Amazing how most of us survived 2020. 2021 is here and it’s going to be a battle of the vaccines for COVID19 and how we hope to cope with the virus’ emerging new strains. That’s the closest I can come to prophesy. I’m one of those who believe you just can’t tell the future. Except maybe you are a writer for the Simpsons! Let’s stretch it a bit. How do you see life in 2025 with the advent of all these new and crazy technologies?
In the late eighties, some of us oldies would remember how people, especially the government back then, would make people anticipate and talk about the magical year, 1990.
In Nigeria, I recall the government giving promises of ‘free’ housing, health care, clean water, quality education and blah, blah, blah. Movies were made. Songs were created. All with the year1990 as their magical theme. I remember one such hit song was made by the enigmatic Charlie Boy Oputa which he titled, ‘1990’.
The year 1990 breezed in and fizzled out like a baby whirlwind. Nothing magical happened. 1990 was, quite boring in terms of political promises Later on, it was all about the year 2000, 2010 and 2020. As a younger adult then, I got to realise that these promises were mere propaganda.
But 2020 seemed to be different. The year 2020 has caused quite a stir with the novel COVID19. In the area of technology, 2020 has turned out to be huge with a lot of buzz on everything internet, 5G, artificial intelligence and… COVID19.
The focus of world leaders has now shifted to 2025. Technologically, we are advancing at a rapidly insane pace. The anticipation of how 2025 will look like, is no longer a dream. The reality it brings along is becoming mind boggling with great expectations. Tech billionaires have turned 2025 into their personal crystal ball. Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg contributions into the field of artificial intelligence, robotics, space flight, self driving cars have no doubt been impactful. Our present is now taking the shape of American 80’s sci-fi movies.
One intriguing phenomena of 2020 onwards is Immersive Technology. It is already changing our present and affecting the future.
What is Immersive Technologies?
This technology mimics the physical world through the means of a digital simulation of the world which creates a surrounding sensory feeling of a 360 degree space.
Immersive technology comprises Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) merging the physical and digital worlds to create an incredible alternative reality experience.
Despite its intriguing concept, these new technologies are still being perfected. Five years from now, it is projected that Immersive Technology will become very affordable if the billions of dollars already pumped in by investors is anything to go by.
A recent report forecasts that VR in the UK entertainment and media industry alone will reach a value of £801m by 2021. No doubt, these emerging technologies are rapidly on the rise.
Today, the processing power to create highly immersive and truly powerful VR and AR experiences are very much available especially with the presence of 5G technology.
The next big thing will be Immersive Technology becoming the primary ways in which we interact with the digital world. For now, your device may be the bridge between the a digital universe and the physical environment. Left to Elon Musk’s neural link, a time will come when the phone, as we know it, will be totally eliminated and we’ll be as smart as AI.
5G and Immersive Technology
More on 5G and its impact on the future. 5G is the fifth-generation technology standard for cellular/telecom infrastructures with the possibility of 10x the improvement over its 4G predecessor. As at now, high-quality VR headsets require a powerful PC to run them. The arrival of 5G will push the storage, power consumption, and processing power away from the PC and into the edge cloud. Presently, all you need for these experiences are a headset (for VR) or a phone (for AR). But who knows, even school as we now know it will become virtual. The pandemic is already catalysing this possibility.
According to Krasi Nikolov, CEO and founder of Quark VR: “I think 5G and the Edge Cloud are the missing link in regards to the immersive future of AR and VR. With 5G, AR developers will be able to map the world and make it computer-readable…VR developers will be able to create multiplayer experiences shared by millions of people across the world at the same time. And thanks to QuarkVR, 5G, and the Edge Cloud, users will be able to access the power of a supercomputer available anywhere wherever they go, so that their virtual worlds can look and feel as immersive as possible.”
Reflecting back to my younger days, with all the failed futuristic promises from movies like Space 1999. I foresee the emergence of 5G, Immersive Reality, Cloud computing, Internet of Things and, of course, one of my favourites, the flying cars. Once more, I have began to conjure up a rejuvenated faith in science fiction and my childhood nolstagic feeling of peeping into its crystal ball. Only time will tell if all these will all boil down to another ‘meh’!