffic in the next street? Answers to all these questions and much more are provided by apps such as Apple Maps and Google Maps.

Entertainment

For a common man, advancements in technology have been the most detectable in this sphere. From buying movie tickets on Fandango or BookMyShow to buying apparel, books and much more on Amazon, everything is near at hand. Zomato, another game changer for gastronomes and epicures, gives information ranging from average cost for two to the menu for that particular restaurant. Operating in over 20 countries including India, United States, Singapore and Italy, it has become extremely popular over the years, especially among youngsters. Let’s say that you go watch a movie and then have lunch at a boutique café that plays jazz music. There is one particular song that you find extremely melodious and want to know what it’s called. Just Shazam it! Music, movies, food and more — technology has revamped all of it.

Woven into the fabric of daily life, it has definitely carved a niche for itself. One of the hottest topics of discussion, technology is no more a facility or luxury; it’s an arrant lifestyle.

My team and I are avid seekers of technology. We would be delighted to know what you’ve been doing to contribute to this evolving madness. Feel free to strike a conversation with us.

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