Predicting what the future is going to look like is both hard and risky. Predicting technology is even harder. We’ve seen time and again how innovations can be birthed and then rejected for various reasons. Some aren’t practical or cost-effective, others are too advanced and some don’t even have a market.
You can look for tonnes of these technologies that were produced in the past and see that they were lost to time.
As a result, predicting what’s actually going to be the top technology trends for the new year is going to be difficult. This list isn’t definitive but rather highlighting what the future potentially holds for the future.
Security Cross-Cutting Issues
The growth we’re seeing with large data repositories and the emerging data analytics have fused together with intrusions of bad actors, government and corporations. They’ve essentially opened a pandora’s box of issues with security and technologies are being created and people are learning how to balance both security and privacy in this new environment.
Open Intellectual Property Movement
We’ve got more open source software now than ever before along with open-access publishing too. The idea of open IP is appealing but it can also have some implications as well.
With the environment and climate change on our minds, people are looking for more sustainability. As such, people are looking at technologies with more scrutiny. Things like electric cars looks nice on the surface but building them isn’t sustainable.
People are looking to make changes to how things are being built like cars, LED lighting, new batteries and chips. Will these be able to be used as renewables as energy consumption rises?
Mass Online Open Courses
Also called MOOCs, these have the capability to transform higher-education. This can siphon students away from the traditional format of universities and colleges, transforming the lives of faculty and student roles. It’s available now in small numbers, but this trend could bring more impact over time potentially.
Constrained by the laws of physics, this technology has the potential to extend Moore’s Law into the next decade. Commercial quantum computing is slowly coming into reach, new breakthroughs in this area are happening faster and faster these days.
Device And Nanotechnology
MEMS devices, nanoparticles, and their use in current applications have made it clear that they are here to stay. So far, it’s changed the landscape of manufacturing sunscreen, tires, and swallowable medical devices.
3D Integrated Circuits
We’re already seeing a transition from printed circuit boards to 3D-ICs. Soon enough, this trend will spread across the whole spectrum of IT products.
This is meant to replace DRAM, shifting the architecture of software. We’ll see if it’s adopted.
By 2022, this technology is to be everywhere. It’s already in wearable systems as well as smartphones and cameras. Even games, automobiles and cloud servers have this along with exa-scale supercomputers.
Designed to be a fundamental technology, it’s meant to address the bandwidth, latency, and energy issues that high-end systems are faced with.
Other Notable Mentions
- Networking and interconnectivity – Developments into tis will continue to drive research and the Internet economy.
- Software-defined networks – OpenFlow and SDN are technologies that have made networks more secure, transparent, flexible and functional. We’re bound to see more.
- High-performance computing – Governments are trying to reach exascale, researchers are moving to this trend to cloud computing.
- Cloud computing – By 2022, the cloud will be more integrated into computing workloads than ever before.
- Internet of Things – Clothes to monitor movements, smart homes and cities, IoT has no limits except for concerns over our privacy being the cost of more conveniences.
- Natural user interfaces – We already have interfaces that use touch and speech to interact with us but there can be more that can be leveraged from that and even gestures.
- 3D printing – This technology provides a revolution to fabrication with designs being easily fabricated and not be that expensive to put together.
- Big Data and analytics – More of this is becoming available as these insights provide more potential for data-driven decisions.
- Machine learning and intelligent systems – This technology already plays a role in our lives like recommending products, ranking search results, or building better models of the environment.
- Computer vision and pattern recognition – Unlocking information in pictures and videos can play a role in impacting consumers.
- Life sciences – Technology has become pivotal in improving the lives of people and animals while addressing threats to our environment.
- Medical robotics – Autonomous delivery of hospital supplies to telemedicine, medical robotics have been at the forefront now for life-saving innovations.