Tech toys we’ll all use in five years

With Apple recently divulging more details and pricing on their upcoming Apple Watch, I thought I’d go ahead and predict my five biggest tech items you won’t be able to live without by the year 2020. With these come big new businesses that will rise up and join the likes of Apple, Microsoft and other tech giants to compete for increasing consumer demand.

First, of course, will be the Apple Watch itself or a similar wearable. These days, you don’t see many people wearing watches, since obviously the time is right there on your phone. But in five years, watches will do so much more — and they’ll do it more efficiently than our phones do today.

Take the FitBit for example. It’s extremely popular and getting people on board the whole “wear something on your wrist” train again. This is the first time since LiveStrong bracelets were in, and tech companies know they have to jump on the bandwagon quickly. Within five years, FitBit, a similar fitness-minded software, will most likely be integrated into a type of wearable device that replaces everything except your phone.

What exactly will everyone be wearing in 2020? Most likely some form or iteration of the Apple Watch, version 3 or 4 maybe. Or perhaps Pebble, another promising contender in the wearable tech market, will emerge with an innovative wearable that consumers will love. From helping pay for things to emergency situations, everyone will have a close connection to their smartwatch in the future.

Next up will be your personal set of glasses or goggles for the new wave of augmented reality. Since the advent of Google Glass, the idea of living a life in sync with technology is within reach. While the technology is in its infancy, the potential for both augmented and virtual reality for the future of entertainment alone is enough to make your head spin.

This is going to be one of those things you’ll complain to your grandchildren about. “When I was your age, we had to actually drive to Six Flags and ride that actual roller coaster!” The possibilities with this kind of technology are limitless, and that makes it even more exciting.

his one is a little out there, but I’m sure you have heard the recent news that powdered alcohol is now a thing about to hit shelves. The idea is to just add to water or a liquid of your choice and you can instantly have an alcoholic mixture. While many states are scrambling to outlaw it, the idea is genius.

The innovation behind this will most likely evolve and within five years this and other “food tech” products might become the biggest thing since, well, sliced bread. Just imagine a world where you can print a Big Mac at home, sprinkle on a packet of ‘Powdered Burger’ flavor and add water. While it might seem unappetizing now, it may just become commonplace in the future!

Last, while not exactly considered “tech” today, our car will be the hottest piece of technology we own. The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced that soon all new vehicles will be required by law to be able to communicate with one another. That means fewer accidents, more overall safety while driving and most important of all: the beginning of driverless cars.

While more than five years off, physically driving a car will one be a relic of ancient times. We will look back and wonder what we did before computers drove our cars for us! Until then, electric cars will continue to rise in popularity and at the very least our dependence on fossil fuels in developed nations will decrease. The problem then will be to control the depletion of natural resources in various emerging markets such as South Korea and Thailand that will be hitting their economic stride by 2020.

So there’s four predictions for the future of technology. If there’s any overarching theme here, it’s clear that the future is looking pretty bright — better grab your shades.