10 Breakthrough technologies we’ll see more of now

As we step into a new world post-pandemic, self-sustainability is going to rule our way of life more than ever before. What seemed unreal to accept just a year back might be the new normal. So this week we decided to look into some of those breakthrough technologies that can shape our new future. Brace yourselves as some of these concepts might still seem unreal. Nevertheless, it's always exciting to sustain rather than losing hope.

10 Breakthrough technologies we’ll see more of now
Amazon Prime Delivery Robot Prototype

When we saw personal robots being discontinued last year, we couldn’t figure out why these technologies are not getting there yet. We can’t deny the fact that every future technology comes with glitches. Some of these glitches are so intense that it becomes hard to even accept that form of tech in our everyday life. Just when you think of riding a self-driving car, you hear about a crash, and the dreams of stepping into the future shatter instantly. But 2020 has been showing us a whole new form of life we’ve never dreamt of before. Quite naturally, this calls for a shift in technology and the way we accept it in new forms.

Related: 10 technologies that make Dubai the smart city of the future

Things that seemed unreal before might be daily necessities soon. Take electric bikes for example. Industry leaders are launching more eBikes to serve the new phase of transportation. Even in the personal sphere, we see products like wearable air purifiers and auto-follow suitcases that help us blend smart tech with our new lifestyle. Self-sustainability is the future, and these breakthrough technologies might just help us achieve that. 

Electric scooters

If you live in a metropolitan area, then buses, ride-shares, and subways are how you get around. The trouble is, these means of transport put you in close contact with others. And those rental e-scooters? Twenty people might have used yours before you on the day you decide to rent. A safer solution is to invest in your own transportation.

For this reason, you might want to think about getting your own electric scooter. These battery-charged devices could help you avoid those crowded subway cars and e-scooter rentals. And best of all, electric scooters are much cheaper than buying a car or motorcycle. For city dwellers, this alternative transport is a great option. If you want to be sure you’re buying a good one, browse our list.

Self-driving cars

Yes, self-driving cars might not be able to eradicate all forms of car crashes that have been taking place for all these years. But you can’t deny that this technology is here to stay. It does have glitches and we can’t switch our gears to a 100% self-driving car right now but we can look forward to more test drives in controlled environments. In fact, Tesla recently admitted that the approach to self-driving is harder but it is scalable at the same time. Andrej Karpathy, Tesla’s head of AI and computer vision, says, 

Speaking of scalability, this is a much harder problem to solve, but when we do essentially solve this problem, there’s a possibility to beam this down to again millions of cars on the road. Whereas building out these lidar maps on the scale that we operate in with the sensing that it does require would be extremely expensive. And you can’t just build it, you have to maintain it and the change detection of this is extremely difficult.

Volvo self-driving car prototype in use

Volvo self-driving car prototype in use

Personal robots / Delivery robots/ Package delivery drones

Just when we thought that robotics is going to take a step back, 2020 showed us examples that looked way more promising. Take the Digit bipedal robotfrom CES 2020 which comes in the shape of a small adult human. Or, Spot by Boston Dynamics that just went up for sale this week for developers. We’ve also seen quite a few new entries in the crowdfunding space like Misa that look acceptable for new-age families. 

As we try to adapt to a contactless future, delivery robots and package delivery drones will obviously seem more real and acceptable. In fact, companies like Amazon are also trying to think of a future post-COVID-19 where a virus-killing robot would roll through grocery stores and distribution centers, using banks of ultraviolet light to kill viruses on surfaces. So, it’s not like mainstream human-based services are going to be discontinued. But thinking of ways to implement robotics in a contactless world can help companies build more sustainable operation models. 

STEM toys

Going to school has been a tough ask for kids this year. And, it’s going to be like this for some time. But, you can’t stop them from learning and technology can encourage learning with as well as without screens. We know exposure to blue light for long hours is not beneficial for anyone, including kids. So how do you plan to help them learn without exposing them to a lot of online content? STEM Toys are here to sort that out!

From coding wands to smart toddler playmats, companies are thinking of numerous ways to make education fun and informative at the same time. Home learning might have a tendency to stagnate your kid’s life but with STEM toys, you can actually ensure they get to make the most of their time indoors without being too stagnant.

Wearable air purifiers

We know that masks are our future (at least for some time) by now. We’ve been seeing way more designs and experiments on that front to make sure we get to protect ourselves without losing out our unique personalities. But one design that’s made us go wow is a wearable air purifier. We’ve featured two so far – the ATMOBLUE Wearable Smart Purifier and the Ao Air The Atmōs Wearable Air Purifier.

While one seems more like a face mask, only with smarter options for air purification, the other one tries to remove the obstruction and exposes your entire face, even after wearing it.

VR headsets

Virtual reality has been a promising technology for decades, but it never really caught on the way experts predicted. That could be changing now with the rise of virtual travel and the release of some pretty cool headsets like these popular VR headsets that are true game-changers.

With the 2020 summer travel season pretty much canceled, would-be travelers are exploring their virtual options. And this would benefit gaming, too. With more people interested in immersive VR experiences, headsets will need to become more comfortable, lighter, and less expensive. In our list of popular VR headsets, you’ll find an ergonomic number that minimizes contact with your skin for a sweat-free off-reality experience. You’ll also find a headset with a lens that adjusts to fit your face. They all give you incredible visuals and audio.

Smart indoor gardens

There’s a lot of great smart garden tech out there, but we love smart indoor gardens. They’re easy and convenient, and they keep us stocked in fresh herbs and flowers and whatever else we decide to grow. If you don’t know where to start, we have a plethora of suggestions, from big to small and everything in between. And, if you’re short of space, these are perfect for people who want to garden but don’t have the room outside to do so—like those who live in small apartments. From palm-sized designs to an entire indoor garden space, our list of smart indoor gardens will make sure you breathe fresh indoors. 

Auto-follow suitcase

We saw this tech quite a few years back and it never really took off. But as we step into a contactless future, maybe it’s time to give it another try. One example we can vote for is the COWAROBOT R1 auto-follow suitcase. This is a robotic suitcase that incorporates robotic technology on its smart suitcase shell. As a result, it can follow tracks autonomously, thus making the process of traveling with a suitcase smooth, contactless, and hassle-free. It will simply roll-on with you and make you enjoy a hands-free mode of traveling all along the way. The 20-inch design uses the power of multi-sensor fusion technology and robot motion control algorithm to allow for autonomous following and obstacle avoidance. 

Contactless grocery shopping

Amazon did this right a couple of years back but it didn’t seem so promising back then. Fast forward to 2020 and we are now looking forward to a future where grocery shopping at Amazon Go could go global. If you have an Amazon Go in your city, you’re familiar with the take-and-leave chain of convenience stores owned by Amazon. If you don’t live in one of those cities, the concept is one you’ve always dreamed of.

Amazon Go storefront / Image credits: GeekWire

Amazon Go storefront / Image credits: GeekWire

Amazon Go locations are stores where you simply take the items you want off the shelves and go home. Your Amazon account will automatically be charged for the things you take. There’s no waiting in lines or handing your card to a cashier. By most accounts, it’s a faster, more streamlined way to shop.

Contactless payments

The final technology on our list today is contactless payments. Handling cash and coins in the pandemic phase and even post-pandemic seems unreal and it’s time we think of ways to make it seamless and more acceptable for the new life (as we’d like to call it). As reported by Forbes on an article related to contactless payments,

As Americans slowly emerge from their coronavirus-induced quarantines, blinking in the sunlight and wondering what, exactly,this “new normal”has in store for them, contactless payments begin to make a whole lot more sense.

Contactless payments demonstration

Contactless payments demonstration

With that, we come to an end of this discussion of breakthrough technologies for the moment. The future is not dark or bright. It’s just new – something we can’t really predict as easily as we used to before. Did we miss out on any that should have been a part of this list? Share with us in the comments below.

The Gadget Flow Daily Digest highlights and explores the latest in tech trends to keep you informed. Want it straight to your inbox? Subscribe ➜

Meet Madhurima Nag

Madhurima Nag is the Head of Social Media at Gadget Flow. She side-hustles as a digital marketing lecturer/speaker and loves to voice her opinion on marketing, crowdfunding and gadgets (of course!) in general.
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