What could the future look like? Here I present two ideas that could very well become the reality within our lifetime.
The first one is a concept that has been featured in a number of futuristic movies or promo videos: smart glass. Or rather, a gigantic network of smart glass panels wirelessly connected with each other. Not only would these panels allow users to display information and be able to interact with them, but also seamlessly transition it from one smart glass panel to another. In this case, one could simply swipe his or her content from a tablet to the window and be able to move it around, have it transcribe speech, etc. This could fundamentally change the way we interact with devices with screens and basically enable us to think of it as one device with many screens. Nowadays, many of us own a phone, a computer, a TV, and many more gadgets with screens. With the smart glass technology, the glass only needs to display the information and be able to take tactile and audio input, whereas the “brains” of the technology could be hidden away from the users. What is more, this technology takes advantage of the colossal amount of glass that already exists in the environment around us. There is no need to install new windows or glass panels; instead, I view it as an add-on on the existing glass panels that make them “smart”.
The second idea is basically a self-flying plane. We are already at the brink of self-driving cars being a reality, so the planes will follow soon enough. Moreover, just as with the self-driving cars, I suppose that planes will be trained on real flight data. Since planes are already equipped with a plethora of sensors that keep log of every detail of a flight, planes of the future would be able to make decisions based on the data from past flights with real pilots. However, I should mention that it will be probably be a while until the cockpit becomes completely unmanned. Even if such a technology is developed, the pilots will be present in the cockpit ready to take over the controls in an emergency. Not sure if the cost of flying would significantly decrease, as the money saved up on pilots would be instead allocated to the R&D centers that would enable this kind of technology to exist.