The Future of Technology: What to Expect and What is Predicted to Come…

For some time now, I’ve been looking up links, news and predictions to what is to be expected in the near future. (In other words, from 2013-2050) Some of these issues are rather worrying (the fall in oil and water, economic crisis, overpopulation, etc) However these are vastly outweighed by the far more positive things that are expected to come.

In this article, I’ll be highlighting the future of technology, especially to that of the computing and communications world.

By the early 2020′s gaming graphics will be ultra realistic

Don’t get me wrong with this one. Crysis 3? That’s all pixelated. Bioshock Infinite? Oh please. It is false to say that graphics today are at a peak in realism. They’re not, at least not yet. By the early 2020′s computing technology should have reached their maximum capability in terms of realism thanks to higher data storage space, extreme 3D texture rendering which allows developers to pick up even the most subtlest of details as well as a vast increase in pixel counts to trillion amounts. (well, that’s a bit over exaggerated.)

It is undeniable that computing technology is forever increasing. Every six months the latest graphics card gets outdated, and that gap is slowly closing. Core clocks on processors are increasing, allowing faster rendering and loading times. You take a look at a game that was developed in 2008 (e.g. Dragon Age/Sims 3/Dead Space) and compare it to the latest games out today (e.g. Tomb Raider or Bioshock Infinite) You can definitely see an increase in graphical quality. Although at first glance it appears very slim, it is a rather large leap between those five years.

What will beyond this step? Most likely the development of virtual reality, which may get to the point where games will quite literally become something like the Matrix.

By the mid 2020′s we will most likely have Petabyte HDDs and by the 2030′s we can prbably get Exabyte HDDs

For those who are wondering, an HDD stands for Hard Disk Drive. It’s the component in your computer that holds all your files, programs, music, games, viruses, videos and photos that you don’t want your parents or significant others to find. It is the core of your computer that makes it yours. It is it’s brain, and it is getting bigger every year.

Currently you can get, at great expense, a 4TB (terabyte) hard drive at computer specialists.

http://www.ebuyer.com/search?4=4000&q=hard+drive&cat=392

Storage space 101:

1KB = 1000 bytes

1MB = 1000KB

1GB = 1000MB

1TB = 1000GB or 1 million MB

Although four terabytes is more than sufficient for even the most elitest of gamers or graphics designers, storage space is getting bigger, and cheaper. On average, you can buy a 1TB hard drive for £50, whereas last year it was around £75.

So what does this mean? Well it’s been calculated that by the mid 2020′s computers would become so advanced that Petabyte hard drives (the stuff that supercomputers today use) would be the standard hard drive in that little grey, white, black or even pink box by your screen. (or feet) That’s 1000TB of storage space! Surely that should be more than enough to hold windows 12, the integrated voice recognition and command system and many ultra-realistic (and possibly virtual reality) games that are installed on there. But wait, there’s more!

Storage space doesn’t end there! The calculation continues to then say that by the early 2030′s, computers will have Exabyte hard drives. That’s 1,000,000 Terrabytes of storage! However hopefully by that time, computers would be more along the lines of AI cubes or the spheres from Portal than the crude, heavy boxes and laptops we recognize today. Therefore although it sounds like a ridiculous amount of space, it may actually be rather average due to the sheer increase in software data size.

By 2019 we will have self driving cars

This is true, Audi and Toyota are constructing their own commercial self-driving models that should appear on the market by 2019. For more information, check out the dedicated article: http://games-tec.com/ces-unveiled/

The 5th generation of mobile phones should be available by 2020

We’re currently at the 4th generation of mobile phones. The “smart phone” as it is commonly known is widely available to us, holding many features such as touch screen navigation, built in wifi and internet, large storage spaces, high graphics and RAM capabilities and more efficient batteries. However there are already developments to the 5th generation phones. These phones will most likely come in the form of strengthened glass or plastic surrounded by a thin case that holds all of the electronic components. Its overall size may possibly stay the same size as current smart phones as they are big enough to easily navigate, whilst also being small enough to fit in pockets. When it comes to weight and performance, the future phones will most likely be lighter, faster and possibly waterproof. Thus possibly making them a practical mobile computer and communications device.

The introduction of personalized HUDs

We all know that the Google Glass will be released next year. A small spectacle-like device that allows you do communicate with others, take photographs/videos, check peoples power levels and ask quires, all in the corner of your eye. It’s a good start, but it will only get better. By the mid 2020′s personal HUDs may also have the ability to ‘think text’ where you think of what to write, and it writes it for you. Although this ability may be crude rather than being efficient. The designs of these HUDs will also most likely become smaller and a lot more durable.

And so, the endless jokes of people being over 9000 begin...

And so, the endless jokes of people being over 9000 begin…

Garrus know's where it's at.

Garrus know’s where it’s at.

However in the further future (e.g. by the 2050′s) these devices may come in the form of contact lenses or even in some extreme cases, bionic implants with enhanced abilities such as night-vision or infrared sensors.

 

Air travel will leapfrog to hypersonic speeds

Remember Concorde? Two nations, Great Britain and France teamed up to develop and construct that iconic plane back in the 1950′s and 60′s. It was years ahead of it’s time and boy was it a huge success. Travel times across the Atlantic were cut down to only three hours whilst the 100 people on board were treated with absolute class. Everyone recognised it and loved it. (Except for the Americans, but they were jealous. (Which is true.)) However it’s glory days were over back in 2003 when it retired for good due to increasing running costs, the fatal crash of the Air France Concorde (which was caused by debris) as well as the knock-on effect after 9/11 cut air travel demand by some way. So for a good decade we’ve been pulled back into gear 1, travelling at a rather pathetic 650mph average speed on conventional turbojet aircraft. And the problem is, we’ll be using the same aircraft for another decade.

However there is a new kid on the block. A small British company called Reaction Engines is constructing an aircraft called the SKYLON. It is a single-stage-to-orbit aircraft that is capable of transporting goods and people to the International Space Station as well as launching satellites and probes into orbit…all by itself. At a very low cost compared to conventional rockets.

Now that is just the ‘utility’ version. Reaction Engines have also designed an airliner version called the A2 that will be able to carry up to 300 people into low earth orbit at speeds over mach 5. That’s hypersonic territory. Imagine going from places such as the UK to Australia in around 4 hours instead of a grueling 24.440px-Skylon_diagram

Surely this is bad for the environment right? All that fuel being wasted for such fast speeds? Well, the truth is, it runs on a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen so the only real exhaust it creates is water vapour!

Currently the development of the plane is underway. Recently a breakthrough has been made to their unique SABRE engine by cooling the airflow from 1000 degrees to -150 degrees in 1/100th of a second without frost buildup. This is excellent news as this step was vital in order for the SKYLON and A2 to work at hypersonic speeds.

 

 

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