If we look beyond 2017 and into the future of our connected world’s technology, what amazing advancements can we see?

While the future is never set, the near future is reasonably foreseeable.

In a never-ending stream of progress, technology companies around the world announce the next iterations of their products, often with minor innovations that improve the way we connect with our digital world.

But what’s happening around the bend in the road?

The exponential growth in the internet of things, powered by fast broadband, ensures we’re entering a fertile period for technological innovation in which the frequency and impact of digital disruptors is amplified with every passing day.

We’ve found our inner three-eyed crow, and flown off through time to sit perched above our future selves: here’s what we see… 

Space tourism

Who wouldn’t want to see the Earth from space? Few things could be as life-altering, and the concept of space tourism may be a lot closer than you think.

In fact, in 2017 the first commercial flights to the stratosphere are set to begin taking place, with a seat worth around US$75,000.

World View Enterprises has developed a huge, helium-filled balloon capable of lifting an observation deck to 100,000 feet.

At this height, you can not only see the curvature of the world, but the black emptiness of space. 

Connected glass 

The arrival of OLED TVs - and now QLED TVs - alongside technology such as Google Glass, is leading us down the path towards truly connected glass.

This refers to the ability of otherwise transparent glass to display content on demand, allowing it to be perfectly see-through in one instant, and then showing off your favourite Netflix show, or browsing the internet, the next.

In the future we might look forward to this kind of connected smart glass in lots of places around the home.

Imagine a glass coffee table that could display an electronic game on request, or act as an un-losable universal remote for your lounge room, among other things.

What about a big lounge room window that can show a nice forest landscape outside, instead of a bustling street, whenever you feel like changing the view? 

Embeddables 

Forget Wearables like Fitbit; the far future might very well be about ‘Embeddables’.

As the name suggests, this takes the technology out of something you wear on your body, and embeds it under your skin where it can plug more directly into your body’s vitals.

This information would then connect to an app on your smart device, and to the cloud, so that you can keep a watchful eye on your health.

How’s your heartrate? What are your oxygen levels? Your cholesterol? Did you sleep well? Are you hydrated?

Embeddables could even alert medical services to your location and condition if something unfortunate and unexpected were to happen. 

Robotic sports 

If you thought the movie Real Steel was a bit far-fetched, think again.

Autonomous AI is one of the big trends in technology for 2017 and no doubt you’ve already heard about things like driverless cars and self-flying Drones.

However, this is almost rudimentary compared to what is being worked on by some of the world’s top engineers.

Leading the way is Australia’s own University of New South Wales, whose Engineering department is working on the rUNSWift initiative.

The team has twice won RoboCup, building automated soccer playing robots that defeated other international teams.

Their goal is to have a team of robots that can not only play soccer against humans, but win the World Cup by 2050!

The dronosphere 

The huge growth in the drone industry is well documented and so is the rise of on-demand services as consumers get faster connectivity to the internet.

In fact, world-leading retailer Amazon has already begun successfully making drone-based deliveries of its products in a few select locations.

As drone technology improves and becomes more cost-effective, the number of companies that will look to deliver on-demand products to work places and homes around the country seems set to dramatically increase.

This will necessitate a safe flight height, lower than planes, but higher than parasailers and kites.

When you look up in the future, you might see hundreds of drones, travelling to their destinations through the Dronosphere. 

Virtual changing rooms 

We could fill this whole article with all the amazing ways augmented reality is going to change the face of technology in coming years, but we settled on this one because it’s so simple everyone will do it.

Imagine being able to walk into, or browse online, a fashion store, find some clothing you like and then be able to use software on your phone to see what you would actually look like in that outfit.

Not only that, these connected apps could also have the potential to give you real-time price comparisons with other stores in the area and online.  

Check out some of the IoT devices that you could be welcoming into your home in the near future.

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