Along with Artificial Intelligence and Human flight, another technological advancement I am particularly fascinated by is Virtual Reality.
Without doubt, the coming years will see artists and other creatives turning to VR to create brand new, truly immersive, exhibition experiences.
But, also, in considering wider society too; in health care, architecture, education, flight simulation, military training, and so many other fields too . . . the potential benefits that VR could bring us are immeasurable.
And, bear in mind, we are still only in the infancy of working with Virtual Reality.
So, right now, most VR technology is reliant upon the user wearing some kind of headset, or, in the most cutting edge cases, special glasses.
But, in the not too distant future, i see this technology growing to such a point that we will be able to have virtual reality experiences with almost no noticeable props. Thus making the experiences even more immersive.
Of course, there are potential negatives to this technology too. For example, what if people start to neglect their own real lives, in favour of an idyllic VR existence? Then we would have created something akin to a technological opiate. (A mistake we have already made once, through the development of social media).
Additionally, in malevolent hands, there is the danger of VR being used to brainwash new generations - or, in the hands of advertisers, it could be used to perpetuate even more negative materialism.
But, remember, VR technology is not completely new. In fact, we are living every day amongst it's forerunners - with smart phone technology, Television, computer gaming and so on.
But, it is very much a raise in the stakes. So, much like our developments with Artificial intelligence, i hope that we pursue VR with all necessary caution.
Then, we will be in a position to make such a positive change in so many areas of our life - that it will truly be the next technological revolution.
With that said, i would like to include a little postscript below - a brief overview of certain ideas i have for the positive use of VR technology.
It is by no means an exhaustive lists - as this would require a whole book to elaborate on fully. But, it does include key ideas of things i hope to accomplish myself (if i am ever in the position to make the most of this technology). And also predictions, or ideas, of how i see it being used in other areas too.
1. Art exhibitions.
If given the chance, I would create an exhibition where each picture is created both in a traditional medium (i.e charcoal on paper or paint canvas etc) - and through Virtual reality.
So, the gallery visitors would, at first, be viewing an ordinary show - for example, a collection of portraits.
But, then, they have the opportunity to see it all a second time - through a virtual reality lens. And now, all the portraits they previously saw as fixed, start to come alive.
The figures literally leap out of their frames, and walk among the other visitors.
But, to make this experience even more immersive - all the portrait figures maintain my own (or any other artists) unique style.
So it is as if the viewer is face to face with a real life charcoal person, or paint person - who they can now see from all angles, like a sculpture.
2. Museum shows
Building upon the idea above. Imagine a museum show where, through virtual reality, the pieces on display are reassembled into their original form.
Or, imagine being able to see a great renaissance work - for example, Raphael's School of Athens. And actually be literally immersed in the scene - to the point that you can actually sit down next to Diogenes, or walk next to Plato.
Imagine walking in Van Gogh's landscapes - or soaring on Michelangelo's sistine ceiling.
Imagine standing by ancient sculptors, as they carved Greek marble, or built Egyptian Sphinxes. Or stonemasons, as they worked on simple, every day houses.
The learning experience at museums would be akin to time travel.
I would employ Virtual Reality headsets at all hospital bedsides - for the benefit of inpatient recovery.
So, each patient has the chance to "escape" the hospital environment; and become immersed in a much more soothing or peaceful virtual space. (This could even be a recreation of their own home environment, or similarly familiar location - thus allowing the patient to feel that they are already recovering in the comfort of their home).
In the same way, VR could also be used in end of life care. Allowing for a drug free alternative to the interesting trials currently taking place with Hallucinogenic substances in the same field.
We can also consider how VR could be used in medical training too - both as a new, interactive, way to learn about human physiology - and as a first stage of acquainting students with the hectic nature of hospital life.
4. Mental Health
VR could be used for virtual exposure therapy, as a first line of treatment for phobias, anxiety, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
It could also be used to recreate a 24/7 therapy room environment, for any who may need to access it. Thus reducing treatment waiting times, and providing a new knew kind of safe place for those in true crises.
5. Flight, Military, and Defence Training
VR is already used in flight simulation. So, new technology will only serve to further increase these benefits - and help new pilots develop even greater confidence in the air.
It will also find a lot of use in military, and emergency service, training - allowing for increased controlled exposure to certain situations - without the real life danger.