Since the arrival of smartphones, humanity has been preoccupied with all things ‘smart’. We have operated these gadgets and gizmos, from our phones to our refrigerators, to even our very homes with amazement and awe. Somehow, we managed to take inanimate objects that were previously existing on a moronic level and we made them ‘smart’. Now, these items make our lives easier, allow us to run things from remote locations, and even tells us what our next move should be in any situation. Basically, we have become dumber. The truth is, the term ‘smart’ doesn’t in any way refer to the intelligence level of an item or device. So, what does it mean if an inhuman object is ‘smart’? The term ‘smart’ actually originated as an acronym for ‘Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology’. What that means is that smart items or devices are not ‘artificial intelligence’, as we seem to believe. They are not able to learn on their own; they know only what we permit them and program them to know. It also isn’t simply a devices ability to connect with the endless stream of stored knowledge we call the Internet. Let’s clarify what it actually IS. According to Petra.com, writer Yogesh Malik of Media.com says there are three basic types of smart technology, and they can be named and defined as follows:
Io T Devices
These devices are products which are ‘software-defined’. They are a product that is capable of analytics, they use applications, and they have the ability to utilize the network using the Internet. These devices are more beneficial than your typical connected smart devices because they are automated and upgradable, which makes them ready for any future changes that may come along.
These devices have a level of automation. Use of an intuitive user interface make them simple to program for just about anyone. An example might be your programmable coffee pot; you tell it to make coffee at a certain time, and it does. There doesn’t need to be an Internet connection for this type of device to work.
Connected Smart Devices
This type of device is controlled remotely, or from a distance, using some form of Internet connectivity, such as Wi-Fi, a wired connection, Bluetooth, or other similar means. Examples include smart phones, smart security cameras, and smart refrigerators, among other things.
Now that we all have a better understanding of what constitutes a device being ‘smart’ or not, let’s talk about the real subject at hand: Smart technologies that are soon to be, or smart tech that is on the horizon of being available for use by the public. I know…it’s hard to imagine anymore stuff being ‘smart’ than what we already have. But the fact is that the world of technology is growing, improving, and changing all the time, and there are countless new ‘smart’ items on the verge of coming into your life as we speak. But enough small talk; let’s get down to business and break it down for you. We’ll do this by discussing several of the items that are getting ready to make their debut into our lives, so here are…
20 Smart Technologies… Coming To Us Soon!
1. 4K Televisions
In recent years we have seen a lot of changes in television, changes that have made the experience more convenient, more realistic, and more friendly to user demands than ever before. Now we just need to pave the way for ‘4K Television’. Prepare yourself for more than high definition viewing. How about having scent cartridges that are controlled by the Internet and are for use with your television? Watching a documentary on rain forests? Well, now you will be able to smell the trees. A television show on animal shelters? You will now be able to get a whiff of…well, you get the idea. While this technology is still in developmental stages, it is in the works, and as fast as things move, it will likely not be long before it’s right in your living room. Brace yourselves, because this is the future.
2. The Holosonic Audio Spotlight 168i
We all know that there are some risks associated with using technology when we are supposed to be sleeping. Scientists and the medical community has long warned us that these items can affect the quality of our sleep, and that to our detriment. But the future release of the Holosonic Audio Spotlight 168i apparently promises that it will not only NOT cause harm, but it will actually help. The gadget combines sound and minimal light to provide users with white noise that will actually help them fall asleep easily. With that in mind, be patient, turn off the television, and wait it out in the dark. It’s soon to come, we’re sure.
3. The Moley Robotic Kitchen
This particular technology is like something straight out of ‘The Jetsons’, for those of you who remember the cartoon. It won the Consumer Electronic Show’s ‘Best of the Best’ award in 2015, and just as it says above, it is a robotic kitchen…the world’s first, to be exact. With two robotic hands which move just as flexibly as a human being’s (they have been programmed to mimic the movements of Tim Anderson, winner of BBC’s ‘Master Chef’), meals are prepared with the aid of an included touchscreen unit and oven and hob, which are all integrated. You’ll be able to simply choose what you want to eat, sit back, and let the Moley man do the rest!
4. Pavegen Flooring
Just when you thought smart tech couldn’t get anymore sci-fi, suddenly you find out about Pavegen flooring tiles. Okay, so here’s the deal: This flooring can be laid in your home, outside as a path, or anywhere else you can consider. It appears to just sit there and do nothing, which is exactly what it does…until it is walked on. At that point the flooring begins to generate energy which comes from the footsteps people make on it when walking. Here’s the best part: All of the energy it makes from being trod upon is then used to power the home it is laid in or around. Sound far out? It seems so, but in this writer’s opinion, it is precisely what the doctor (or tech specialist?) ordered.
5. The Panasonic Smart Mirror
So, you are rushing around in the morning, trying to get ready for work, and nothing is going right…so you’re running late. You still need to put on your makeup, and that is a process all by itself. Don’t you wish there was a way to make that go a bit easier and faster and still look great? Enter the Panasonic Smart Mirror, which basically takes a look at your face, does an analysis of color and the way your skin reflects the light, and then it proceeds to do its magic. It will take care of sun damage, red blotches, and even smooth out those pesky wrinkles. As if that wasn’t enough, you will be able to draw out a facial design on the mirror, print it out in 3D, and put it on like a mask…INSANE. This product is real, and was unveiled at Japan’s Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies; it just hasn’t been released for sale.
6. Internet-Independent Smart Assistants
“Siri, play Tom Petty”, or “Cortana, what’s the definition of an annotated bibliography?”. These are phrases similar to what we have all spoken, or most of us, anyway, to the virtual assistants that we use in the world today. For those of you not in touch with the virtual assistant, it is a programmed data base of knowledge that is connected to the Internet and is able to obey voice commands. They can operate your household electronics and appliances, answer questions, set up date books, etc. But the time is coming, and is in fact just around the corner when our virtual assistants will operate independently; in other words, they won’t need to be online to function. Scary thought? While I’m sure that they won’t be taking over the world any time soon, the idea does enter the mind and stir apprehension if one considers it long enough. For now, I think I’ll stay old school and just type things into Google when I want or need them.
7. In-Depth Realtime Personal Health Diagnostic Devices
We have come a very, very long way when it comes to the way we use technology in regard to our health and health care needs. Finger sticks to check blood sugar are on their way to becoming obsolete thanks to the technology that is able to check blood sugar without a blood sample, for instance. But soon things will go much deeper than that. Devices and/or implants that will check constantly for cancer, genetic disorders, Alzheimer’s, and other potentially life threatening illnesses are just over the horizon. They will basically enable us to get a head start when it comes to these diseases so we can get a jump on treating them. This may sound like something Bones from Star Trek would use, but it’s comforting to know this technology will be available.
8. Device-Controlling Microchip Implants
Yes, you read that right. Experts are saying that within the next couple of years we will have access to microchips that will be planted in our brains, and these chips will be able to interact with and control our devices. Sort of like mind control, only different, if you know what I mean. While this sound convenient, and even a bit cool, I would have to pass based simply on the risk of my mind being controlled by someone else, namely the maker of the chip, or the government they pay taxes to. Anyway, this technology is right around the corner as well, and I’m sure that when it becomes available it will sell like hotcakes…if it doesn’t become required.
9. Smart Technology to Record Dreams
Don’t get the wrong idea; this doesn’t mean you’ll be able to record the PICTURES or sounds of our dreams, but scientists will be able to record exactly what is going on in your head while dreaming, and they will be able to interpret what you are dreaming about with this information. While this sounds absolutely far-fetched it is very real. One potential use that could be of great benefit will be the ability to record what is going on in the minds of comatose patients, or others who are ill to the point of being unable to communicate.
10. Smart Glasses
We already have some forms of smart eyewear now. Take virtual reality headsets and Google Glass for instance. But the new smart eyewear, which is said to be out and working in full by 2025, will be able to pretty much run everything, from our GPS and playlists to the appliances and electronics in our homes, and more. Pretty much every major tech company on the planet is getting their fingers in this pie, and some smaller, as-of-yet unknown companies too. I can remember when needing to wear glasses was very un-cool, but it sounds like the ones not wearing them in the next five or six years will be the odd ones out.
11. Leap Motion
Everyone has adapted very well to touchscreen technology. From our phones to our computers and more, it has come down to nothing but a tap or a swipe, and our devices obey the commands of our fingertips. Well, Leap Motion will take that further. With this smart technology, we won’t even have to make contact with our screens. Motion sensors will pick up our slight movements right in front of the screen and get busy, meaning that we won’t have to expend all of that energy actually touching the screen. Boy, what a bunch of energy we’ll save, and our fingertips will thank us (tongue in cheek, by the way).
12. Eye Tribe
Now, let’s take Leap Motion a step further. Eye Tribe will make it possible for us to carry out applications, play games, and even write documents by tracking what we are looking at with our eyes. It sounds too incredible to be true, but it is the real deal, and we expect that if people don’t want to move at all when working or gaming, this technology will likely outsell Leap Motion. In my opinion, this is something of a scary thought.
13. The Smart Things Device Integrator
As we know, most of our devices, including phones, televisions, and household appliances, operate independently from each other; it is only with an application that they are able to work together and that with our commands. But Smart Thing is a console that will integrate all of the smart technologies we use and cause them to work together as needed. No more giving direction to our devices or other smart items; now they will basically work cooperatively together.
14. Interior Design…The Smart Way
Imagine that you are getting ready to give your home an interior décor makeover. Rather than interviewing different designers, there will be a program that will enable homeowners to choose from an endless stream of furnishings, color schemes, and décor, setting it all up in a living space (any room is possible) and arranging and rearranging to the heart’s desire. Not only that, but the system will also allow the user and others to basically be right in the ‘middle’ of the room, or sitting in one place or another, so they can actually get the real feel of their idea before making any purchases or changing anything, then discovering they don’t like it. It is also supposed to direct homeowners where to shop for décor and furniture and get the best deals and prices. Now, this sounds like a lot of fun to me.
15. Smart Skillets & Smart Ovens
Sick of standing over the hot stove, making sure your meal doesn’t burn and turns out just right? Well, smart skillets and ovens will take over and do the job for you. With temperature monitors, food rotators and turners, and timers that let you know when your food is done perfectly, these appliances are application driven, so while you are reading your new copy of People magazine in the living room, you can cook dinner with your cell phone. One less thing to worry about, which is what technology is ultimately good for in the end.
16. Smart Bathrooms
Want to take a bath before you go out with your husband, but have to feed your kids, and then you won’t have time for anything but a quick shower? Just pick up your phone and tap an app; you will soon have a full hot bath waiting for you as soon as you are done. Then, while sitting in that hot water your tub will generate soothing waves of sound and motion to relax your muscles and rejuvenate you for the hours to come. Simply program your choices for relaxation and bingo! You’re ready to fall asleep in the bath and miss date night.
17. The Smart Mattress
We all know how vital a good night’s sleep is to our health and well being. The smart mattress will ensure that you get just that. They come equipped with things we already have, like sensors that monitor our sleep patterns and the like, but they will also be able to automatically readjust when we reposition or roll over to maintain maximum comfort. They will also sense when you are not sleeping soundly enough and introduce soothing sounds or meditation like relaxation programs to help you sleep more deeply. Alarm clocks in the bed will be standard, even vibrating or providing other movements to stir you out of your rest and get moving. While all of this is wonderful, I won’t be happy until the darn thing brings me my coffee.
18. The Foldable Smart Phone
About the size of the smart phones we use right now, the foldable smart phone will take things a step further. Now, if you need to use an application that simply works better or is more comfortable to use on a larger display, just open up the phone, which is said to be able to unfold twice, making it 75% larger than the screens now. Proceed with whatever you are doing easily, because now you basically have a tablet. Someone calling? Just fold it up and answer it. Sound crazy? Crazy like a fox. It is predicted that this will be one of the more popular of the new smart technologies because it eliminates the need to purchase several different sized devices.
19. The Moviephone Smartphone
I know that I have sat and watched movies on the tiny screen of my smart phone, while traveling or visiting friends who don’t have streaming devices or cable television. The Moviephone makes it better, though, by adding a projector to the top of your phone. Now you can just project whatever you are streaming, making it easier on your eyes and enabling you to share your program with anyone in the room. It will be able to replace a 100 inch television!
20. Battery-Free Smartphone
Having no power source inside, this smartphone runs off a microwave resonator. It uses vibrations of our voices and transfers them to a receiver, which is connected to a network. The process is complicated, but the gist of it is that our voice vibrations are converted to the energy needed to power the device. There is a lot more to it that laypersons like us couldn’t possibly understand, but what I do understand is no more sacrificing an arm or a leg for a new battery or whole new phone before its time. Things like this, to me, are the smartest of the new technologies.
So, there you have them, twenty of the craziest, and realist, future smart technologies coming our way. There are many more, some much to complicated to even try to get into; some that just don’t sound like they’re going to go far, and others that seem like they may definitely change the world we live in. But the point is this: brace yourselves. If you think the world looks foreign and strange today, wait until you wake up tomorrow.