Hugo Wells, thescience fiction writer, published a world of tomorrow book. In that, he seriously considered what the world oftomorrow would look like. It was not awork of fiction, more a non-fiction view of what Wells thought was possible. He was right on so many things. He missed a fewthings, but he was right on many things. When predicting technology out morethan eighteen months, you run the risk of being wrong. The further out you estimate the more likely you are to be wrong. For example (to pick on myself) I predicted five years ago thatevery home would someday have a 3d printer. I was misguided/wrong on that particular projection. I suspect it is more likely that every home with has projectors than 3d printers.
That said, I suspect there will be an increasing number of3d printers. Some of the newer printers (M3D and Snapmaker) are multi-functionprinters. They (M3D) print in more than two colors (4 maximum today). Snapmaker lets you also use the printer to do laseretching and larger carving. The reality of the additional functionality offered increases the number overall of people that will want one. Plus,what once was 2000, or 3000 dollar investment is now less than 1000 dollars and in many cases is less than 500 dollars. It won’t be every home, but more than likely you will know someone with a 3d printer. Wireless speakers are a trend I thought would be of value afew years ago. Where I argue today is the impactof voice control.
Voice control is awesome, within a confined noise controlledspace. One of the biggest problems is ambient noise. The greater the average noise level, the less effective the voicecontrol is. We would expect that, based on the noise to voice ratio. A new problem I’ve noted is the reality ofadvertisements. There are many advertisements for Google home and Amazon Alexa. In every case, my device responds to the advertisement. IT means you have to think about where you are puttingthe voice-activated devices. The numberof homes with smart speakers (the new name for these devices) will continue to increase. Thismight be the device that is in nearly every home. The three devices in the market today are the Cortana Speaker (by Harmon Kardon), The Google Home and the Amazon Alexa. I’ve played with all three, and honestly,at this point, it seems that the Microsoft speaker is an also-ran product.It, the Harmon Kardon system, has much better sound than the other two, but ithas nowhere near the developers.
Always interesting when you thinkabout what may yet be!