The Wall Street Journal recently posed one of contemporary society's eternal questions in the technological field to various experts: the question of "What's next?" While we could dream on and on about fantastical inventions a lifetime from now, these experts somewhat temper our expectations with predictions for only the next decade. That said, this is no reason to lose excitement. Our current everyday necessities and appliances will be improved upon and made both more efficient and more effective.
To illustrate an example, think of what you typically eat your dinner on. A plate is indeed one of the most vanilla and everyday parts of a household or eatery, yet experts predict this long-stagnant piece of humanity's toolbox will be receiving an upgrade quite soon. "Smart Plates," as the joint founder of Neato and Dishcraft Robotics terms them, will have the borderline extrasensory ability to actively detect various qualities of your food, such as freshness or bacteria levels. Another commonplace but welcome upgrade comes in the form of LED lightbulbs that can last for up to 10 entire years. Part of the irony in this is that we might develop LEDs that last so long that by the time they burn out, lightbulbs will have already been antiquated. Still, it is a welcome change.
Not every invention has to be in a mundane or commonplace area of life simply because we expect it within the next 10 years, though. Areas of medicine once relegated to science-fiction are now being predicted as not only possible, but indeed expected within the near future. For example, nanotechnology is progressing at an alarming rate. One example The Wall Street Journal provides is the use of nanomachines inserted into our blood stream for real-time monitoring of health and bodily vitals. While many may have objections to allowing machines crafted by corporations to monitor their bodily functions, the author of this article included, it is nonetheless a massive technological leap over our comparatively archaic methods including fitness watches and smartphone applications. Regardless of our objections, technology is marching forward at the pace it always has been for decades now: breakneck.