Last week we shared a glimpse of how technology may transform the workplace and roadways of 2026. Today, we will look at how interconnected technology will continue to revolutionize our personal and home lives, as well as our health care.
In 2026, interconnectivity has become the norm — so much so that the acronym IoT (Internet of Things) seems outdated and is rarely used. Almost all the devices we use on a daily basis are connected, and it affects every aspect of our lives.
Our Connected Homes and Devices
The idea of disparate devices connected to the Internet and maybe each other is a quaint one in 2026. Instead, smart homes are becoming the norm, with most appliances in the home connected and working together synergistically. Advances in consumer-level AI applications allow these appliances to learn our habits, shopping patterns, and how we cook, and also enable autonomous delivery when our fridges order groceries, or when our washing machines are aware that we are out of detergent. Early adopters are taking advantage of refrigerators and even entire pantry systems that can keep track of stock and automatically add used items to a list for reordering and delivery.
These smart houses are also aware of what times we typically leave and return and make their own adjustments to lights, temperature, and other systems as necessary to conserve energy. But even the act of coming and going is transformed, as keychains are now considered retro and keyless, electronic/biometric entry systems are commonplace. Due to reduced costs, smart displays are in nearly every home in many forms: à la Back to the Future, personal information, art, family photos, news, communications, and traffic can all be displayed on monitors.
When it comes to home maintenance and cleaning, autonomous cleaning robots aren’t unusual and work reasonably well, but unfortunately, many people are still cleaning their own homes as the cost of purchasing a machine to complete menial tasks has not yet made it worth a major shift. In the yard, however, we see the lawns of early adopters mowed by autonomous electric lawnmowers.
Personal devices that monitor health and activity are much more robust and are even tracking nutrition, down to detecting when we are low on iron, vitamin A or other nutrients. They even give instant feedback for diet planning. Aside from nutrition, these devices communicate with our smart beds to optimize sleep by adjusting the temperature and mattress settings, as well as program alarms to wake us up at the most appropriate time. (Or times, as the familiar snooze function is still around!)
Health Care Rebooted
Wearable connected devices that report and send alerts to medical professionals are driving the health care industry — in fact, these devices and smartwatches are now very frequently one and the same. Individuals have more access to their health information, and the need to go to the doctor is reduced. This trend, as well as accessible AI that eliminates the need to see a human physician for minor illnesses and ailments, has led to fewer active general practitioners. For those still practicing, video conference appointments (telemedicine) has further reduced the need for in-person visits.
Autonomous surgeries are expanding to more hospitals, and the success rates are much higher as human error is reduced. Remote robotic surgeries are routinely performed online, from thousands of miles away. After the first successful multi-tissue organ transplant was produced by 3D printing, the liver transplant waiting list is gone, and scientists are working on doing the same for kidneys. Computers have been made small enough to build effective nanobots, and they have successfully fought cancer and other diseases in early trials.
Disease treatment as a whole is very personalized and specialized to what works best for the individual. Patients have much more visibility into their health history, as well as individualized guides to prevent health issues and remain healthy through personalized online health systems pioneered by the tech giants in the early 2020s. The enormous amount of data collected from wearables is a primary method to custom-tailor health plans for individuals, and most people primarily rely on their AI health tools to live healthier lives.
The cost of insurance premiums continues to fall as medical visits are reduced. Hospital equipment, getting smaller and more efficient, continues to drop dramatically in price. And with more and more procedures being performed remotely or by automated surgeons, hospital staffing growth has flat-lined after years of continuous growth.
If you think you’re connected now, just wait and see what the wearable devices and smart home systems of the future will bring! Grocery shopping and physician visits handled from the comfort of home, autonomous robots taking on increasingly complicated tasks around the house and at the operating table — these are just a few of the ways that we think technology will continue to pervade and improve our lives in the years to come. Check back soon for our next installment in this series for more perspectives on what life will be like in 10 years!