We're celebrating our 20th birthday this month, and we've invited industry experts, researchers and scientists to write in and paint a vision of the future, 20 years from now. Here's what Manu Jain, MD, Mi India had to share about his vision of the future.
20 years ago, no one would have fathomed accessing possibly any service or product sitting within four walls of the home at a click or single tap. We transitioned so smoothly to what we live and call a routine. If so much can change in 20 years, what do the next 20 years have in store for us?
While today we might not be living on Mars or engaging in interstellar trade, there is no doubt that the coming years will have something exciting for us, especially when technological advancements are happening at such a fast pace. As I try to visualize a coherent version of tomorrow, seeing the trends today, the first thing that crosses my mind is the innovation in smartphones.
Pushing the boundaries of expected norms
With smartphones already revolutionizing the way we engage with the world; it wouldn’t be surprising if mobile technology continues to be the ‘big disruptor’ of the next decade. We’ve seen them move from simple phones to sophisticated multi-purpose devices. With the advancements that this industry has seen in the last 20 years, the next 20 years might seem like science fiction. We believe that the biggest breakthrough will be introduced in the display design, with companies looking at bringing rollable, foldable and flex displays, with OLED taking a centre stage. It would allow users to make their smartphones smaller to fit in the pocket while traveling or commuting and increase the size when consuming content.
We can expect to explore 6G or 7G networks, as 5G might not be able to keep up with the evolving needs for a more connected ecosystem. Wireless technology will dominate, with a pinch of wired networks co-existing.
In terms of colours, for the longest time, companies have been designing smartphones in three primary colours – Black, Blue and White. It is in the last 2-3 years that brands started experimenting with funky colours such as red, yellow, orange among others. As we move into the future, smartphones might get completely transparent and will completely absorb light, allowing users to control the colour of their smartphones.
Additionally, technologies like over the air charging might become increasingly common. Currently, devices don’t last for more than 2 days on an average and once the device runs out of juice, we are plugging it in for a couple of hours for it to charge fully. Entering a true wireless charging era, users will be able to charge devices over-the-air, from a nearby transmitter or an isolated charging pile.
No place like [connected] home
Smart technology, whether it's smartphones, smart watches, or smart TVs, learns and reduces the amount of effort required by humans to complete a mission. Smart homes operate on the same principle: technology recognizes the homeowner's consumption patterns, decreases effort, and improves the house's security and safety.
Due to the civil work needed to automate the house, smart home technology was difficult to comprehend a few years ago. Smart devices used a common hub to transmit information to home gadgets such as lights, fans, switches, and other home devices, in addition to the wiring that a person had to do at home. The lengthy process slowed the introduction of smart homes and smart goods. In addition to smart lighting, switches, and thermostats, the smart home has seen multiple technological and availability advancements:
The ongoing trend of AI in our humble abodes has already started bringing together the vision of a connected home. Tech companies, including Mi India, are developing solutions and delivering standalone products such as smart TVs, robot cleaners, smart lights, etc, but the industry has a long way to go before we witness the vision of connected homes turn into reality. In the coming years, we can expect fully developed algorithms that will be able to make a cup of coffee while opening the blinds and customizing the bathroom temperature when it senses someone waking up in the room.
A planet of the bots
Traveling to work through jetpacks might not be possible, but autonomous vehicles will surely become commonplace. Flying cars is still a distant possibility, however, self-driving cars are expected to mark their territory, reaching critical masses.
Artificial intelligence is a futuristic version of the Swiss army knife. It has the potential to increase productivity in any sector because it can relate narrowly to a growing number of domains – proving particularly useful in manufacturing. Furthermore, vehicle automation will boost road safety, while factory automation will dramatically increase production. It's difficult to imagine.
Companies will begin to take steps into AI, robotics, and automation, with premature man-machine integration. As these tools become more sophisticated, intelligent, and seamless, they will transform business functions, improving efficiency and eradicating human error.
The next wave of ‘green tech’
Much has already been done and talked about the science of making the world liveable. The need for Green technology would grow rapidly, with consumers and users looking for solutions that are environmentally friendly. More companies will start using technology in a manner that is not harmful to the environment or depletes natural resources. Funding for various transition technologies, such as smart grids and green hydrogen batteries, will increase in the future, resulting in accelerated implementation and growth of these technologies.
As we move towards the future, the pace of technology is only expected to increase. With changing technology, we must prepare to step into the future that will be unlike the past. We are living in a time of deep structural change where the boundaries between industries will continue to erode and present us with accelerating creativity and innovation. The future belongs to those who have the foresight to see the change and the courage and drive to make it happen.
All I can say is that it is a great time to be alive and witness the constant march of change, one day at a time.
– By Mr. Manu Jain, MD, Mi India
To read what other industry leaders and experts have to say about the future in their respective fields, visit our 20th Anniversary Microsite.