The ICT industry is continually growing and developing, with advanced and exciting breakthroughs and updates being made every week. New technologies are constantly emerging which means innovation is possible through digital tools such as cloud computing, mobile technologies, social media, e-commerce, 3D imagery and content, brain wave sensing, gaming interfaces, interactive holograms, controls for business applications and virtual worlds collaboration!

The most exciting part of a career in digital technology is that you have the opportunity to create things that have never ever been thought about, discover new and exciting ways to improve our lives and to make what might currently seem impossible a future reality.

In addition to leading the world by being a part of developing a future digital discoveries, you have the potential to be part of a future career that is personally fulfilling, exciting, diverse and financially rewarding.  ICT will continue to advance, empower and transform every aspect of our life. Check out some of these emerging technologies and trends.

Contextual Awareness

By combining ‘hard sensor’ information such as where you are and the conditions around you with ‘soft sensors’ such as your calendar, your social network and past preferences – future devices will constantly learn about who you are and how you live, work and play. As your devices learn about your life, they can begin to anticipate your needs. For example, applications like Google Maps and your digital calendar can already advise you if you’ll need to leave home 15 minutes earlier because of bad traffic conditions. In the future, consider a “context aware” remote control that instantly determines who is holding it and automatically selects the Smart TV preferences and suggestions for that person.

Haptics Technology

Haptics is a feedback technology (using computer applications) that takes advantage of the user’s sense of touch by applying force, vibrations and/or motions to the User. Simple haptics are  used in smartphones, game controllers, joysticks and steering wheels. Haptics is gaining widespread acceptance as a key part of virtual reality systems, adding the sense of touch to previously visual-only solutions. It is also used in virtual arts, such as sound synthesis, graphic design and animation. There are many possibilities for Haptics to be applied to gaming, movies, manufacturing, medical, and other industries. Imagine your doctor operating on you in Cairns from his computer in Brisbane or ‘feeling’ the texture of clothing for sale on the internet or interacting with a hologram. Haptics technology has the potential to create new industries in the future.

Gamification

With the increase in the use of gaming amongst the younger generation, game design thinking is now being applied to non-gaming (business) applications to make them more fun and engaging. It has been called one of the most important trends in technology by several industry experts. It can potentially be applied to any industry and almost anything to create fun and engaging experiences, converting customers (Users) into players. Gamification is radically changing the way companies do business, increasing engagement with customers, employees and stakeholders to levels never seen before.

Eye Tracking Technology 

Eye tracking technology measures eye positions and movements which are analysed through computer applications. Future laptops, smartphones and tablets could contain thousands of tiny imaging sensors built into the display screen. Some smartphones already have the capability of this technology! Eye tracking technology also being used in other applications, including:

  • Law enforcement – lie detection
  • Airport security – identifying suspicious behaviour, e.g. to catch terrorists before they strike
  • Retail – recording, monitoring and analysing consumer behaviour to ‘tailor’ marketing to individuals
  • Safety – alerting and awakening a drowsy or distracted driver would save many lives
  • Health care – assisting people with disabilities or paralysis to communicate (laptop) and improve mobility (electric wheelchair)
  • Human-computer interaction – using screen icons and a blink here or a gaze there.

Brain Wave Sensing

Technology is in development that enables the control of technology functions by the brain – totally hands free! The possibilities for this technology to be used in toys, games, sports, education, health, automobiles, aviation/aerospace, defence, health, security, law enforcement, and other applications seems endless. Imagine brain wave technology in this situation:

  • A fighter pilot heads back to base after a long mission, feeling tired and physically exhausted. A warning light flashes on the control panel. Has she noticed? If so, is she focused enough to fix the problem?
  • Military commanders may not have to guess the answers to these questions much longer, thanks to current advances in electroencephalographic (EEG) brain-wave detection technology. They could soon be monitoring the pilot’s mental state via helmet sensors, looking for signs she is concentrating on her flying and reacting to the warning light.

Internet Glasses!

Laser Based Displays Within Eyewear

Technology that can display images directly onto our retinas while not blocking our sight is being developed. This technology can be used in eyeglasses and have uses ranging from e-Gaming to military defence. In the next 10-20 years experts predict that Internet glasses will replace Smartphones. Imagine these viewing experiences:

  • Seeing building schematics and locations of others (especially useful for security or fire fighters)
  • Giving a speech while information is streamed to your eyeglasses in real time
  • Receiving turn by turn directions as you walk toward your destination
  • Viewing virtual recipes while cooking without losing your rhythm
  • Walking down the street, seeing one of your friends show up ‘on screen’ 2 blocks and 1 cafe away
  • Identifying horses or football players and getting player statistics and live data via the glasses

Virtual Worlds 

A virtual world is a 3D computer generated community that takes place in real-time, where a lot of people can work on an endless number of tasks at once. You can create a personal profile (or avatar), change your look or gender, design your environment and control how you communicate and move. In the future, you might get home from school/uni/work, kick off your shoes and relax – on your very own tropical island complete with 5-star resort, a fun park. Later, your friends’ teleport over to party with you and your favourite band while your avatar buys movie tickets and makes dinner reservations for the following night.

Voice and Tone Recognition

Not only can voice and tone recognition be used to confirm a person’s identity but tone recognition can be used to detect a person’s health or emotional state. This technology will open new opportunities in security and healthcare through mobile applications and other software.