As technology develops more and more, the possibilities offered are getting cooler and cooler. So we’ve rounded up the rumoured future tech trends we’re most looking forward to, from virtual trading screens to driverless cars…
1. Virtual Reality
The scoop so far: The real-life, immersive experience of a digital world has seen major developments over the last few years with prototypes from Microsoft and Google as well as the much-hyped Oculus Rift, and major investment from tech giants. In fact, the virtual reality market is predicted to be worth $150 billion by 2020 and though the gaming market has been the dominant force behind VR so far, business, education and healthcare markets are starting to visualise what VR could do for them.
Why we’re excited: Because we’ve seen what happened when Bloomberg hooked up their data terminal to the Oculus Rift – basically, a world of infinite space and more screens full of financials and charts than you could ever want.
2. 3D Printing
The scoop so far: 3D printing is already being used for engines, cars and even houses – and apparently, that’s just the beginning. Next up, 3D printing is headed for Michelin star restaurants, where chefs will use the technology to save time and experiment with new creative ideas; and health services, where 3D printing will be used to create artificial limbs, fully functional organs, and even skin.
Why we’re excited: Obviously, the main draw here is the possibility of saving hundreds of lives with 3D printed organs. But if one day we can get our fast food fix by simply pushing a button and printing off a burger, we won’t complain either…
The scoop so far: Robots are already teaching exercise classes, making coffee, cooking and learning (frighteningly quickly). Next up, they’re set to become train drivers, chauffeurs, porters, cleaners, astronauts, teachers, scientists, pharmacists, security guards and even airline pilots. But not traders (yet, anyway) so you can relax knowing your job is safe for now.
Why we’re excited: Because we’re (really, really) hoping that we’re not too far away from being able to buy a robot that will clean, iron, load the dishwasher, wash the car and cut the grass for us. The word “chore” is surely about to become obsolete?
4. Big Data
The scoop so far: Big Data doesn’t actually refer to an overgrown Star Trek character but basically a mass of data that is too big and complicated to sort out using traditional techniques. Which doesn’t sound all that exciting – but the theory is that analysing big data will improve customer service, help reduce tech issues (and solve them quickly) and improve the speed of deliveries.
Why we’re excited: Because no-one has time to spend hours waiting around for packages to be delivered or trying to find someone to speak to who can help you with your overcharged utility bill or malfunctioning washing machine. Improved customer service can only be a good thing…
5. Artificial Intelligence
The scoop so far: Artificial intelligence (basically, the ability of computers to “think” for themselves) is already making our lives easier as our gadgets learn our preferences and how to adapt to them – and that’s just the beginning. If you believe Stephen Hawking, in as little as 100 years computers will be smarter than humans thanks to the growth of artificial intelligence.
Why we’re excited: Because we’re hoping that one day we’ll be able to create a trading supercomputer… watch this space.
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6. Driverless Cars
The scoop so far: Driverless cars are fast becoming a reality, and self-driving cars could allowed on UK roads as soon as next January. And experts reckon this could be one of the fastest-growing tech trends – because humans just aren’t that great at driving. Automotive experts reckon there’s a good chance the grandkids of our generation won’t remember a time when humans were allowed to drive cars.
Why we’re excited: We were a bit divided on this one, to be honest – sure, whizzing around in a self-driving car sounds pretty cool but we quite enjoy driving, too. Then we realised that in theory, driverless cars will mean we could let the computer tackle traffic jams and tricky parking spaces and then take the wheel ourselves on stretches of open motorway – so we’re sold.
While you wait to get your hands on a driverless car, check out the Top 5 Trader Toys We Wish We Owned. Hopefully we’ll be able to add a self-driving Lambo to that list one day…
7. Digital Wallets
The scoop so far: Digital wallets are already tentatively making their way onto the tech scene, from digital payment methods like BitCoin to devices like Coin – a single credit-card sized gadget that holds data from all your credit, debit, store and loyalty cards so you don’t have to carry a bursting wallet.
Why we’re excited: Because we’re lazy. So the less we have to remember to carry with us, the better. And if it saves us time emptying our wallets in search of a particular card, we’re in.
For more cool bits of tech that will save you time and make your life easier, check out Time-Saving Tech and Apps for Traders.