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Next-level gadgets & tantalizing tech on the horizon

New and amazing devices that you soon might not want to go without.

New and amazing technology seems to be developing at an ever-increasing rate, which means less time between major shifts in the devices that affect our everyday lives.

But there’s no need to be left in the dark. With an abundance of tech hitting the market, here’s a look at five new devices that will be impacting your life in the near future.

Panoramic VR camera and viewer headsets

Panono 3D Camera

As VR headsets continue to get better and become a bigger part of everyday life, partner devices for virtual reality are also improving.

For instance, take the Panono — a 3D camera that takes beautiful panoramic pictures that transport you virtually to the location in the photo. Once you’ve got photos taken by this little gadget, view them in your VR headset and it’ll feel like you’re in the selected pic.

The virtual images are so immersive that the World Wildlife Foundation uses them in their campaigns to get people up close and personal with endangered wildlife and ecosystems. As the next evolution in the world of photography, it also takes great 2D pictures. Options like the Panono and similar products from Google, Lenovo and others are available now.

Service robots

Service robots in action

When it comes to travelling, you’ll often have to ask someone a question or two — especially when you’re in an airport or city where you’ve never been before.

Though you might be used to seeing the role of concierge, cleaner or even restaurateur filled by an actual person, more and more airports and hotels are using robots instead. Not only are these machines assigned the more dangerous or tedious jobs at these businesses, they’re also knowledge repositories that are hard to stump.

Forget about not being able to find your gate at the airport or being unable to find transit information. These robots know it all and are there to help you get around. It’s a little quirky at first but you’ll be used to it in no time as you run into them around the world.

Related: Hotel robot helpers learn on the job

Sleep technology

Sleep technology

Healthy living has always been a growth area for technology. Much focus has been placed on diet and exercise, but sleep-related tech is now becoming more commonplace.

With gadgets like the Philips SmartSleep headband, you now have the ability to enhance your sleep with tones that drive you into a more restorative snooze. Alongside that, you can chart out how well you’re sleeping based on restlessness and tracked brainwaves.

This device (and many like it) are for those who are only getting between five to seven hours of sleep a night, and are looking to feel less tired. As you can imagine, more advancements are being made in this area and the technology will only get better.

Grocery shop without checkouts

Amazon Go

This isn’t really a device, but it’s a new way of using technology that might become commonplace sooner than you think. The online retail giant Amazon is spearheading a new revolution in grocery shopping by using a completely autonomous experience, and you can bet that once the model is proven it will take off in other retail locations.

It really is quite simple — customers load the Amazon Go app on their smartphone and then scan it upon entrance to an Amazon Go grocery store. Then they walk through the store, pick up all their grocery items and simply leave. Their account will be automatically charged at a later date.

That’s all there is to it – no clerks, cashiers or merchandisers involved. It’s been tested to be highly accurate and as the company works out the kinks, it looks like grocery shopping at Amazon Go will only get easier.

Augmented reality glasses and adapters for your smartphone

Magic Leap One

Virtual reality will likely become a part of our everyday activities, but that’s not the only new medium picking up steam. Augmented reality (or AR) is also making major strides.

In short, it’s based on projecting holograms into the real world, whether that hologram is a computer window, a virtual game or statistics — all from the comfort of your living room or office.

All it takes is a headset, like the Magic Leap One for instance. This AR headset won’t transport you to another world but will project images in the real world via the headset interface. It’s a little bit Star Trekky, but picture yourself being able to project a television onto a blank wall without a screen in sight, save the one within your headset. This very cool technology will likely make its way to consumers within the next five years.

 

Up Next: The next big consumer tech trends that will catch on this year

Michael Badejo

Michael Badejo is a communications professional and entrepreneur based out of Winnipeg. His diverse body of work has appeared in Canadian and international outlets covering technology, transportation, commerce and more. When he’s not writing, he’s running his boutique communications shop or finding out the latest in current events and technology.

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