A careful analysis of historical events might lead one to believe all technological advances that can be accomplished have already been done, and that there are no great inventions left for you to discover during your lifetime. I argue that that is not entirely true, that there are still great things to be discovered, invented, and marketed to consumers. Capitalism is the greatest market force known to man, and has lead to many great inventions. These inventions have been important to making lives better for everyone, while also making money for the person who created and marketed the invention. This has led to additional innovations, which has led to even more profits, etc.
As the gradual stream of technology is available, the gradual change is accepted each day, without any perception of the overall change as it is applied to each decade or century of changes. If you look at the state of technology just 20 years ago, you might be surprised just how different it was from today. Let’s list some of the technology that didn’t exist 20 years ago:
- Java Programming Language
- DVD Technology
- Hybrid Cars
- Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter
Very smart people came along and saw the state of existing technology, and took that technology to the next stage with the invention of a new product that people embrace as new and useful to them in their life. The lesson to learn is that there is always something new that can be invented. Maybe it is something completely new and revolutionary, to just a new way to combine existing technology to create something greater than the parts.
If we think about what we have gained online in the last 20 years, the abundance of technology is almost unbelievable. We have gotten many great innovations: Instant video and voice connections with a lost anyone from almost anywhere on the planet, access to just about any music ever created, customizable news streams whenever we want, satellite maps of the world available to anyone, an encyclopedia we can query to get almost any information, movies and TV shows we can watch on a portable device in our pocket, a online store that will deliver almost anything the next day — and the list goes on.
So if we look 20 years into the future, we can only imagine what will be different then from what we know today. Some technology we can predict, while there will also be some advances that we just can’t predict. What technology would you expect to become mature consumer products in the next 20 years?
- Self-driving electric cars
- Computers with true artificial intelligence
- Neural-Network computers imbedded inside your brain
- Interstellar Space Travel
- People living under water
- Space Tourism
- 4000 foot tall buildings
- No credit or debit cards
- Virtual Reality
- Immortal Humans
- Nano Technology used to treat illness and disease
The possibilities are only limited by your ability to imagine the solution. There might also be some items that exist today, that might not exist in the future:
- Printed Newspapers
- Toll Booth Operators
- Taxi Drivers
- Mail Men and Women
- Computer Keyboards
- Wrist Watches
With the increased use of technology and robotics, most jobs will be automated and many jobs will be replaced with robot workers. Drones will have improved to a point that deliveries might be accomplished with computer controlled drones, self-driving vehicles equipped with computers with the ability to understand human speech will replace the need for human taxi drivers. Even the servers at you favorite restaurant might be replaced with commuters and robots. The use of RFID and cashless society might eliminate the need for a toll booth operators.
People look back and wish they had seen these important technologies before someone else had a chance to make a fortune. Those same people will look forward today, and they might only imagine the possibilities of technology of the future. Can you predict the inventions of the future? Can you map a course into the great technology innovations of tomorrow to map a course to success?
You can read more about what could happen in the future here.