3 Major Tech Trends That Will Transform Our Lives
As all things digital continue to accelerate at a rapid speed, we take a look at 3 major technology trends that are set to transform our lives in the coming years.
1) Extended Reality (XR)
Extended reality (XR) is an umbrella term enveloping the spectrum of immersive technologies: virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR).
- Virtual reality: A simulated experience that can mimic or can vary completely from the real world.
- Augmented reality: An interactive experience of a real-world environment in which the objects that reside in reality are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information.
- Mixed reality: the merging of real and virtual worlds to generate new environments and visualisations.
VR, AR, and MR extend reality by adding to or simulating the real world through digital materials and can be used to revolutionise education, entertainment, business, and even healthcare. In partnership with Cybernet Systems, the University of Michigan Medical School found that surgeons who used VR training were more than 70% more efficient in movement and measures. Meanwhile, within the past few years, Patrón Spirits has created a VR experience from the perspective of a bee, taking customers on a personal tour of the company’s Hacienda distillery and headquarters in Jalisco, Mexico. This is just one of many great examples of companies utilising XR to promote and sell their products in recent years.
In the coming years, it is likely that our experience of the world will increasingly take place in this blurred boundary of the real world and the digital world, with XR rapidly pushing forward this change. As such, companies must start to consider how they plan to move in parallel with this shift and create new immersive experiences for customers and employees alike.
2) 3D Printing
Nowadays, the materials used for 3D printing can be almost anything from plastic to concrete, liquids, and even chocolate if you so wish. 3D printing is a technology with huge potential and is likely to completely transform manufacturing around the world. And there are already signs of this occurring. In April 2021, a Dutch couple became the first European tenants of a fully 3D printed house. The house was inspired by the rugged shape of a boulder, the dimensions of which would have been too challenging and expensive to construct using traditional methods. However, 3D printing gives manufacturers the ability to make things that traditional methods simply don’t allow for, enabling them to streamline the manufacturing process and create highly personalised products. Without 3D printing, the boulder house would most likely never have become a reality.
3) Magnet Technology
To stand any chance of mitigating the climate crisis, corporations and countries alike must overcome their over-reliance on fossil fuels and seek out new and greener energy solutions. While nuclear fusion is frequently touted as a clean and potentially inexhaustible energy solution, a key issue is that maintaining a fusion reaction uses more energy than it actually produces. However, advances in magnet technology are rapidly resolving this issue. Back in September 2021, nuclear fusion developer Tokamak Energy announced it had demonstrated a “transformative magnet protection technology” that improves the commercial viability of nuclear fusion power plants.
“For the first time, this latest test gives fusion developers an option for a new design of superconducting magnet that will be resistant to damage, reducing the cost and complexity of damage mitigation systems and the threat of downtime,” commented Chris Kelsall, CEO of Tokamak Energy. “The world needs energy that is clean, secure, cheap and globally deployable, and the magnets Tokamak Energy is developing will enable this future.”
“This is not hype, this is reality,” Andrew Holland, Chief Executive Officer of the Fusion Industry Association, told CNBC following the news. “With advances from across the fusion industry, we’re seeing a new, clean, sustainable, always available energy source being born.”
As we move into 2022 and beyond, we enter into an era of continual growth supported by the rapid progression of technology. In the coming years, these 3 major tech trends are set to transform our lives, allowing us to work and socialise in new ways, build the impossible, and survive the cataclysmic.