Technology is advancing at a rapid rate, with many new developments, from drones to brain scanning headbands, resembling devices from a science fiction movie.
So what cutting-edge technology can we expect to experience in our lives in the near future, and what will be developed next? To find out, I asked a group of entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:
What’s the most futuristic technology we already have access to, and where do you think it will head next?
I think the most futuristic technology happening right now is in brain scanning and brainwave sensing technology. Devices like Muse can map your brainwaves, helping detect your emotional state, awareness level and more. It can tell you when you’re relaxed or when you’re busy thinking. This technology can also be used as a mind control input mechanism. Right now, you can control a ball on a computer screen using just your thoughts. In the near future, users will control artificial limbs, their cars and their computers. – Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Doorbell
Citizens may never notice them, but millions of sensors are being deployed around the globe in hundreds of cities in an effort to make urban areas smarter. New “smart cities” are even being built from the ground up to track, measure and react to how people live in real time. Features like automatic maintenance alerts, connected traffic grids and citywide climate control can be enabled by these sensors and associated software. As urban areas become even more dense over the coming decades, the smart city is a futuristic approach to improving infrastructure and well-being. – Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.
Natural resources on the moon
I recently attended the f.ounders technology conference in New Orleans where I enjoyed dinner with technology innovator Naveen Jain, co-founder of Moon Express. The goal of Moon Express is to mine the Moon for natural resources of economic value. This in and of itself is exciting, but Jain also said he hopes to leverage Moon Express to one day soon find a cure for cancer and other curable diseases. Private Moon exploration has gained considerable traction because the Google Lunar X Prize provides $30 million in prizes to the first privately-funded team to land a robot on the Moon. – Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com
A wearable translator hangs around your neck and, when you activate it and speak into it, the device translates spoken words into English, Japanese or Chinese. More languages should be added in the near future. Next, you may see other products pop up in the wearable sphere, from health tracking devices to solar clothing that can be used to power your electronics. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
I recently attended a Charity:Water event at which everyone put on an Oculus virtual reality headset at the same time. When I started my session, I was transported to and fully immersed in the experience of being in a small African village. I got to see what life was like before they had clean water and after they received a well. The time I spent there made a real emotional impact on me, and I was definitely inclined to make a greater contribution because I was more aware of the impact the funds were making. We’re at the very beginning stages of VR, but I think it’s going to be a total game changer. – Mark Krassner, Expectful
Even the most futuristic technologies have to ride the waves of big trends. The biggest shift we have seen over the past few years is how important mobile has become, and this isn’t changing anytime soon. The technologies of the future, the technologies that will really change the world we live in, will be the ones that figure out how to solve even bigger problems with the touch of a finger. – Oisin Hanrahan, Handybook
The Cicret Bracelet
With the Cicret Bracelet , you can project your smartphone on your wrist. It’s a band that’s tethered to your phone and, while you have the band on your wrist, you can use your skin as a screen. You can type and send messages directly from your hand, even if you’re underwater! You can use apps, play games, watch videos and do anything else that you would do on your smartphone. You can even answer your phone and speak from your wrist. The prototype is ready, heralding a future of projectable wearables where anything can be your screen. – Marcela De Vivo, Brilliance
Drones are going to disrupt the way small parcels are delivered. It doesn’t get any more science fiction than looking out your window and seeing drones going in every direction. On the one hand, drones will drastically reduce the costs associated with shipping. This will promote consumption and increase online and e-commerce sales. Drones stand to reduce shipping time dramatically as they can work around the clock delivering packages to consumers. On the other hand, shopping malls will become obsolete over time because you’ll be able to order online and have it delivered via drone in minutes. – Obinna Ekezie, Wakanow.com
Face recognition software
The future is now. The most promising item I’ve heard of recently is the adaptation of face recognition as a replacement for signatures or pass codes, as it is the most reliable security technology available. In the near future, there will be face recognition at banks, retailers and home computers, which gets us closer to “Look Ma, no hands,” in the world of commerce. Apply face recognition to security issues and we have a much safer planet. I’d go for that. – Brandon Stapper, 858 Graphics
HoloLens is one of the best futuristic technologies we have in 2016. It shows the potential of holograms and virtual reality. Soon there will be no more computer screens in homes; we will be able to project a screen anywhere in the house and interact with it using futuristic glasses. All social media sites will also change to accommodate 3D media. Perhaps movie theaters will be completely wiped out. We will start loving machines more than humans. – Piyush Jain, SIMpalm
Anyone that’s ever used Siri, Google Now or Amazon Echo has already experienced Zero UI. Coupled with more advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning, we’re very close to having entire conversations with computers. The next step forward is greater integration with other services, so that ordering lunch or making a doctor’s appointment is as easy as saying “hey computer.” That’s great news if you’re a Trekkie, but maybe not so much if you have nightmares of HAL from “2001: A Space Odyssey.” – Nafis Zebarjadi, Medicast
Self-driving electric vehicles
Electric vehicles will reduce the human and environmental costs of the single largest sector of the US economy. These cars are safer and more fuel efficient, and the development of self-driving models means no more wasting human attention sitting behind the wheel in traffic. This will also enable breathtakingly efficient services, such as self-driving delivery ground “drones.” The ability to automatically rent out your car and have it drive other people around while you’re at work will make the car pay for itself and earn you residual income. Auto-parking at nearby garages will free up parking spaces in cities. – Todd Medema, FabricateIO
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.