16 Technologies Of The Next Decade – Important To Study

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16 Technologies Of The Next Decade - Important To Study
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One of the challenges nowadays is that rapid changes in technology mean that what you study now might be obsolete in ten years. As the saying goes, it is advisable to skate not to where the puck is but to where it is going to be.



Interesting story: I am the same age as Elon Musk, and I was an 8-year-old school-kid in 1980 when we got the first computers at our school. The “BBC Micro 16k” used a cassette to store and load its software: It did not even have floppy disk, let alone a hard drive! However a voice in my head said to me “This computer stuff is going to be important. This is the future.” Like Elon, I too wrote my first piece of software at the age of 10. It was a program for rendering the characters of the Greek alphabet, which had to be coded as binary numbers in order to create the character from a grid of pixels. It was a single information page with a tutorial displaying the Greek letters and their English meaning. It sounds primitive but in 1980 this was an innovation as far as our school was concerned and I had just designed a font on a computer that had no fonts other than the one used for basic alphanumeric characters! I won the computer prize that year.

However unlike Elon my life took a completely different course. Whereas in his case he continued his computer studies, worked his ass off and developed his skills to a high level, I was influenced by my peer group to give it up. By the time we were 13 the ‘computer kids’ were bullied and called nerds, dweebs, spods… and I didn’t like that. I was afraid and I wanted to be one of the cool kids. So I turned a blind eye to computer stuff for a couple of decades and ended up doing all kinds of other things, some of which I am not proud of.

Fast forward to the late 1998 – I was just getting back into computers. By that time Elon Musk and his team had launched the company that became PayPal. Within 4 years they had sold it to eBay and Elon’s personal proceeds from that acquisition were…. $180 Million.

Now I can’t guarantee that I would have achieved success on his scale, but I do know that I completely prevented this from happening by deciding to IGNORE my intuition and stop studying what I KNEW was going to be important.

I simply STOPPED skating to where I knew the puck was going to be. Don’t do that!

It is impossible to predict what life would have been life if it had taken a different course – but in terms of financial loss, this could easily count as the worst decision of my life.



The game has of course moved on and always will…. so here is our take on where the puck is going to be 2020-2030. if you are considering career moves or thinking about where the future is headed, check out this list of 16 Technologies Of The Next Decade. These are in a major growth phase right now and will provide great opportunities in the coming years and beyond:

1: Artificial Intelligence.

The controversial A.I. is in a huge growth phase and set to become one of the most significant technologies of the future.

2: Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things (IoT) “is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.” (Wikipedia). The IoT is actually made up of numerous technologies including real-time analytics, machine learning, commodity sensors, embedded systems, wireless sensor networks, control systems and automation (including home and building automation). This is going to be absolutely huge, a world changing technology and is just starting to gather momentum.

3: Blockchain

According to the Startup Genome Project’s “Global Startup Ecosystem Report”, this is the #2 fastest-growing startup sub-sector in terms of “Early-Stage Funding Deals over 5-Years” (107.9%) It is widely believed that blockchain transactions will “replace” traditional forms of information recording and transfer in many sectors worldwide.

4: 3D printing



3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a form of “on-demand manufacturing” that enables rapid prototyping and precision engineering developments in numerous fields as diverse as automobile manufacture, military, surgery and even food manufacture.

5: Mobile phones, mobile internet

More and more internet and phone use is mobile / wireless, replacing static devices and land lines. “Wi-fi everywhere” seems set to happen within the next few years, for better or for worse, and this will open even greater opportunities in this field.

6: Autonomous – “self driving” cars

All new Tesla cars for example now have the hardware required for full self-driving. Within a few years many cars will be able to conduct complete journeys with no action required by the person “driving”. Drive on, computer: I am going to take a nap… 😉

7: Agtech / New Food Industries

This is one of the fastest growing startup sectors at the moment – with developments including hydroponics, closed loop systems, robotic / automation techniques, nutrient systems, indoor growing and of course the evil GMOs.

8: Advanced Manufacturing, Robotics, “Smart Robotics”.

According to the Startup Genome Project, this is the #1 fastest-growing startup sub-sector in terms of “Early-Stage Funding Deals over 5-Years” (107.9%). Robotics, it seems, is finally here. When we were kids we assumed that we would all have our own droids by now but technological advances in voice recognition, object recognition, 3D printing, manufacturing techniques and computation are bringing the ‘world of robots’ closer to reality.

9: Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality

Whereas Virtual Reality ‘surrounds’ a person with a completely artificial environment, augmented reality “blends” VR with the real world, “enhancing” real world objects with computer-generated perceptual information. AR will combine real and virtual worlds, enable real time interaction and will map / register 3D objects, linking them to databases.

10: Wireless Power

Wireless power, also known as wireless power transfer, wireless power transmission, wireless energy transmission, or electromagnetic power transfer is the transmission of electrical energy without wires as a physical link. This technology has application in numerous industries from charging of hand held devices through to electric cars, drone aircraft and even implantable medical devices such as cardiac pacemakers.

11: QR Codes

Already in very widespread use in South East Asia, QR codes are set to become an essential part of everyday life in the rest of the world within the next few years.

12: Quantum Computing

2019 saw Google announce that a quantum computer has performed a task that would be “essentially impossible” for a regular computer. It was claimed that the sequence of instructions was completed in 200 seconds that would require 10,000 years for the world’s most powerful computers to achieve. Quantum computing is still in its very early days but the potential capability of this technology is game changing. One of the intriguing (and possibly alarming) aspects of this development is that quantum computers would be able to brute force strong encryption, which relies for security on the fact that the computational power required to crack its codes is beyond that of “ordinary” supercomputers.

13: 5G

Fifth generation cellular network technology is being rolled out all over the world. Germany for example is committed to providing 5G coverage to 98% of households by 2022.

14 Voice Based User Interfaces, Virtual Personal Assistants (example – Siri, Alexa).

Voice is predicted to become the primary interface for the Internet of Things. By 2020, 3.3% of global households are predicted to have a VPA-enabled speaker.

15 – Aerospace / Space Tech

Led by the well-known giants such as SpaceX, Boeing, Blue Origin.. this sector is making huge strides with numerous other companies springing up. Legal changes introduced by Trump have opened the opportunity for private enterprise to play a full role in aerospace and important future sectors such as asteroid mining.

16 – Big Data, Data Management Systems, Data Analytics – turning raw data into rich information / data mining / scraping etc

“Big Data”, powered by increases in communication speed, has paved the way for a new subset of industries in data management, for example “rich data” which interprets information and increases its usefulness. This technology is obviously going to be huge in the coming years.

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16 Technologies Of The Next Decade - Important To Study
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