In the past, people envisioned the 2000s as a time where flying cars and jetpacks would be available. We haven’t quite gotten that far. Nonetheless, there are pieces of technology that, even today, feel like they belong in the future. It sometimes goes underappreciated how innovative and futuristic some of these things are. Here are some examples of technology that remind us the future is now.
In a sense, drones have been in use for a long time. The military has used unmanned vehicles known as drones for a long time. However, it seems that in the past few years drones have become an innovative consumer gadget, available to anyone.
Drone racing is taking off as a sport. It seems like something that would only happen in a sci-fi movie, but last March one 16-year-old boy won a huge cash prize for being the best drone pilot.
Drones are also capable of taking pictures, capturing video and in some cases carrying objects. They’ve been used across the world for delivering medical supplies and broadcasting live streams. Websites like Skilled Flyer offer reviews for some of the fast and well-equipped drones available to the public, so anyone can get in on the fun.
For decades gaming companies have tried to deliver virtual reality experiences without much luck. In the early 90s, Sega created their own virtual reality headset, but they were unwilling to take the risk of launching it. Plus, lower graphical capabilities in those days wouldn’t have made for an immersive experience.
Technology has improved massively since then, and virtual reality is now a bigger technology trend than ever. It seems that in 2016, virtual reality gaming is really set to take off. The Oculus Rift gaming device is set to launch in October, and more companies are working on virtual reality offerings.
Smartphones and computers are beginning to add VR capabilities. This will allow users to use a VR headset with their devices. They won’t just be used for gaming, either. Developers are also working on using virtual reality for simulations and to tackle mental health problems.
Another technology trend that has grown massively in the past few years is self-driving cars. Companies like Google and Tesla have already tested their autonomous cars and found them to be viable. They aren’t available to the public yet, but it might not be too long before they are.
Many cars these days are adding more Safety Assistance features. Assistive parking and active cruise control are commonplace in vehicles from many manufacturers. Completely autonomous cars seem to be the next step. It’s predicted that self-driving cars might be the norm by as soon as 2020.
Some people might have thought that by 2016, we’d have flying hoverboards like the ones in The Jetsons. They may not fly, but we do have hoverboards.
The hoverboards we know are self-balancing scooters that can be driven on land. There are many kinds of hoverboards available to the public. They can go up to 10 mph and offer a futuristic ride. Who knows, they might even have flying capabilities by the next decade.