Technology trends keep moving forward regardless of the time and place in which we find ourselves. Such was the case in 2013, when we predicted what the technology world would look like in the future. The prediction wasn’t different from what has happened over the years in the development of computer technology. For instance, observers like referencing how computers have evolved from, gigantic, room-filling machines to the miniature mobile phone. We revisit some of the predictions we made, and which have since come true.
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Just a few years ago, the touchscreen was a relatively new technology. It had just come to the market and was in use on tablets, laptops and mobile phones. It was a landmark technology, given that only few people could afford the prices of the devices on which it featured. In 2013, Forbes Magazine predicted that the technology was poised to undergo drastic changes. Today, touchscreens are on all sorts of devices, including cameras, home appliances, smartwatches, and so on.
Forbes predicted the increase of human interactions across different digital platforms. An example of such platforms is Siri, which is a virtual assistant by Apple. If helps connect smart devices on the home Wi-Fi network such that one can issue commands to operate them. Over the years, several virtual assistants have emerged, including Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. With these technologies, people can command smart lights to turn on, thermostats to kick in, and so on.
Natural User Interface
Another aspect of technology that has changed over the years is gaming. Those of us who use Xbox 360 Gaming Console would know about Microsoft Kinetic. It is a motion sensor technology that makes it possible for you to intuitively interact with your gaming console. It is exactly what experts call Natural User Interface (NUI). In short, you get to play your games without touching anything. NUI utilizes machine learning technology to know how a user plays a particular game. It’s unbelievable that Forbes had a prediction on how popular this technology was going to be.
Smart glasses aren’t any different from your normal eyeglasses, at least as far as your looks are concerned. With a focus on Google’s Glass Project, Forbes predicted that they would become one of the biggest technological developments. At that time, it was only an idea that Google was working on. Today, we are proud to say that Google Glass has been around for a while now. The smart glasses allow you to focus on the things that matter without distractions. It also helps improve accuracy and concentration on the job at hand. However, smart glasses can also serve as a movie interface for those who need them.
Back in 2013, pattern-recognition technology was in its early stages of development. At that time, Forbes predicted that the technology would enable machines to recognize patters the same way as humans. The prophecy by Forbes has since come to pass. Today, pattern-recognition technology makes use of machine learning algorithm to recognize patterns. After reading a pattern, the machine extracts statistical data, and recognizes what it is. The developers of the technology envisioned it to make computer interfaces almost indistinguishable from humans. The prediction was that the technology would come to fore in 2023, but the developers seen to have overworked and delivered it earlier.
Original Streaming Content
Forbes predicted in 2013 the expected launch of content streaming services. In their prediction, they said that major technology companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple and Netflix would compete in that market. As far as concerns Netflix, their prediction was on point. So far, the company today offers the largest content subscription services. It has used its platform to produce and launch series, movies, and other types of programs. Thanks to the development of smart TVs, a majority of viewers would rather stream content from Netflix rather than watch TV. Google has a claim to the content market through YouTube, even though it has no rights to the videos. By displaying ads on video content, the company still makes a lot of money.
Like online gaming, online learning was only in its nascent stages of development. The Khan Academy has just launched out to offer thousands of learning modules to school-age children. Another e-learning upstart was the Code Academy, which teaches a variety of programming languages to anyone interested. Also, there was the Massively Online Open Courses (MOOC’s) offering university-level instructions. In 2020, e-learning has finally come of age. When education institutions shut down due to COVID-19, schools and universities went online. Students learned online for the entire duration of the lockdown in different parts of the world.
The golden age of chartrooms began when President Obama reached out to ordinary voters via Ask Me Anything on Reddit and Google Hangouts. At that time, many people accessed the internet via desktop or laptop computers. Also, the internet wasn’t very widespread. Today, people walk around with the internet in the palms of their hands. The chartrooms of the past and now apps on the home screens of smartphones. Also, companies have developed bigger and better charting apps like WhatsApp. Reddit is today a go-to platform for individuals who want to discuss serious topics.
Internet of Things (IoT)
In 2013, the internet of things was only a concept under development. Today, the technology has led to the development of smart device with the ability to communicate over a Wi-Fi network. The devices are in our homes, cars, and so on. Each device is given a unique identifier, making it stand out from the rest. So far, several smart devices including cameras, thermostats, and speakers can interact with smartphones remotely so long as they are on a Wi-Fi network. Thanks to IoT, people can use virtual assistants to control smart devices.
Near Field Communication (NFC)
Another technology that was just emerging in 2013 is the Near Field Communication (NFC), which allow for two-way data communication between devices. It has since found its way into electronic key cards, identification documents, credit cards, and electronic tickets. It allows contactless communication between devices, allowing them to share data. As such, the devices can share small as well as large files.
Mobile Payment Technology
At a time when credit cards and debit cards were ruling the world of payments, Forbes dared predict how big mobile payment shall become. Today, it is clear mobile payment can only get bigger and better. Instead of cards, people use apps on their phones to pay for various services. However, several mobile payment platforms exist where people transfer money via USSD. An example is the Kenyan innovation M-Pesa by Safaricom.