Technological changes can be difficult to predict over the long term. When we look ahead just a few years though, we can sometimes forecast changes based on what we’re already beginning to see. And to that point, it’s already becoming clear what some of the defining technologies of the next five years might be.
In the end, of course, dozens of tech changes will likely fit that description. As of now though, the following five are the ones we’re keeping a close eye on for the next five years.
1. Augmented Reality Glasses
All you really need to know about AR glasses to become convinced they’ll be among the major technological stories of the next five years is that Apple is leading the way. In July of 2020, Cnet’s update on AR glasses rumors referred to these products as the “next big product” from the tech titan, and some have gone as far as to suggest that the glasses could effectively begin a transition away from smartphones. That may be taking things a bit far for the next five years, but we do expect to see AR glasses that can link up with smartphones to provide exciting functions that will change our day-to-day lives.
2. Virtual Reality
Virtual reality has been on something of a roller coaster ride the last few years, perhaps best encapsulated by Fortune’s take on the “fall and rise” of the technology (as opposed to the more typical “rise and fall”). As their article put it, VR has been the next new thing for five years and counting, but has been stalled by issues such as “clunky headsets” and a “dearth of content.” After its initial fall (or falls) though, VR still has the potential and capacity to rise — and we’re betting we’ll see it in the next five years. Headsets are already becoming more affordable and a little bit sleeker, and games and other experiences are always improving. VR may never be an overnight phenomenon, but its gradual path will ultimately position it as one of the most prominent types of consumer tech over the next five years.
3. IoT PCBs
A lot is going on with printed circuit boards that position them to be extraordinarily important to our world’s development over the course of the next few years. What we’ve already seen is the evolution of long-established design platforms into modernized versions. Altium’s post on Protel PCB software explains this in more detail, and conveys that Protel — an industry-standard as far back as the ’80s — has been absorbed by Altium, where it takes advantage of “new and innovative tools.” These tools are simplifying complex PCB design and leading to breakthroughs that are effectively enabling the modern world of tech. Better PCBs can fit into smaller devices, maintain stronger connections, and function without overheating. These changes serve numerous purposes, but most notable is that they are making an expanded Internet of Things possible in the near future. As a result of changes in PCBs, the IoT around us will soon be more enormous and more capable than we can presently imagine.
4. Health Implants
Health implants are incidentally being brought about in part because of PCB improvements as well. In and of themselves though, these will likely be some of the more extraordinary breakthroughs of the next half a decade. The basic idea is that we’re on the verge of progressing well beyond pacemakers and into a world of healthcare in which numerous devices can be implanted in human bodies for a variety of purposes. From monitoring blood sugar, to catching conditions early, and all kinds of purposes specific to various health needs, these implanted devices will largely represent the future of patient care.
When we wrote about the ‘Best Free VPN Services to Opt for in 2020’ there’s a good chance that we were ultimately only looking at the beginnings of a soon-to-be-sprawling tech market. While today’s VPNs are perfectly capable of providing more security for internet users, the need for added security and anonymity is intensifying with each passing month. In the increasingly connected world we’re going to move further into in the coming years, VPNs are likely to become ubiquitous, and particularly effective ones will rise up the ranks to become mainstream consumer products.