The future of technology

What will the world look like in the coming years? What challenges will new technologies solve? Let’s separate science facts from science fiction…

Real predictions about the future of technology

It’s no overstatement to say that one day, you’ll look back and wonder how you ever lived without these ideas…


Future artificial intelligence: What will change?

From fixing your typos (Autocorrect) to reading your lunch menu (Google Translate), computers do tasks that were unique to people. Reading, writing, driving, diagnosing mystery illnesses, booking appointments and more. That's artificial intelligence (AI). And it's only getting smarter.

In fact, as soon as 2025, AI will likely have a near human-level of intelligence. First, you’ll notice your days are more convenient, and here’s what else in coming decades…

AI will be more human and save your life

1. You’ll find it harder to tell you’re talking to a computer

By 2025, AI personal assistants may reply so naturally in conversations and sound so convincingly human that you’ll believe you’re speaking to people; whether you’re typing to a Chatbot or confirming an appointment with someone else’s voice assistant (Amazon Alexa, Google Home). And that’s not all. While mimicking us, artificial intelligence might also have rights in our society.

2. You’ll be diagnosed faster and personalised treatment

While it can't replace your doctor, artificial intelligence may be used to identify and predict disease in collaboration with the healthcare industry. When trialled by Google Health, for example, AI spotted breast cancer in mammograms more accurately than radiologists. Plus, it helps researchers analyse data about the human body to help develop treatments quickly, such as the Covid-19 vaccines. Someday, medicine could be tailored to your genes and lifestyle by artificial intelligence.

Sensing the internet

1. Controlling devices with your thoughts

For a while now, Facebook’s been developing tech so that, in the distant future, you can update your status with your mind (telepathic typing). And they’re not the only company racing to put artificial intelligence in your head. Neuralink by Elon Musk is working on a similar vision of the future but to help people with severe brain injuries (paralysis, Alzheimer’s, dementia).

2. You could touch, smell and taste the internet

Some say your laptop and meeting rooms will be replaced with virtual versions. Office workers may gather in a digital room with teammates in different cities or countries, and you’ll feel physically present – you’ll smell the coffee, taste the biscuits and everything will feel real to the touch.

The future of technology could involve your sense of taste, smell and touch, when AI is used to improve two types of extended reality you’ve tried:

Augmented Reality (AR)

Takes digital images and layers them on the real world around you, a bit like Pokémon Go, but with humans.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality can transport you to digital worlds using a headset with a built in screen and headphones or surround sound. VR could become tactile and so immersive that gamers, you’d feel when and where your character is hit.

Latest technologies for smartphones

Your most powerful machine could be the one in your pocket…

Look into the 5G future

5G mobile internet is a new, faster wireless network for your phone. Our customers are offered this in more than 100 towns and cities already. Why not see if you can get a 5G plan? Here’s why…

1. You’ll feel like your home broadband is in your pocket

Giving you 176Mbps on average, 5G will be around 4.5 times faster than your 4G. And that’s just the near future. In fact, the speed could increase on your mobile, tablet, smart watches and devices in the coming years.

To get these speeds, check you have coverage and a compatible device, then choose a 5G plan. If you’ve had a 5G device from us since April 2020, you’ll be upgraded to 5G automatically, without having to swap your SIM. Easy.

2. You’ll get connection even at the biggest events

Football stadiums to train stations. Music concerts to conferences. Airports. 5G should allow everyone in a major crowd to call, get online, make livestream videos, all at the same time without potentially clogging the network or widespread impact.

3. You’ll have unimaginable technology

5G is so exciting because it’ll potentially power truly futuristic tech. Think 3D holograms and virtual reality, new ways for you to connect with people. If you have a self-driving car parked on your drive – it needs 5G to tell others on the road your exact speed and position, so you’ll travel safe.

Traffic could run more smoothly in smart cities with 5G in public spaces. And, if you get into trouble, search and rescue drones will reach you and specialist surgeons could operate even if you’re in a hospital several miles away.


Technological change for phones

So that’s your mobile data, but what about the device itself – how different will your phone really be?

Future of wearable tech

Perhaps you’ve strapped on a Fitbit or smart watch. Maybe you’ve posted Snapchats using smart glasses or rubbed in suncream because your swimming costume said you’d burn. That’s wearable tech, today. Here’s what it could be soon…

1. Powered by you

Don’t sweat about your low battery. A fraction of a millilitre of your sweat could power your wearable tech in future. If you put on special cloth created by engineers at the University of Glasgow, your body’s natural electrolytes will power the futuristic battery. Getting a move on while wearing a band around your wrist, made by researchers at the University of Colorado, could one day keep your fitness tracker or heart-rate monitor ticking – powered by the energy of your movements while exercising, that this clever tech turns into electricity.

2. Better for your body

Wearable tech will get more accurate at detecting illness. And it’s already pretty good. Wearing KYMIRA’s new smart t-shirt could save your life from heart attacks or undiagnosed heart conditions, such as arrythmia or irregular heartbeats. Smart rings detected symptoms of Covid-19. As well as extending life, advances will dramatically improve it with intelligent prosthetics to help you regain the sense of touch and hearing-aid jewellery.

Meanwhile, wearable tech will feel less techie and more comfortable on your body, all day long. Think freshwater pearl earrings that double as earphones to listen to music, take calls or finish your outfit. Hidden inside jewellery and accessories, your gadgets will feel more ‘you’ – a fashion statement.

3. Master your smart home

Imagine walking in from the rain. Your heating clicks on, knowing your you’ll want to dry off, and your coffee machine pours a steaming hot chocolate to warm your cockles – in your favourite mug. That’s the future. Your wearable technology will connect to your smart home and all the devices you have, more seamlessly.

Technological progress for smart homes

Having devices and appliances that you control with your smart phone or voice assistant, like Alexa or Siri, is what makes yours a smart home.

Your home will know what you need

You’ll know what your home needs

Mice, mould, broken pipes – your smart home will tell you if there’s a problem before it’s big or noticeable. Sensors monitor your home, as well as your health.

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