A few predictions

Sat, Oct 31, 2020       2-minute read

This article has been adapted and combined from earlier separate writings, with additions to reference COVID-19 and its role in combining some of the predictions.

We have long been promised flying cars — most tabloids will tell you that this future is only ten years away. Except, it was ten years last year, it will be ten years next year, and most importantly: it was ten years away ten years ago.

I have never been one to buy into the hype. Drones for non-human transportation will likely become a thing, but not much else.

But I do believe that the possession of private cars will more or less end. We now accept ride-hailing services, electric cars and self-driving cars as a part of everyday life. When these are coupled with the efforts of local governments to promote cycling and trams for commuting, the logical conclusion seems, well, logical.

Within 20-30 years I expect to see small, autonomous ’taxi’ pods that use AI to navigate local streets and which merge onto tramlines for some longer journeys.

The fall of private car ownership will have an interesting impact on the average family house. Houses with a large garage will not be as valued by owners, but what will?

With the inevitable continuation of wide-scale home-working as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe that homes with large rooms will be highly desired. In these rooms, individuals will use a combination of virtual and augmented reality to navigate a full virtual office, interacting with their colleagues in a much more natural way without having to own a car to commute to a physical location.

The games industry has already done a great job bringing these technologies into our homes, and I believe that eye-tracking and very-short-throw projectors (think wearables that ‘beam’ images onto your retina) are a likely candidate for this next chapter in home-working.

I’m quite looking forward to it.