Technology is evolving at such a rapid speed that it seems almost impossible to predict how Tech will develop in the next few years.
But Bill Gates, being the Tech Genius that he is, actually did just that.
In 1999, he published a book called "Business @ the Speed of Thought".
In this book, he named 15 predictions about the future of technology - predictions, that were absolutely unimaginable during that time.
He predicted the way we live with (and depend on) technology today, how everything is connected to the internet, how communication has changed, how the internet has changed our habits and more.
Shockingly, all of the 15 predictions have come true.
Let's take a look at what he wrote in his book 18 years ago and compare it to our world today.
Keep in mind: what he stated might seem logical or even normal to us now, but it was completely unimaginable and some things might have even seemed like a miracle back then.
1) Mobile devices / wearables
"People will carry around small devices that allow them to constantly stay in touch and do electronic business from wherever they are. They will be able to check the news, see flights they have booked, get information from financial markets, and do just about anything else on these devices."
This is a no-brainer. Millennials hardly go anywhere without their smartphones, we are always online, always connected, always up to date.
Whether it's a smartphone, a tablet or a smartwatch - these electronic devices are always right by our side.
And not only that: the options we have with these devices have grown tremendously as well. Nowadays, there's almost nothing you can't do with your smartphone.
2) Finance management online / improved communication
"People will pay their bills, take care of their finances, and communicate with their doctors over the internet."
Who even goes to the bank to do a wire transfer manually anymore?! Online banking is so much quicker and more convenient.
Of course, the next step for the financial sector is blockchain / cryptocurrencies - but that's one thing Gates really couldn't predict.
3) Social Media
"Private websites for your friends and family will be common, allowing you to chat and plan for events."
I don't even have to say anything about the immense growth in popularity of social media. We all know about it, we've all experienced it first-hand.
Social Media is quite possibly the biggest revolution of our current times, it has influenced and changed not only the way we communicate online, but in many cases also the way we live our lives offline.
4) Personal Assistants / Internet of Things
"'Personal companions' will be developed. They will connect and sync all your devices in a smart way, whether they are at home or in the office, and allow them to exchange data. The device will check your email or notifications, and present the information that you need. When you go to the store, you can tell it what recipes you want to prepare, and it will generate a list of ingredients that you need to pick up. It will inform all the devices that you use of your purchases and schedule, allowing them to automatically adjust to what you're doing."
What Gates describes here sounds absolutely futuristic - but if you think about it, this has become a reality.
"Home Assistants" like the Amazon Echo or Google Home are capable of doing all those things, and of course you can also uses smartphones / smartwatches for that if you're on the go.
And don't forget about the Internet of Things - so-called "smart homes" where almost all electronic devices are connected to the Internet and offer way more functions than their oldschool predecessors.
5) Price comparison websites
"Automated price comparison services will be developed, allowing people to see prices across multiple websites, making it effortless to find the cheapest product for all industries."
Who even buys something nowadays without checking for the cheapest price first?!
While price comparison websites were mostly used in the travel industry at first, they have become an extremely common tool for anyone shopping online.
Especially since many retail stores offer price matches, it can really pay off to do some research online before purchasing something.
6) Online Home surveillance
"Constant video feeds of your house will become common, which inform you when somebody visits while you are not home."
Home surveillance systems that you can control via your smartphone have become quite common.
Users are able to view their home at anytime while they're away, and are notified in case anything unusual happens.
There are even some systems that monitor your pets while you're not home, and you can control to give them treats or play different sounds via an app.
7) Smart promotional offers
"Software that knows when you've booked a trip and uses that information to suggest activities at the local destination. It suggests activities, discounts, offers, and cheaper prices for all the things that you want to take part in."
Most websites already collect user's browsing history, and analyze it to offer the best promotional offers.
Travel websites like Expedia offer a user certain deals based on their past purchases, Facebook and Google display ads based on the user's interests and location, and even Airbnb now offers specialized trips and experiences at locations you've booked a trip to.
8) Smart advertising
"Devices will have smart advertising. They will know your purchasing trends, and will display advertisements that are tailored toward your preferences."
Similar to the statement mentioned above, online advertising has become much more personal.
Depending on that analysis, they can then display ads that are especially appealing to the user.
9) Live sports discussion
"While watching a sports competition on television, services will allow you to discuss what is going on live, and enter a contest where you vote on who you think will win."
Of course, social media is the number one place to discuss big events live.
Especially twitter and its poll-tool have become increasingly popular whenever a big sports event is on.
Apart from that, live sports betting sites also offer live chats (and of course, you can 'vote' who will win by betting on live bets too).
10) Online discussion boards
"Residents of cities and countries will be able to have internet-based discussions concerning issues that affect them, such as local politics, city planning, or safety."
Again, social media has made this prediction come true.
People from local areas can easily communicate through internet forums or social media, discussing local events and planning a get-together.
Also, don't forget about the significant role of social media during political events like the black lives matter movement or the arab spring uprisings.
11) Links to websites during live TV
"Television broadcast will include links to relevant websites and content that complement what you are watching."
Hardly any commercials nowadays do not ask viewers to visit a certain website or follow the company's social media.
During big TV shows, there's also often a specific hashtag being shown, encouraging the viewers to post about the program on their own social media channels.
12) Project-management software
"Project managers looking to put a team together will be able to go online, describe the project, and receive recommendations for available people who would fit their requirements."
There are countless online tools to manage your daily tasks and improve your workflow.
Also, job search engines and freelancer portals like upwork make it easier than ever to find the employee or the job you're looking for.
13) Online recruiting
"Similarly, people looking for work will be able to find employment opportunities online by declaring their interest, needs, and specialized skills."
Job search has never been more convenient than in our digital age.
There are countless sites where you can find jobs or find employees, and platforms like LinkedIn offer even more opportunities to network and find new business contacts.
14) Interest-based online sites.
"Online communities will not be influenced by your location, but rather, your interest."
Many social media or forum sites already filter based on interest, not location.
For example reddit offers a lot of different subreddits that offer topics based on a certain interest, rather than who the user is or where he's from.
15) Business Community Software
"Companies will be able to bid on jobs, whether they are looking for a construction project, a movie production, or an advertising campaign. This will be efficient for both big companies that want to outsource work that they don't usually face, businesses looking for new clients, and corporations that don't have a go-to provider for the said service."
Freelancing websites like upwork or fiverr are a great example for this case.
Companies are able to create job postings about whatever work they want to get done, and freelancers can apply to those jobs.
This is called gig economy.
Which of these (accurate) predictions impressed you the most?