As the end of 2017 concludes, it is often interesting to look ahead and think about what is to come. Oftentimes, around this time of the year, we get predictions for the subsequent year: 2018. However, at Digital Adventures, we thought it would be more interesting to look 10 years out when most of our students will begin to enter college or start their professional careers. So, without further ado, here are our 10 predictions for 2028.
Your self-driving Lyft is arriving now. Over the past decade (2017-2027), autonomous vehicles have made dramatic progress. Initial applications of this technology were limited to closed environments such as office parks and corporate campuses. Famously both Google and Apple each bought towns to perfect the technology with 10,000 brave people in North Dakota. These vehicles have now achieved over 10,000,000,000 miles without any accidents. In fact, autonomous vehicles achieved a major milestone this year in that they are now 51% of the transportation fleet on the road. Fatalities on roadways have dramatically declined and people now report that their daily commute is one of the favorite parts of their day. Most self-driving vehicles are fully equipped with luxury amenities (wi-fi, reclining seats & television) to ensure that workers start their day right. Parents have also reported a high degree of satisfaction by leveraging self-driving vehicles with facial recognition to shuttle their children between school and extracurricular activities.
One of the most popular new jobs is ground traffic controllers which have been deployed in all major US cities. These ground traffic controllers are tasked with flowing large swarms of vehicles down the most efficient thoroughfares at the highest rate of speed given the large number of self-driving vehicles and massive data calculations that are required to keep traffic moving.
After a few tumultuous years, cryptocurrencies are now commonplace. No longer are cryptocurrencies just used for illicit activities or to buy and hold to hope for an increase in value. You can now pay your neighbors kids for mowing the lawn by just bumping your mobile phones together and payments are instantly transferred to the device on your wallet. In fact, one of the biggest beneficiaries of cryptocurrency is the formerly unbanked population who can now conduct traditional transactions (buying groceries, paying rent, borrowing money, saving money) using their mobile phones. They report higher levels of trust with their digitally encrypted wallet being stored on their personal mobile device. Many employers pay their employees using cryptocurrency because the transactions are very efficient. Employees report higher satisfaction because payments are available instantly and can be spent anywhere. Payment based transaction volume is still only 10% of traditional financial institutions. However, experts are projecting that going forward blockchain based payment transactions could become 25-50% of daily volume.
After several fits and starts with personal information safety, the technology industry developed a robust 3 part solution. You can no longer access any personal accounts or sensitive information without the 3 part solution: facial recognition, fingerprint confirmation and retinal scans. As hackers became better and better at stealing data, the human body became the last resort to prevent hacks. Since the implementation of the 3 part solution, hacking of personally identifiable information has dramatically declined.
There is now an entire course of study on preventing your 3 key data sources from being hacked. Some of the more unconventional suggestions are to keep gloves on throughout the day to prevent fingerprint transfer/capture and to wear retina protection glasses to limit the amount of eye signature capture.
Welcome to your smart home
Our Alexa smart speakers know what songs to play from Pandora depending on our mood and our work calendar. Eye of the tiger when there is a big sales presentation and lazy river when we're heading out on vacation Our Nest thermometer knows what temperature to heat/cool our home depending on our arrival and departure time. However, the biggest change that led to mass adoption of smart home technology was the launch of iHome by Apple. This revolutionary device brought all the smart gadgets throughout the home onto one software platform that could be effortlessly controlled by either iPhone or iPad
Technology vacation camps
As technology became more and more integrated into our daily lives, there were numerous reports of digital overload and exhaustion. Some people started leaving their devices at home or would put them into digital timeout boxes upon returning home from work. Sensing an opportunity, a former group of AirBnB employees launched technology vacation camps. These remote locations main feature is they completely separate us from the technology around us. Mobile phones, tablets and computers are completely banned. For those who don't follow the rules, there are wireless blocking technologies throughout the grounds. Activities are primarily outdoors in order to get vacationers to re-connect with the beauty of nature and also offer advice on how to better balance the use of technology so that it is not overwhelming. Vacationers report a tremendous sense of relief after attending these 5-7 day getaways.
Augmented/Mixed Reality in the classroom
Science experiments and virtual field trips to destinations around the globe are all the rage as technology improvements drop the costs to $99/system. One of the 1st questions parents ask when considering a school for their children is the use augmented/mixed reality in the classroom. Many schools have been able to integrate these experiences very well with the help of technology partners from Silicon Valley. However, school systems were careful to avoid the tablets issue and will made sure that technology had proven utility before fully incorporating throughout the network.
Mixed technology teams
Robots have begun to seamlessly integrate into work teams in a wide variety of industries. The first phase of workplace technology integration began to progress rapidly with the re-introduction of Google Glass (Glass 2.0). Initially, technologists pursued gimmicky consumer applications of robots that focused primarily on companionship and simulating basic human movement (backflips). However, the killer application became when a robot was released to complement workers on teams. These robots helped capture the key points and action items for each meeting and then followed up with team members to see how they were progressing. In addition, these robots were also asked to crunch data on business performance to keep team members updated and suggest ideas for connecting daily activities to what matters most for overall business success. Productivity rapidly increased and the annual GDP is expected to grow at one of the fastest rates in 2028.
Artificial intelligence investing
In an area that was typically the domain of the wealthy and connected, everyday investors now have access to robo advisors that leverage artificial intelligence to make trades based on well-established hedge fund and data science principles. Individual investing to generate alpha is now extremely rare as robo investors have proven that they can continuously deliver market returns that enable investors to build wealth over time. In fact, most individual investors report high levels of frustration that they can no longer beat the market on their own because by the time they have discovered new options, large amounts of robo advisors have already taken positions on behalf of their clients.
Retailers began to study the data and realized that customers preferred to shop in stores versus purchasing goods online. As a result, the entire retail experience was re-imagined to focus first on customer satisfaction and second to generate sales. Borrowing heavily from the Apple model, retailers across the spectrum focused on equipping their employees with tablets that enabled them to quickly answer questions and show them where to find the goods they were in search of. Store associates were able to provide recommendations based on ratings that were aggregated across the entire ecosystem based on customer preference. In addition, store employees became especially skilled at insuring that customers selected the right product the first time. As a result, the return rate at retailers declined dramatically which enabled additional investment in customer satisfaction. In addition, retail environments returned to the concept of town square which created opportunities for customers to spend time with their family and friends while also making purchases.
Commercial Space Travel
After many successful space flights, Space X began offering commercial space travel to Mars in 2028. These trips to outer space are extremely popular, expensive and currently have a waiting list that is up to a decade long. Customers who buy or own Tesla’s are given priority when booking space travel. Those who have been on space flights report that it is an unbelievable experience and look forward to their next trip. In fact, second and 3rd flights are often booked immediately upon returning. One new trend is registering children as soon as they are born so that they can take their first space flight between elementary and middle school.
From the list above, we are expecting a rapid acceleration of technical innovation and progress. However, we are also expecting people to carve out more and more time for in real life interactions without the aid/involvement of technology. We view both of these things as a healthy evolution of our developing relationship with the integration of technology into our lives. What are your thoughts on the list? Are there other areas that you would expect to change as well? Let us know in the comments.
Happy New Year!