Although it always seems like everything there is to invent has already been invented, we must be careful not to assume so. Before flying cars and robots come into existence, there will be many fresh new media technologies introduced which will change the way people live. We can predict the near future based on the technologies that already exist and on the way people live today (excluding 3rd world countries).
For instance, by 2010 we know that a large portion of the population uses social media. Perhaps I should rephrase that: today a large portion of the population is addicted to social media, to the point where it interferes with other things in life. Since we can’t exactly kick new technology to the curb, why not create applications or specialized gadgets (cell phones, laptops, etc.) which automatically disable the use of the internet at given times. This idea may have been introduced already but nobody has actually used it: a cell phone application which signals the phone when a person is driving and blocks calls/text messages/emails until the person has exited the vehicle. At the same time this application could notify the party who is trying to reach the driver that he/she is driving. If every cell phone would be built with this program, there would be a lot less accidents and maybe less stress for drivers (even if a driver doesn’t think its stressful).
Something which may be introduced even further down the line is a computer that will be able to read, copy, and store people’s thoughts. Since our brains send electric signals to the rest of our bodies allowing us to function, why can’t a computer be able to read those signals? Today, for example, a severely paralyzed individual (who can afford it) is able to control the movement of his/her chair with signals they send from their brains which are processed by a computer. That is the most basic form of this type of technology. In the future, there will be devices that can read anyone’s thoughts that will be able to transform those thoughts into actions or to store them to so-called hard drives. This would be useful for disabled people (deaf, blind, limited mobility, etc.) because it would help them carry out simple actions such as speaking or moving. This would also be helpful to the general public since it is impossible to remember every single thought that runs through our minds, especially if someone is concentrating on two or more things at once (e.g. listening to someone talk while looking at a computer screen). Many of our thoughts are erased from our memories because there is so much to think about and so many gadgets to concentrate on all while interacting with people. Having a gadget that can store thoughts seems appropriate.
This sort of technology may even be able to act as an interpreter. It might read the thoughts of a French-speaking individual and automatically translate them into English or any other language. Maybe even a person using sign language would be understood by someone who doesn’t know sign language thanks to this advanced mechanism. If our brains could translate/transfer our thoughts onto a computer, a world of possibilities opens up.