Technology continues to improve at an incredible rate, and it seems that with each passing year we see innovations that were essentially sci-fi concepts just a decade ago. This pattern is only going to intensify in the coming years, and with that, we can be pretty sure we are going to see some pretty cool gadgets in the near future.
While companies around the world are working on everything from utility drones to self-driving cars the future looks to hold more “science fiction” gadgets than ever before. Perhaps we will see the first real smartphone hologram or perhaps a new breed of games that feel so real that we simply can not tell the difference anymore.
In an attempt to predict what this year may hold, we have compiled a list of 10 of the most important tech developments we may see in 2016. We are sure there are more exceedingly exciting tech developments out there (please share in the comment section below), but we have scribbled down the most plausible tech unveilings this year. Enjoy, the future is here!
1. Self-Driving Cars On The Road
There is a lot of skepticism about when and how self-driving cars will actually be in use. But the truth is the technology already exists, and some companies have already been testing them out pretty regularly. And now some are saying that self-driving cars will be in several U.S. cities next year. That doesn’t mean they’ll replace our ordinary vehicles just yet, but the transition is going to begin and the tech developments in this area is only going to increase.
2. Virtual Reality (in Gaming)
There are several virtual reality headset consoles pretty much ready to hit the mass market. Oculus Rift is the most famous one, but in all likelihood Microsoft’s HoloLens and Sony’s Project Morpheus will also be among the first we see on store shelves, given their compatibility with Xbox and Playstation consoles, respectively.
3. Utility Drones
The idea of drones delivering packages came up about a year ago when news was released that Amazon was exploring the idea. It’s since been mocked by many and written off as unlikely or unreasonable. Parks & Recreation even parodied the idea in its final season set in the very near future. But that hasn’t changed the fact that a drone delivery system might be too convenient for big companies to ignore. Numerous rumors and reports indicate utility drones are still coming in the next year and developments in other areas are only increasing as well.
4. Expansion Of Bitcoin
Slowly but surely, digital currency has solidified itself as a lasting technological concept that’s become increasingly relevant in everyday life. Not only are more online companies accepting Bitcoin, but an ever-increasing number of ‘brick and mortar’ businesses are doing so as well. There’s a clear upward trajectory in Bitcoin utility, which means in the next year we’ll become more accustomed to how to use it, where to store it, and so on.
5. In-Home 3D Printing
Tech developments in 3D printing have staggered in the last couple of years. It seems as if one moment we were all reading Internet stories about 3D printed objects and gaping in awe at the technology, and the next moment it was available in stores. In the next year, 3D printers will become even more mainstream and people will be using them in their homes to make everything from random artistic projects to useful household items.
6. In-Home Robot Assistants
We’re not quite at an iRobot or Ex Machina level of having humanoid robots that we can basically use as servants. But we are on the cusp of making in-home robotics a regular thing. The JIBO bot really pioneered the concept; you can think of it like a physical Siri sitting in your home to keep an eye on you and help to supply you with basic information and answer questions. As you can see, developments in this area are astounding. It’ll be fascinating to see how far bots like this one go in 2016.
7. A Sunscreen Pill
Back in 2011, word circulated that a sunscreen pill could be available in five years. Well, we’re almost there. The technology is based on replicating how sea coral in shallow waters protect themselves from the sun, and it’s believed that it can basically help to shield human skin from the inside. These pills will likely be available in 2016.
8. Li-Fi (?)
This is a brand-new concept that’s only just beginning to generate some attention. But apparently it’s a new LED-based form of Internet connection that’s 100 times faster than Wi-Fi. We may start to see it in action as soon as next year, and naturally the implications are astounding.
You may have heard over the last few years that dwindling bee populations actually pose a pretty major threat to the environment. Bees are some of the little architects of nature we depend on quite a bit without really realizing it, but we’d all be in a lot of trouble without their tireless pollination efforts. Fortunately, brilliant robotics teams at Harvard and elsewhere have been working on “robobees” to pollinate crops where ordinary bees fail in the effort (due to, you know, their population dwindling).
10. The Rebirth Of The Woolly Mammoth
This is less of an innovation and more of an achievement. Nevertheless, it’s a pretty incredible technological milestone if we figure out how to resurrect a long-extinct beast in nature. The rebirth of the woolly mammoth has been talked about for years, and many expect it to happen next year.
If all of this truly happens in 2016, it’ll be a pretty remarkable year in human history.
Most Important Tech Developments In 2016