The technology landscape today is fast changing and the pace is faster than you think. Changes occur before you can apprehend, your needs are answered before you realize the potential solutions, and all our manual chores are completed in much smarter way. Yes, we are talking about Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, automation, and machine learning, which will continue to rock the world in 2018. Here, we discuss some of the hot trends that inspire us for a better life with lesser manual operations.
Artificial intelligence or AI, as it is commonly known as is the latest technology trend. It encompasses a whole lot of things (like writing Google algorithm or driving a car). Driven by automated robots with human-like characteristics, AI aims at performing regular manual tasks as well as coming up with suggestive instructions for a specific problem. While the first one is an example of narrow AI, the latter is an example of general AI or strong AI. IBM Watson which comes up with ready legal advice or solutions on entering an issue or problem is another example of strong AI. In the coming days, AI will become more refined in robot integration to perform more complicated tasks such as welding, automated transportation or climate change.
IoT or Internet of Things is another hot technology trend. Operating everything by Internet or wireless technology to reduce human efforts and make our lives easier, is the need of the day. Smart Homes or Smart Cars, the most common example of IoT, makes use of Zigbee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
Smart Homes, readily make use of Canary or Piper, as home security solution. Canary is a remarkable combination of video, audio, motion detection, night vision, a siren, and air quality, temperature, and humidity sensors put into a single device. It can be operated from mobile and runs on Internet. Piper, a similar device, has all of these features, plus, a home monitoring system and a speaker that lets you keep a watch on home when you are away or speak to someone staying at home, over wireless. Future applications of IoT include Smart Cities and Connected Cars.
Automation, an older player in the technology sphere, operates by chatbots to perform human-exclusive tasks. The primary purpose of automation was to simplify everyday tasks without human intervention. Everyday tasks like coffee maker, air conditioner, ice makers or Amazon Alexa. Automated air conditioners sense room temperature and make adjustments accordingly. Amazon Alexa allows to save a pre-defined grocery list and make minor adjustments to it, every time, you need to add or remove a few items from the list and order online. You do not need to remember the list of necessary items. You can simply place your order and chill.
High end applications of automation include automated journalism or editing. You get systematic reporting of events like football tournaments or quarterly earnings results.
Machine Learning, also known as ML, is populating suggestions for performing an activity or predict a situation, based on previous observations. Some of the most common applications of ML traffic predictions, ridesharing, school and office applications. How nice would it be to get an accurate prediction of the traffic status, using your mobile location info, before you are stepping out for work? Share rides like Uber have pop-up suggestions when you are booking a cab. You are asked if you want to book a sedan if a micro or mini cab is not available. Your location may also be saved as favorite, based on your nubile phone location, which means you do not have to choose a location, every time, you are booking a cab.
The term “Virtual Reality” implies viewing the virtual space as augmented reality. Technology makes use of computer-generated sensors to interact with another computer. The biggest advantage of virtual reality is ensuring near-life experiences and reduced computer expenses. What started as an alternative to 3D vision and working with a virtual computer for better storage and efficiency, has come a long way and ensures such things as 3D scene reconstruction, 3D mapping, accurate gesture tracking, and advanced telepresence.
Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift, Samsung GearVR and Epson Movario are some of the major players in the Virtual Reality space. Among the new entrants, Meta, Avegant Glyph, Daqri and Magic Leap are fast gaining popularity with new levels of usability.
As we get ready for another change, let us make use of what is already available. This also means that the services that we require will be available on an on-demand basis. This will not redefine our quality of living, but also help us re-think our needs. We will concern ourselves with more critical needs, relating to innovative thinking in medical research, mass welfare, education, and international security.