Technology is doing amazing things every day. At times we are guilty of thinking that the world moves slowly and nothing ever changes. However, slow your day or week is going keep in mind that technology is changing at a rapid pace. Moore’s law is the best example of this. The law states that the number of transistors in a dense circuit doubles every two years or so. This law has proved correct for the past 30 years. This has meant that (to put it too simply) while a chip that would fit on your finger could once hold 1MB it can now hold 1TB. This advancement in technology has allowed us to change so much and to continue to innovate. Today we are only at the beginning of the most innovative time the world has ever seen.
The first stage of innovation came with the introduction of the internet. It allowed large scale innovation to take place but was largely capped by the hardware that went with it. Then the smartphone was introduced and finally, there was a device that could capture some of the speed of information and use it in a meaningful way. Yet still, this hardware was limited by the speed of our fingers, the size of our hands, and more. Today as we break new boundaries in the cloud, mobility, big data, and artificial intelligence we see that the boundaries that we once had are collapsing. Technologies like virtual and augmented reality or augmented humanity will change how we perceive everything.
Augmented humanity is the idea of enhancing the body with technology. Some argue that the smartphone was the first step in augmented humanity as for many people it became a permanent attachment. However, in the next decade, we will go a step further and actually mix technology with our biology. Imagine no longer needing a smartphone because a hologram will appear on your own forearm when you want it to based on changes you made to your own body. Imagine no longer using an app to chart your sleep and health because there is a chip inside you that measures your health all the time. At the moment these things are just concepts but there is little stopping them from becoming real. Over the next ten to twenty years these things will happen and more.
One technology that is already underway is the bionic eye. Eyesight is something that humans depend on massively yet a large percentage of the world population have issues with their sight. At least 1 billion people in the world have some issues with their sight, whether they are short-sighted, far-sighted, or blind. There are an estimated 40 million blind people in the world today. The bionic eye will change this. The eye looks and operates like a normal eye but inside there are technologies at work. They will connect the eye to the brain like fibers and make it perform exactly as a normal eye would – only far better.
While this technology will start as a solution for those who need to aid their sight it will soon become a solution for those who want to augment their sight. This eye could be overlaid with augmented reality so that you could use it to perform tasks on the internet within your eye. Your eye could become the new browser.
These are strange and unprecedented times in the world of technology. The bionic eye is scheduled to be available to the wider market within the next five years. While we can barely predict the advances that will be made in the next year there is one thing for certain. Change is coming.