What will technology look like in 2020?

Anyone seriously involved with technology will always have one eye on the future to prepare for upcoming trends. Here at Maven we are no different, we are constantly browsing through technology sites, following up on news stories and attending events to keep up to date.

Mind control

For so long we have used a keyboard and mouse as a primary way of interacting with our devices, then touch screens added a new dimension of control. Voice control took things to a new level where we didn't even need to be touching our devices to interact with them, responding to texts by simply dictating them getting Siri's attention by simply saying Hey Siri. Then next natural step on this journey is to visit mind control.

Engineers at Johns Hopkins university developed a next-generation prosthetic that is controlled by a person's thought like a regular arm. Technology similar to this has been linked to a wireless transmitter which could potentially control TV's, Wheelchairs and even computers using thought.

These developments are potentially life changing for amputees or paralytics, but as these technologies develop we could find ourselves at a point where consumer electronics are controllable by thought. So we are able to not just say 'Hey Siri' but think it!

Glocal

Globalisation is a reality that we can't escape. The ease of travel and speed of communication means ideas, news and trends sweep across the world in a matter of minutes, not months as was the case 100 years ago. The big challenge of globalisation is to take a global trend but applying it in a context sensitive way. This is where thinking glocally comes into play.

A great example of this is what Uber did in India. Indian consumers aren't as concerned with getting around in style but getting good value for money, so Uber started an on-demand service based on Rickshaws quite possibly the epitome of Indian transportation. To further demonstrate local awareness Uber allowed users in Dehli to pay for their journeys in cash to avoid government regulations. Quite clearly a local response to a global trend.

Revised perceptions of ownership

Most of the things you use on an everyday basis, your phone, your car, the sofa you sit on at home, you own. Some of these may be purchased on finance but after a year or so you will have paid for them in full and will own them completely.

In recent years, we have seen the rise of the shared economy, where you can stay in someone else's house through Airbnb, sail someone else's boat with Sailo or even go snowboarding with someone else's board with Splinster

This is only the beginning. Tech giants such as Apple, Google, Tesla and Uber are supposedly developing systems that allow you to subscribe to car services so you can be picked up by a different autonomous vehicle each morning and go home in another that evening.

Even office spaces could be changed on a weekly based on a convenient and equidistant location for the team you need to be working with that week. Then when you arrive at the office all your personal preferences, data and programs, are already installed the computers.

Using resources in this way makes better use of them as they can be used 24/7 rather than only when we are using them personally.

Simply connected

The Internet of Things is generating a lot of excitement recently. Everything is being connected to everything else: your heating, your fridge, your car, your garden. As more things are connected we will also see a growth in the amount of things that are tracked, measured and analysed.

But in 2020, this connected network will be simplified.

Rather than your smart fridge being able to simply list what is in it, on your way home from work you will be able to ask it if you have the right ingredients to make a curry. It will then connect to your house food inventory to let you know yes or no and generate a shopping list of the ingredients you do need and update you smart cars GPS with an alternate route home via your favourite grocery store.

We will also the rise of more human feedback, so after dinner your smart kitchen would ask you if you enjoyed your meal and if not, it would find alternate recipes for you to try.