By Art Reisman
Below are my predictions for technology in 2018 and beyond. As you will see some of them are fairly pragmatic, while others may stretch the imagination a little bit.
- Forget about drones delivering packages to your door; too many obstacles in densely populated areas. For example, I don’t want unmanned drones dangling 30 pound flower pots flying above my head in my neighborhood. One gust of wind and bam, flower-pot comes hurtling out of the sky. I don’t want it even if it is technically possible! But what is feasible, and likely, are slow plodding autonomous robots that can carry a payload and navigate to your doorstep. Not as sexy as zippy little drones, but this technology is fairly mature on factory floors already, and those robots don’t ask for much in return.
- As for Networking advancements, we may see a “Cloud” backlash where companies bring some of their technology back in-house to gain full control of their systems and data. I am not predicting the Cloud won’t continue to be a big player, it will, but it may have a hiccup or two along the way. My reasoning is simple, and it goes back to the days of the telephone when AT&T started offering a PBX in the sky. The exact name for this service slips my mind. It sounded great and had its advantages, but many companies opted to purchase their own customer premise PBX equipment, as they did not want a third-party operating such a critical piece of infrastructure. The same might be said for private companies thinking about the Cloud. They could make an argument that they need to secure their own data and also ensure uptime access to their data.
- More broadband wireless ISPs coming to your neighborhood as an alternative option for home Internet. I have had my ear to the street for quite some time, and the ability to beam high-speed Internet to your house has come a long way in the last 10 years. Also the distrust, bitterness, dare I say hatred, for the traditional large incumbents is always a factor. One friend of mine is making inroads in a major city right in the heart of downtown simply by word of mouth. His speeds are competitive, his costs are lower, and his service cannot be matched by the entrenched incumbent.
- Lower automobile insurance rates. The newer fleet of smart cars that automatically break for or completely avoid obstacles is going to reduce serious accidents by 50 percent or more in the near future. Insurance payouts will drop and eventually this will be passed on to consumers. Longer-term, as everyone on the road has autonomous driving cars, insurance will be analogous to a manufacturer’s warranty, and will be paid by the auto manufacturer.
- The Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to explode, particularly in the smart home arena. Home security has taken leaps & bounds in recent years, enabling a consumer to lock/unlock, view and manage their home remotely. Now we are seeing IoT imbedded in more appliances, which will be able to be controlled remotely as well – so that you can run the dishwasher, washer, dryer, or oven from anywhere.
- Individual Biosensory data, like that collected by Garmin and Fitbit monitors, will be used by more companies and in more ways. In 2018 my health insurance company is offering discounts for members that prove they use their gym memberships. It is only a small leap to imagine a health insurance company asking for my biosensory data, to select my insurance group and to set my insurance rates. As more people use fitness trackers and share their data (currently only with friends), it will become the norm to share this type of data, probably at first anonymously. I can see a future where health care providers and employers use this data to make decisions.
I will update soon as new ideas continue to pop into my head all the time. Stay tuned!