It is human nature to ponder what life will be like in the future, and past predictions have at times turned out to be uncannily prescient. Of course, others, in retrospect, were laughably outlandish.
But when you ponder what life would be like 20 years into the future, current technologies offer reliable signals as to what the next big thing will be. We know, for example, that electronic components are getting smaller, while processors are getting more powerful (and less costly), opening up seemingly endless possibilities in how electronics can be applied to our day-to-day lives. Autonomous vehicles are currently being rolled out, so it’s relatively easy to envision how that tech will play out over the next decade or two. Several global automakers are among these 20 companies leading the AI revolution.
24/7 Wall St. researched reports on future technologies and selected the 16 that seemed most likely to become commonplace within the next decade or two, and ones that are most likely to have the biggest impact on people’s daily lives. We only included technologies that exist in nascent form today because those are the ones most likely to rapidly evolve and scale across society. This list is in alphanumeric order.
Our lives have changed rapidly over the past 20 years. In 2000, the internet was just taking off, social media didn’t exist, and the first smartphones were too expensive to be as ubiquitous as they are now. Today, half the world has access to the internet, billions of people own smartphones, and social media has the power to alter elections.
A lot of the technology that will be part of daily life 20 years from now is already here. If past technological evolution is any indicator, then some of the technologies that are nascent, expensive, and unusual today will become commonplace tomorrow. We might not realistically have any idea of what life will be life in 2119 and beyond, but we have a good idea of how technology will impact our lives by 2039 or sooner. While we don’t know for sure yet, some of this already-present tech will likely shape up to be among the most important inventions of the 21st century.