Some technologies come and some technologies go. The strong survive and the weak are wiped out. Technology has not been around for too long, but it has shown its claws by introducing some life changing ways to help people collaborate in one way or another. The ones that have provided value for people have survived the first wave of innovation to this point.
As a futurist, I always like to think ahead and try to see what is going to be valued higher in the future. In technology, a couple of great techniques are very much undervalued when thinking in terms of what capabilities lie behind them. Some of these technologies have already been introduced to our everyday lives and some not but let’s start talking about them.
NFC (Near Field Communication) has been a game changer by introduction of contactless payment systems. Contactless payment systems have basically replaced the old chip cards when it comes to paying for small amounts of shoppings. NFC is also used in keycards and it has proven it’s use-case by replacing old technologies and taking it’s place in our everyday lives.
NFC as a technology is still very much undervalued but it is gaining traction slowly but surely. It was only is iOS 11 when Apple opened NFC functionality for developers and as of recently, Apple is expanding NFC functionality even more. More details can be found from here.
I am expecting to see some great innovations utilising NFC functionality to transfer data in the very near future.
Blockchain is mostly known for it’s use-case as the technology which powers crypto currencies. Blockchain is definitely used primarily for building crypto currencies but it’s capabilities provide a lot more. Blockchain as the name suggest is technically just a chain of blocks. Each block contains a piece of data. Every block in a blockchain is shared with peers connected to the network. For a block to successfully exist in the chain, it needs to be validated by a specific number of peers connected to the network. This makes blockchain a very reliable technology to store data securely and transparently.
It can be possible that the underlying technology of the blockchain is going to only power the network of Bitcoin, the most popular crypto currency at the moment. I personally haven’t been so active to study the latest blockchain technologies but it is a very interesting space to keep an eye on and could potentially bring out some great innovations in the coming years.
WebSockets have been getting more and more popular in the last few years. WebSockets provide almost instantaneous transfer of data within a web server. It is most widely used to power many popular chat applications we use everyday but definitely isn’t restricted to only be used for chat applications. WebSockets are going to power many upcoming innovations we are going be introduced during the following years because of how quickly we can transfer data from one socket to another.
4. Vector graphics
Graphic design is flying high right now and flying fast. Web is full of designs and illustrations from all over the world and we are seeing some high quality innovation in the design industry. Almost all of the most popular graphic design applications are starting to provide the ability to export designs in vector formats. Vector graphics are exported as SVG-files, which can be placed within a HTML template either by inline or injection and they can easily be manipulated to make cool animations because of their nature.
Because of the nature of vector graphics, I would expect the design industry to grow because of how well vectors can be implemented in the web industry. Vector graphics will be a big part of the great innovations and user experiences we are going to have in the coming years.
Did we just run over Bluetooth and forget about it? It is such a powerful technology it is definitely undervalued. Bluetooth is also a part of our everyday lives in many gadgets we use: headphones, speakers, computer accessories. Almost all remotely used gadgets which are connected to a receiving device. The difference between Bluetooth and NFC is that Bluetooth requires a manual pairing of two receiving and broadcasting devices to transfer data as NFC can transfer data without the need for pairing.
I am expecting both Bluetooth and NFC to be a huge part of our everyday lives in the near and distant future when it comes to technology and innovation.
6. QR Codes
QR Codes are basically on my list because I haven’t really never seen them hit a home run but they are still around. To me they seem pretty useless and I would think they can be replaced quite easily but for some reason or another, they are being used quite widely. I must say it has been very easy to use QR codes in many situations, such as scanning Bitcoin addresses but I have not personally studied their underlying detection mechanism because I have just waited them to vanish. I do expect QR Codes to stick around and continue providing a solid use-case for the near future.
Location based applications have been around for quite some time already. GPS is only going to grow as the underlying hardware improves and connectivity evolves. Sharing your location in realtime for the world is already a standard in the way we use internet today. We should expect GPS only to improve in speed and accuracy in the coming years and make location based systems even more reliable.