Founder of National Day Calendar, Marlo Anderson, declaring National Autonomous Vehicle Day along with North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, and Senator John Hoeven

by Marlo Anderson  | Submitted Photo

Have you ever reflected on just how much technology has changed our lives over the past decade? We now carry devices that can tell us where to go and how long it will take. They allow us to order everything from a car to pick us up or toilet paper to be delivered to our homes. Some people even use them for their original intention: making a phone call.

Robots are vacuuming our homes, 3D printers are creating parts, and cars are marching toward not even needing us behind the wheel. We talk to our TVs to change a channel and ask a little round device for the weather forecast or to play the latest song from Lady Gaga. With all the change we have experienced, are things going to slow down a little so we can catch a breath, or are we about to accelerate at a pace never before experienced?

Well, you better buckle your seat belt and hold on tight, as we are about to take the technology roller coaster ride of all time!

There is so much buzz about self-driving cars right now. We are already seeing advanced features being introduced into many new models, such as adaptive cruise control that will automatically slow down or stop, depending on obstacles and traffic conditions. Many are now stating that we may see fully autonomous vehicles ready for us to purchase by 2021 or 2022. One major hurdle is our wireless infrastructure and its ability to handle the massive amounts of data that need to be transmitted for a self-driving fleet. 5G data plans will begin to emerge in the next year or two, which will provide internet speeds 10 to 20 times faster than our current 4G capabilities.

What is even more exciting is the possibility of flying cars. You read that right; FLYING CARS. We really are about to enter the age of the Jetsons. These are basically drones that fly people here and there at over 100 mph. Since it is totally autonomous, you will not be required to have a pilot’s license. Just tell your phone where you want to go and your flying car will take you there. Even better is the price. You should be able to get a flying car starting at $15,000. Yes, much less than a new, ground-based vehicle.

So what about robots? They will soon be cooking our food at many fast-food restaurants. Robots will be mowing our yards, cleaning our houses, doing our laundry, protecting our property, and taking our pets for a walk.

We spend 45 percent of our time driving to chase after things like bread, pizza, and packages. In the future, many of us will send our drone to pick up those items, saving us time and money. Our drones will also patrol the perimeter of our homes, keeping us safe.

3D printers are about to rock our world. In medicine, 3D printers will create perfect knee and hip replacements at a fraction of the cost. The time it takes to recover from these types of surgeries will also be significantly reduced. The impact of this technology will go much further in medicine as well. It is possible that they will be able to create living organs for our bodies. The day may come very soon that a person will not have to wait for someone else to die to get the organ transplant they need. The printing of custom prosthetics for people missing limbs is already happening and will become more widespread as we adopt this technology in medical centers across the country.

At home, your 3D printer will print replacement parts for your appliances or your vehicle. If you are hosting a get-together at your house, print the plates you need to fit the theme for your event. You will also be able to print clothing, art, furniture, tools, cookware, and toys. The 3D printer in your home will become one of the most valuable and useful items you own.

Even our homes will be constructed with 3D printers. There are dozens of homes that have already been printed and usually average about half of the cost of building a new home the traditional way.

Flat screen TVs as thin as a couple of pieces of paper will start to emerge in the next few years. Some of this technology can be folded, meaning you can easily take a screen with you to meetings or the next room.

Your smart device will simply become your computer. You will carry it with you and then dock it when you get home or at work and use it with a traditional monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

Wireless electricity will continue to expand. There is even some speculation that wireless electricity will eventually power all things. That would mean no need for a battery in your smartphone or plugging in your electric vehicle.

Most of these changes described will be seen over the next decade. With machines doing most of our tedious work, that will leave more time to pursue our passions in life. With robots cleaning our homes and cooking our food, we may even return to a time where families will enjoy meals together again. 

Known as the “Guru of Geek,” Marlo Anderson of Mandan hosts his own talk show, “The Tech Ranch.” He also owns several tech companies, including Awe- some 2 Products, Zoovio, Inc., Pakkage, 3sixty5, and National Day Calendar.