Short Term: Mobile and Retail
Mobile technologies will completely transform the world of retail in the very short term. If I can walk in to a store, be immediately recognised by beacon and my existing account data, a whole lot of interesting things can happen. Combine this with new display technology that allows multiple viewers to see different things on the same screen based on viewing angle, and the instore experience can be fully customised. Add the tagging of all products via NFC or similar and my online and in-store experience can be fully integrated and interactive. Why would I shop in a store that doesn’t immediately know my likes and preferences, my shopping history and can offer me exclusive and personalised offers and experiences? The exciting thing about this, is the technology is already here and its just a matter of integration that needs to be fixed.
Medium Term: Artificial Intelligence
Google has been building the technology to achieve huge leaps in artificial intelligence since they started building their search algorithm. The Big Data technologies they have developed are needed to achieve the level of information processing to make truly useful artificial intelligence a reality and we are getting closer and closer to this reality. This will at the heart of transforming every industry. Computer intelligence will not be the same as human intelligence for a long time, but it will excel in some areas. Driving and medical diagnosis are two areas that in the very short term I’d rather trust a machine than a person. AI will also open up world of ethical questions, but starting to question the role of human intelligence and its fallibility can only be a good thing in my opinion.