If predictions are correct, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and robots are all developing at an exponential rate.
But while we eagerly await a virtual paradise of early retirement as our jobs are taken over, what awaits us in the coming year?
1. Futuristic healthcare
We already have a trackable pill. And there are health apps for just about everything these days.
The field will continue to boom, with companies bring out new treatments in 2018 to combat deadly genetic diseases by manipulating RNA, DNA’s biological partner.
Meanwhile, a new project called MatchMaker Exchange will match DNA from sick people around the world.
Your smartphone will enable you to extract information from your food and pills.
Nootropics will almost literally become a buzzword, as people look to boost health and productivity further by taking various brain-boosting supplements.
Chewable coffee, anyone?
2. Virtual reality
You’re relaxing on a beach, feeling soothed by the sound of breaking waves.
Then an electronic voice from your smart hub gently announces that the World Cup is on, and you instantly find yourself immersed in a rowdy football game.
Welcome to the virtual world in 2018, which will become more accessible as prices for VR products, such as Facebook’s Oculus Rift, decrease.
Augmented Reality (AR) will also help dissolve the boundaries between the digital and physical world.
And mixed reality (MR), which merges and extends both AR and VR, is becoming the experience of choice.
Innovations such as Magic Leap plan to project light directly into the user’s eye, to make it seem as though digital objects exist in the real world.
This will mean loads of us will be going round with ‘VR face’, characterised by a temporary imprint on the skin from the device, as well as a slack-jawed look.
And The Future Today Institute predicts that wearable devices, while recording biometric info, are also set to send haptic signals to your brain.
Plus wearables are set to morph into Hearables, and then into Thinkables, which Elon Musk is currently developing.
Many of us may already be asking Alexa to answer rude questions but interconnected audibles are a definite trend for 2018, with virtual assistants evolving visually, and developing holographic features.
Voice interfaces on home computers are on their way, with ambient interfaces making decisions for you.
Part of this will be the rise of the internet of things, boosted by new 5G connectivity.
One device set for release in the new year is the levitating Moon smart home hub, a floating ball that can control your house from anywhere in the world.
It continuously charges wirelessly and can interact with virtual assistants, like Alexa or Google Home.
It can control security when you’re away, or act as a baby or pet monitor, recording 360 degrees of your room while measuring temperature and CO2 levels.
It can warn you if your cycling helmet is cracked when you put it on, and simultaneously ping the information back to the manufacturers so they could almost immediately adjust their processes and improve the next batch of bike helmets on the production line.
Researchers at Cardiff University are developing a system called Chatty Factories, where all devices will react in this way.
Next year will see breakthroughs in zero-emissions vehicles that could help save the Earth – and aeronautics that may one day help us escape it.
Electric cars are being given a push by Tesla, and the tech to create a 3D printed car is already available.
Unbelievably, Uber is working on flying taxis – as well as driverless vehicles.
Most tech companies are sinking money into ‘flyables’, whether this means Uber’s flying taxis or Virgin’s space tourism.
Elon Musk and Richard Branson have said they will be sending celebrities to Space in 2018.
Stephen Hawking, Angelina Jolie, Peter Thiel, and Katy Perry are all slated to make the trip.
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