We all know that technology is changing rapidly. It is, after all, a technology-driven world we live in and the possibilities of where we are heading are amazing. The mobile phone is just one case in point.
Historical data on US Technology Adoption Rates through to 2010 compiled by MIT Technology Review revealed that landline telephones took about forty five years to reach 50% of the US population. Mobile phones took around seven years to reach a similar proportion of consumers while smart phones, on the other hand, have gone from 5% to 40% in about four years, despite a recession. The Business Insider has estimated that globally, the per-capita rate of smartphone ownership surpassed that of personal computers around the middle of 2012. Who needs computers anyway!
So where will technology be next year? What advances can we expect to excite us, to intrigue us, to woo us, to take more of our money? Forbes lists ten areas to watch in 2015.
- Computing Everywhere
- The Internet of Things (IoT)
- 3D Printing
- Advanced, Pervasive, Invisible Analytics
- Context-Rich Systems
- Smart Machines
- Cloud/Client Architecture
- Software-Defined Infrastructure and Applications
- Web-Scale IT
- Risk-Based Security and Self-Protection
The first item on the list says it all. Just about everything is driven by a microprocessor. From your smart phone to your smart TV. From Motorway eTolls to PayPass purchases. From refridgerators to microwave ovens. More and more aspects of our lives are being handed over to computers. For lovers of The Terminator franchise, this could be the ominous scenario we are waiting for before John Connor appears out of nowhere.
3D Printing is a personal favourite. Imagine the possibilities. Taxidermists should include this one in their SWOT analysis moving forward. However, there is another, more sinister side to this particular technology. Hand guns produced from thermoplastic material have become a reality with 3D Printing. Recent research has suggested that it is more dangerous to the shooter than anyone else though it is only a question of time before it will be dangerous to everyone.
Whatever the technology, it seems that it becomes a question of keeping up with the trend. There’s an old eLFonian saying, “Follow the trend, catch up to the pack. Create the trend, stay ahead of the pack.” The trouble with this is that everyone is trying to create the trend.