Reality May Be All Virtual…Sooner Than You Think
by Amy Lignor
2016 gave us a lot of memories – both bad and good – that have now become a part of history. From fashion to design to politics (ugh), 2016 was most definitely a year to remember (or forget, depending on how you voted in the election). But there was also another industry where discoveries were made, new products came to market, and a world that used to only be seen in sci-fi movies actually began to come true. Yes, we are talking about the world of technology and how, if we keep going like we’re going, the concepts of “artificial intelligence” and “virtual reality” will soon become the norm.
Let us begin with the “smart home” that so many people are looking forward to having. From that cellphone that you’re constantly holding in your hand, you will basically be able to control everything that’s happening in your house before you even arrive there. From setting the light fixtures to turning up the heat, turning on the air conditioning, locking or unlocking the garage – smart technology is literally taking over the old homestead. A great deal of work was done in 2016 with the idea of a “smart hub” being at the very core of it all. A myriad of wireless technologies to serve your home were created by Wave, Bluetooth, Zigbee, and many more. Is it a perfect system? Not yet, but more work will be done in 2017 so that a “smart home” will actually be far more intelligent than it is now.
Work that still needs to be accomplished comes in the form of “smart home” gadgets that simply won’t work with certain “smart home” platforms. Such as, say you have an Iris by Lowe’s system yet you wish to have Philips Hue lights – these two are not compatible. Worse yet, the numero uno problem is that if your “smart hub” goes down, your entire system goes with it.
So for 2017, experts are stating that when it comes to “smart homes,” focus will be placed on Wi-Fi, which is already a tested network. Routers will have more and more bandwidth allowing you to better handle your home and all its’ “smartness.” In addition, companies from A to Z are looking to create their new devices to be compatible with your Wi-Fi to maximize success and eliminate problems.
When it comes to A.I., the theory of automation is not a new idea. Take the very well-known hatred that one and all feels when they call a company – any company – for help and end up dealing with an automated customer service system. This year these systems will become far better and easier to use thanks to ‘chatbots’ that will understand your voice that issues you’re having. Automation will be all about learning a person’s individual preferences so that the work these A.I. devices do will be better, faster, and won’t have the caller getting angrier when a voice states: “I’m sorry, that was unclear.”
Another technological area that will be seen in headlines more and more often is synthetic foods. I know, sounds as disgusting as it did when seeing “The Matrix” movies for the first time, but we are told that synthetic food looks and smells a whole lot better. It is no doubt, and will not be shocking to read that the world will continue to get more and more overpopulated as time moves forward. Natural resources are already stretched thin which means how and what we digest will have to change. People need to feed themselves and will turn to synthetic foods to do just that.
Everything from eggs to ham may end up being grown in laboratories, which will not only save on resources but also provide cruelty-free, environmentally friendly foods – two categories that people are adamant about seeing.
Virtual reality grew last year, and more is in store. Navigation, maps and the like, will grow in the world of virtual reality. Not only road maps, but the use of navigation when it comes to finding something in a store. And when it comes to getting the kids outside and away from video games, virtual reality showed with Pokémon Go that success can be attained quite easily by putting the “game” on the “road.” Will there be more? Absolutely.
So don’t blink. The great “out there” locations and devices that were once just written about in fantastical books are appearing before our very eyes. Let us just hope that the ‘reality’ that does appear looks more like H.G. Wells and his time machine than something the master, Stephen King, once wrote about.
Source: Baret News