The rapid advancement of technology in the last decade has created many new innovations that were once thought of as belonging in the realm of science fiction. While experts may have once predicted self-driving cars and immersive holodecks back in the 1960s, those technologies might actually become a reality within the next decade.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Augmented reality and virtual reality are very similar to each other. Some experts will classify augmented reality (AR) as a sub-category under virtual reality (VR). VR is a completely immersive environment, and users can directly interact with their surroundings. AR is partially immersive, and users can interact with an artificially created layer over the real world. Both AR and VR require the use of wearables with smart technology in order to interact with the environment and are expected to be used in a wide range of industries from manufacturing to retail to tourism.
We hear stories about self-driving cars all the time, but they aren’t available to the general public as of the first half of 2019. One of the biggest challenges to bring self-driving cars to the market is that they solely rely on GPS for navigation. This means that the auto company’s map database must be up-to-date. The car must also be able to use AI technology to observe the road in front of it and make decisions based on conditions that are always changing. You can find self-driving vehicles on the roads in nearly half of the United States these days, and they show no signs of stopping. However, self-driving vehicles are not all created equal. There are six total levels of automation in vehicles ranging from Level 0 with no automation to Level 5 with full automation. Most self-driving vehicles currently on the road in 2019 are at Level 2 with a partially automated driving system. The first Level 3 automated driving system, the Audi Traffic Jam Pilot, is not yet allowed in the United States.
5G is the wireless cellular network for the next decade. 5G stands for the fifth generation of the wireless network that will introduce low latency, better speed, and a larger capacity for internet devices. Many of our technological advances will get a massive boost in performance after the implementation of 5G networks. 5G network will allow augmented reality and virtual reality to perform with almost zero latency, meaning that a larger number of connections will be available with fewer performance issues. 5G will also allow self-driving cars to communicate with the road and with other cars with less lag time. Many of our internet services are still laying down the foundation for the upcoming 5G transition that is expected to be available in 2020.
Many new technologies are looming on the horizon waiting for a technological breakthrough. The next decade promises to bring many new innovations. Technology is always evolving. And who knows? Other technology in your favorite sci-fi movie could come to life in the near future.