When you ask any of today’s tech industry observers or futurists about which technologies will be most influential in shaping the coming decade, the first four examples are almost always: Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud space computing.

But because these areas have been talked about so much, let’s take a bit of a deeper drive and examine what other emerging technologies will make the biggest difference in our lives by the year 2030.


Big Data Analysis

The area of data collection and analysis of that data to make it useful will be more significant over the next decade than was software engineering and hardware development during the previous 20 years.

Jonathan Cornelissen, Ph.D., is the founder of DataCamp, an online education platform where people can go to learn the skills of data science and data analytics. He said data science will “eat software engineering for lunch” in the coming years in terms of its impact and importance.

It’s true that technologies like AI and machine learning are already carrying a lot of weight in data analytics, but the human element and human skills in this realm remain paramount.

Just about every major decision in any field you can think of will rely on big data and the analysis of that data.


Augmented Humans Using Wearables

It started with devices like fitness trackers and smartwatches, but this is an area that is going to explode in the coming years. Devices that people wear so that they can enhance their natural abilities and skills are advancing rapidly. Wearable technology may soon evolve into “implanted” technologies bringing us closer to “augmented people” or “transhumans.”


Digitally Extended Reality

Most people understand what VR, virtual reality, is and many are already using it in some way, especially in gaming. This field is evolving to include “augmented reality” and “mixed reality” which basically means we will increasingly blend our digital reality with our normal human reality.


Natural Language Processing

This is the ongoing development of enabling machines to understand human language. Voice recognition has been around for some time, but as this technology gets more powerful and effective, it may transform the world. It will do that by allowing everyone to instantly understand any language anywhere in the world.


Think of the implications of a wearable wrist device that automatically translates Swahili, Portuguese, or Mandarin Chinese and sends it directly to your ear with Bluetooth.