It’s 2016, and while we may not be driving flying cars, we’re seeing lots of new technology that we didn’t see 10 (or even five) years ago. Entrepreneurs are thinking of how to sell bigger, faster, flashier items — all with the goal of making life easier for us.
And true, life is great and we don’t need to go overboard with inventing new things, but some of these futuristic inventions bring a lot to the world we live in.
1. Waterproof socks
Showers Pass, a company in Oregon, found the answer to all our problems. Or, at least the problems on our feet. The Crosspoint Waterproof Socks cost a pricey $28 a pair, but they protect your socks from getting wet or cold.
2. 3D printers
There’s a lot of technology behind it, but 3D printers work just like they sound. A computer sends information to the printing machine, which essentially builds the image into an object. One woman even used 3D printing to build her own fashion line, and it looks pretty cool.
3. Electronic payments
Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and the Ziosk are just a few of the ways we can now pay for things without fumbling with nickels and dimes. Everything is going electronic. The tabletop screens at many restaurants even offer games and conversation starters on their tablet. Can you imagine a future where we need help to hold a conversation with someone? Well, it’s happening.
4. Self-driving cars
You’ve got to admit, it’s a pretty cool idea. Google seems to be the leader in this technology, but many other companies are creating and test driving their own cars.
Tesla imagines a world where we have a fleet of self-driving cars that pick us up and drop us off wherever we’d like to go — no more owning cars. Tesla has introduced a new “Summon” feature that, with the touch of a button, will turn the car on, open the garage door, and back the car out of the driveway.
5. Drone delivery
The world met the drones and fell in love. Well, some people don’t appreciate those flying contraptions, but many have used drones for photography, recreation, videography and more. Amazon is working on a drone delivery service that drops off packages to your doorstep or even to your backyard. Maybe our skies will be full of aircrafts and drones, and we’ll be flying some of our own too.
6. Portable record players
We’re keeping the ’50s alive with record players, which are still pretty common. They’re even getting a chic makeover with more hipster-style products. And Sony has a portable record player, so you can listen to your vinyls anywhere.
7. Technology you can wear
Move over pagers and beepers, because 2016 has some new wearable technology that’s actually really cool. Google Glass made us wonder if all that computer technology would distract people who wore the glasses.
Today we have smart watches, Fitbit activity trackers, location tracking devices and more. Most wearable technology so far is wrist-focused and involves athletics, but don’t be surprised when we are wearing earrings that can play movies (OK maybe that’s crazy; but who knows?)
8. Virtual reality games
Have you ever seen those people wearing the goggles or helmet and spinning around in circles? That’s because they’re in their own world of virtual reality. These games go a step above the Sims or Second Life. These games make you the star of your own game, and things can get pretty real.
9. Air touch technology
With the X-box Kinect gaming console, users can have a hands-free experience. The technology isn’t always perfect every time, but this new style of interactive play allows the whole family to move together in a wider range of motion.
10. Automatic doors
So, these have been around for a while. But they’re still really cool.