Technology is changing the world we live in. The internet has brought about a change in how humans, live, behave and interact. It’s created new trillion-dollar businesses, and spawned entire new industries. But technology continues to change the world even as we speak, and the world of tomorrow could be very different from how it is today. Now we gaze into the crystal ball and look at industries which might change the most in the coming decades.
1.Cooking: Uber founder Travis Kalanick’s new startup, Cloudkitchens, is trying to get people to never cook food again — they believe that cooking can be outsourced to professionals in specialized cloud kitchens, which will make fresh food cheaply and reliably, and save people lots of time in the process. Along with ubiquitous and fast deliveries, cloud kitchens can transform how we eat — if it’s possible to get fresh food home delivered, there might be no need to for people to cook food at home, except on special occasions. This could fundamentally change a human trait since the dawn of time — never in the history of humanity has it been possible for humans to have someone else cook for them at scale.
2. Driving: Self driving cars have been in development for nearly a decade now, but there still aren’t fully autonomous cars on the roads yet. However there’s tremendous progress being made — Tesla is collecting data from all the cars around the road, and is working towards building a robust AI that can power self driving cars. Over the course of this decade, it’s very likely that autonomous cars will be on the roads, and they can upend several industries at once — the automobile industry, the taxi cab industry, and even the insurance and health industries because of the rapid decrease in accidents. At this point, self driving cars look like a certainty by the end of this decade, and can change the world as we know it.
3. Entertainment: This could be a longer term change — as more and more jobs get automated and taken over by AI, humans will have more free time than ever. This could lead to a greater demand for entertainment options, right from great golf courses in the US to the best casinos in India. This freeing up of time through automation will create a boom in all kinds of entertainment options, and birth whole new products, such as TikTok, and even immersive games like Pokemon Go.
4. Office spaces: The coronavirus pandemic had forced all kinds of companies to work from home during the imposed lockdowns, but the results have been far better than anyone could’ve initially hoped. Many companies have found out that they were just as productive, if not more, while operating from home, and companies like Quora and Shopify have moved to a remote-first model. Even bigger companies like TCS, Facebook and Google have said that they’ll let their staff work from home for long periods. This will upend the office space market — demand for office space will plummet, and newer alternatives, like coworking spaces, could take their place. A shake out in the sector seems inevitable over the next decade.
5. Virtual reality: This is another field that’s been hyped for a while now, but there might finally be indications that we might be nearing an inflection point. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that we’ll all be living in a metaverse going forward, and interacting with each other through digital avatars on the internet. While we aren’t quite there yet, there are initial signs that we’re close — filters on Instagram and Snapchat already let people change their appearances substantially in real time and over video, and it’s only a matter of time we begin taking on digital avataars for longer periods. And once that happens, a whole new ecosystem of goods and services might be created in the digital world — think new hairstyles for your avatar, or virtual accessories. The possibilities are endless, and a brave new virtual world awaits us.