10 in 10: Predictions for the next decade of development in technology

Dr. John Bates, CEO, Eggplant, discusses his future predictions for the next decade of tech

Looking back over 2019, it’s easy to be remis about how much the world has advanced in only 12 months. Technology is now so intertwined with daily life that how it operates impacts us 24 hours a day and subtle amendments are overlooked as being insignificant.

On the consumer side, this year has seen huge advances in voice interactivity with massively positive impacts on the elderly and infirm – Amazon captures this brilliantly in its above the line adverts. 5G technology is also coming after it was announced recently that Hull was the first UK city to roll out a high-speed full-fibre. The subsequent impact this will have on people’s jobs and the community throughout the UK will be incredible. Elsewhere we’ve seen AI and machine learning technologies continue to improve data quality, visibility, analysis and output in business, medicine, transport and many other sectors.

There are, of course, downsides to the global influence of technology. The ongoing Extinction Rebellion protests highlight the damage to the planet and they’re forcing it to the top of the global political agenda while the wider global socio-political situation remains very unstable. Cybercrime is also on the rise with the threat to national critical infrastructure higher than ever. Technology will play a key role in addressing all of this and improving it. Not just for 2020 but way beyond. And, as ever, we’ll continue to see both positive and negative ramifications of its development, design and deployment.

Ten years ago, not many people would have predicted robots around the house or the ability to pre-detect certain medical conditions but both are now mainstream. So, looking well into the future, what do the next few years have in store for us? Here are my top ten predictions.

The digital divide will continue to grow, creating a polarized world where the poor are left behind as digital advancements fuel a new world for those that can afford and have access to the technology innovations. The unbanked will be left behind and will struggle to survive. Poorer countries may even declare themselves digital refugees.
VR & AR will transform our lives: the armed forces will become augmented humans with a selection of cutting edge technology embedded such as smart weapons, enhanced hearing and night vision.

Digital detoxes will become the must-have wellness investment by the end of the 2020s.

Man’s best friend will be a robotic dog by 2030. As technology advances and can mimic emotions, then a robotic dog will be the new must-have pet!
Cashiers and cash will no longer exist. Before the end of the 2020s, the cashless world will be the norm, and cash registers and cashiers will be replaced by chips and sensors. Physical money will also disappear.

Stamps and post offices will become obsolete.

As the connected home becomes a reality physical keys, doorbells and light switches will all go the way of the Polaroid camera.
In the 2020s, testers will become software optimizers. They will focus on utilizing intelligent technology to help digital businesses continually improve.
Technology is going to become increasingly regulated across the globe. Testing will not escape this, and by 2025 AI algorithms will need government certification.
Testing will need to be able to guarantee that the system is safe to release, delivers the desired experience and that it’s ethically sound.

It’s impossible to say if any of this will come to pass. But, what is for certain is that we’re on the precipice of another digital decade to be excited about. If anything, it promises to be even more influential than the last.