Writing in Forbes, Bernard Marr, a tech visionary, sees five tech trends that can change our way of life, of which two caught our eye because they involve software applications.
1. Human-Computer Interfaces. By this he means “wearable devices and technology that help to improve the physical and potentially mental performance of humans and help us lead healthier and better lives.” Of course, fitness tracker bands and smartwatches are already prevalent, but he sees the technology expanding to “smart clothing such as running shoes that can measure your gait and performance, advances like robotic prosthetics, and robotic wearable technology used in industrial settings,” or even smart contact lenses or even eye implants.
This, he says, could lead to “truly augmented humans, trans-humans, or humans 2.0, where the human body is souped up like a sports car to achieve enhanced physical and mental performance.”
2. Extended Reality (XR). “Extended reality, or XR for short, encompasses virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality and refers to the use of technology to create more immersive digital experiences.”
In practice, the technology could “let customers try before they buy, enhance customer service, make workplace learning more effective, and improve other organizational processes.” He predicts the technology will affect “the digital world of gaming, meeting up, going to events, etc.”
He sees bulky XR headsets moving from pricey, bulky, and clunky to becoming “more common, affordable, and comfortable to use, which will only increase the chance of widespread use. The biggest challenges will include privacy and the potential mental and physical impacts of highly immersive technologies.”